Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthJune 29, 1881
Place of BirthAthol, Cumberland, Nova Scotia
Marital StatusMarried
Next of KinSarah Baker, wife, 325 3rd Street North, Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingCarpenter
Service Details
Regimental Number212
Service RecordLink to Service Record
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Overseas Railway Construction Corps
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at Enlistment325 3rd Street North, Kenora, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentMarch 29, 1915
Age at Enlistment33
Theatre of ServiceCanada
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathFebruary 2, 1956
Age at Death74

Baker, Claude Cleveland

Claude Cleveland Baker was born on 29 June 1881 in Athol, Cumberland in Nova Scotia. His parents Hance Wilson Baker and Angelina Harriet Cleveland had married in 1860 and farmed in the Maccan district in Cumberland. Known children born to the couple were Frank Benton (abt 1862), Florence May (1864), Emma (abt 1865), Harry Wilson (1867), Olonzo (abt 1869), Eliza Donkin (1870), Hance (abt 1872), Hannah (abt 1873), Edward Baron (abt 1876), Maude Angelina (1876), Nettie Archibald (1877), Mark McElhinney (1879), and Claude. Sadly tragedy struck the family in 1876 with Frank, Emma, Harry, Olonzo, Eliza, Hance JR, Hannah, and Edward all dying of diphtheria by the end of the year.

By the time of the 1901 census, Claude was living in the Southwold, Elgin area of Ontario where he was working as a farm labourer for Walter and Florence Mairs. By the 1906 census Claude was living with his family in the district of Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. On 15 August 1908, in Winnipeg, he married Sarah Ann Armstrong. Born in 1891 in Liverpool, Lancashire in England, she was the daughter of Thomas Armstrong, a boiler maker, and Sarah Jane Parry who had married in 1890. A later Canadian census suggested that the family immigrated to Canada in 1906.

Claude and Sarah lived in Brandon, Manitoba for a while, giving birth to son Frank Wilson in 1909. From there they move to the United States, giving birth to sons Howard Cleveland in 1910 and Clarence Thomas in 1911, both in Saint Paul, Minnesota. By 1914 and the birth of daughter Audrey Angelina, the family was living in Kenora, Ontario where Claude was working as a carpenter. Also living in Kenora at the time were Sarah’s parents and some of her siblings as well as Claude’s brother Mark.

Claude enlisted with the Canadian Overseas Railway Construction Corps on 29 March 1915. Although there were no attestation papers in his service record, his pay was assigned to his wife Sarah in Kenora and his occupation was given as carpenter. On 8 June 1915, in Saint John, New Brunswick, Claude was discharged from service as not medically fit for war service. In April of 1919 the towns of Kenora and nearby Keewatin held a reception at the Tourist Hotel in recognition of those who had enlisted. With over 200 names on the list as published in the 2 April 1919 edition of the Kenora Miner and News, one was C C Baker.

A 1925 border crossing record for Claude indicated that the family had been living in Kamsack, Saskatchewan. Along with his son Frank, he was on his way to Longview, Washington, looking for work. A 1935 Voters list placed the family in Winnipeg where Claude was working as a carpenter, Howard was apprenticing, and Clarence was listed as a candy maker. Around 1935 the family moved to Vancouver, a 1949 Voters list placing them on Burrard Street.

Claude died on 2 February 1956 in the Hollywood Sanitarium in New Westminster, BC. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife Sarah, sons Frank of Vancouver, Howard and Clarence of Winnipeg, and daughter Audrey (Harry) Farian of Toronto. He was also survived by his sister Nettie Read Armstrong in Seattle (d 1968). He was predeceased his parents Hance (1923) and Angelina (1924) in Shedden, Ontario and by siblings Frank, Emma, Harry, Olonzo, Eliza, Hance JR, Hannah, and Edward in 1876, Florence (Walter) Moore (1931, Shedden), Maude (1951, Shedden), and Mark (May Dunkerly) (1954, Kenora). Sarah later died in 1958 at the home of her daughter Audrey in Port Credit, Ontario. She is interred in the Spring Creek Cemetery in Mississauga. Claude’s sons Clarence died in 1973 and Howard in 1974 in Winnipeg, both interred in Brookside Cemetery. Son Frank died in 1977 in Surrey, BC and it appears that Audrey died in 1997. With cremation, Claude’s final resting place is unknown.

By Judy Thorburn

Photograph of Claude as found on the Read family tree as well as others on

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