Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthAugust 6, 1893
Place of BirthMillerton, New Brunswick
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinJohn Doran (father), Millerton, New Brunswick
Trade / CallingBlacksmith
ReligionRoman Catholic
Service Details
Regimental Number426770
Service Record Link to Service Record
BattalionCanadian Military Police
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Provost Corps
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Date of EnlistmentApril 19, 1915
Age at Enlistment21
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of Death19650516
Age at Death71
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario
PlotRoman Catholic Block B-10-18

Doran, Leo Getty

Sergeant Leo Getty Doran joined the 46th (South Saskatchewan) Battalion in April 1915 and went overseas that fall. He served for more than three years with the military police in France, Belgium and the UK, returning to Canada in July 1919.

Leo was the son of John Doran and Mary Kelly of Millerton, Northumberland County, New Brunswick. John and Mary were both born in New Brunswick and they had at least 14 children. Leo, the second youngest, was born in Millerton on 6 August 1893 and baptized two weeks later at St. Thomas Catholic Church in the nearby village of Red Bank. His father John was a blacksmith. Leo’s mother died in 1909 when he was 16 and when the 1911 census was taken he was living with his widowed father and three brothers. According to his service file, he moved out west sometime after that and spent two years working for the Royal North West Mounted Police.

Leo enlisted on 19 April 1915 in Arcola, Saskatchewan, a small village in the southeast corner of the province. He was 21 years old, a blacksmith by trade and next of kin was his father in Millerton. Leo signed up with the 46th (South Saskatchewan) Battalion, which had its headquarters in Moose Jaw. At the end of May the unit moved to Camp Sewell (later called Camp Hughes) in Manitoba, where they trained over the summer. They left there on 18 October, on the first leg of their journey overseas, and a huge crowd greeted them when they arrived at the Winnipeg train station. Later the same day they had a brief stop in Kenora, Ontario where Leo would make his home after the war. The troops continued on to Halifax, embarking from there on 23 October on the SS Lapland and arriving in Plymouth, England at the end of the month.

The 46th Battalion became part of the newly-organized 4th Canadian Division. In January 1916 Leo was appointed Acting Corporal with the 4th Division Headquarters, where he served with the military police. In June he was transferred to 4th Division Headquarters Sub Staff and two months later he was sent to France, where he continued to serve with the military police. In August 1917 he was attached to the Assistant Adjutant General section of the Canadian Corps Military Police. In August 1918 he was ill and he spent ten days at No. 8 Stationary Hospital in Wimereux. After recovering he was transferred to the Canadian Corps Base Depot, where he served for eight months. He returned to England in May 1919 and was promoted to Acting Sergeant. He embarked for Canada on the SS Mauretania in late June, arriving in Halifax on 4 July and getting officially discharged there on 13 July.

On his discharge document Leo’s intended residence was listed as Derby, New Brunswick, where his family lived. He may have stayed there for awhile but by the time his father died in November 1919 he was living in Winnipeg, where he found work at a meat packing plant. He was married on 5 October 1920 in Dauphin, Manitoba to Anna Marie Green. Marie was born in Iowa in 1896, the daughter of James Gordon and Nora Ellen Green. Her family had moved to Kenora around 1904 and her brother James Richard Green was a veteran of the war. When the 1921 census was taken Leo and Marie were living in Kenora with Marie’s parents. Leo was working on road construction at the time but later that year he was taken on as a yardman with the Canadian Pacific Railway. He had a long career with the CPR, becoming a switchman and later a yard foreman. Leo and his wife had two sons, Terrance James in 1921 and Victor Leo in 1926. Sadly, Victor died in St. Joseph’s Hospital in Kenora in January 1943, at age 16.

Leo was a member of Notre Dame Roman Catholic Church, the Kenora Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion and in his later years the Retired Men’s Association. His son Terry served as a Corporal with the Royal Canadian Artillery during the Second World War. Leo also had a nephew, Patrick Dixon Doran, who died at sea during the Second World War while serving with the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve.

Leo passed away in St. Joseph’s Hospital on 16 May 1965, at age 71, and his funeral was held three days later. He was predeceased by his wife in January 1963. Leo, Marie and their sons Victor and Terry are buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery.

By Becky Johnson

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