Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthAugust 11, 1884
Place of BirthLondon
Marital StatusWidower
Next of KinMrs. E Wilson, sister No 63 Grosvener Terrace, London England
Trade / CallingLocomotive Engineer
Service Details
Regimental Number2124999
Service Record Link to Service Record
BattalionDepot Battalion, CRT
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Railway Troops
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentYMCA Kenora On
Date of EnlistmentJanuary 30, 1917
Age at Enlistment32
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathMarch 8, 1951
Age at Death66
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

Banks, Alfred George

Alfred George Banks was born on 11 August 1884 in London, England.   His father, Alfred George Banks was a railroad engineer. His mother was Charlotte Elizabeth Fish. Siblings included: Elizabeth (Lilly) who married Ernest Wilson, Harriet Daisy and Philip who died in infancy.

Alfred served in the Boer War and then in 1903 emigrated to Canada. He apparently spent some time living on Cape Breton Island.  On 19 September 1906 he started with the CPR as a wiper at Ignace, Ontario. He came to Kenora, Ontario as a fireman with the CPR on 10 July 1907.

In 1911 Alfred   was promoted to engineer on the CPR. He was boarding at the residence of William Whitaker.  Two years later, on 30 April 1913, he married William’s daughter, Alice Maude Whitaker. Sadly, Alice died the next year on 09 February 1914 due to complications in pregnancy.

Alfred enlisted with the Section No. 1 Skilled Railway Operators on 30  January 1917 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  At the time he was living at the YMCA in Kenora and was a locomotive engineer. When the train carrying his unit passed through Kenora on its way east a large crowd was on hand.  Alfred later wrote a letter to the editor of the local paper expressing his appreciation for the wonderful send off they received in Kenora.  He was especially pleased to see Principal Keenan and the pupils of Central School out to wish the soldiers Godspeed.

Alfred arrived in England with his unit on 15 March 1917. He was promoted to Lance Corporal. His unit was absorbed into the 58th Broad Gauge Railway Operating Company and went to France on 19 April 1917. This unit was operating lines in the immediate rear of active operations and hauled troops , ammunition, supplies, material, ambulance trains, refugees, etc. for the battles of Messines Ridge, June 1917 and the Lys, April 1918. In the spring of 1918, No. 58 Broad Gauge Operating Company was brought under the command of the Headquarters, Canadian Railway Troops and became part of the Corps of Canadian Railway Troops.   When Alfred returned to Canada on 25 May 1919 he was a Corporal with the Canadian Railway Troops.

Alfred returned to Kenora and the CPR. On 08 September 1920 he married Mary Jeanetta Towns in Kenora.  They had a son, George Calvin Banks, in 1921 who served in WWII, marrying an English bride in London, England in 1944.

On 01 September 1949, Alfred retired on pension from the CPR.

He died in Kenora on 08 May 1951 and is buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery.

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