Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthJuly 22, 1995
Place of BirthRat Portage (Kenora), Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinGrace Lampshire, mother, Ignace, Ontario
Trade / CallingSwitchman
Service Details
Regimental Number2383774
Service Record Link to Service Record
BattalionCanadian Railway Construction Depot
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Railway Troops
Enlisted / ConscriptedConscripted
Address at EnlistmentIgnace, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentApril 17 1918
Age at Enlistment22
Theatre of ServiceGreat Britain
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathAugust 9, 1979
Age at Death84
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

Lampshire, Richard James

Richard James Lampshire was born on 22 July 1895 in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora), Ontario. Both of his parents, Henry (Harry) Lampshire and Grace Smith Bailey, were from Cornwall, England. Living in Silver Islet, Algoma, Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior, the couple married on 20 July 1883 in Prince Arthur Landing (now Thunder Bay). Harry was a miner and after the flooding of the silver mine in Silver Islet (now part of Sleeping Giant Provincial Park), the couple moved around northwestern Ontario, ending up in the Rat Portage area where mines were abundant at the time. Children born to the family were Henry (Harry) (1886), Lulu (1888), Ida May (1890), Mary Louise (1892) and Richard. Grace and the three older children returned to England for a visit, listed in the 1891 census as living with her mother in Ramsgate, Cornwall but were back in Canada by late May. Sadly, Richard’s father died in 1899 of la grippe (influenza) in Rat Portage. By the 1901 census Grace and the children were living at Regina Mine on Regina Bay near Sioux Narrows and by 1911 Grace, Richard and his sister Mary Louise were living in Kenora where Richard was working as a labourer at the Box Factory. The three later moved to Ignace, Ontario. His sister Lulu married George Lennox Gordon in 1906, sister Ida married Jacob Spencer Young in 1907, both in Kenora, and brother Harry married Rachel Burns in Nipigon in 1915.

With occupation given as switchman and his mother Grace in Ignace as next of kin, Richard signed his recruitment papers in Port Arthur on 17 April 1918 with the 1st Depot Battalion Manitoba Regiment. He gave his year of birth as 1894 and he’d had his medical examination the previous November in Fort William. He arrived in England aboard the Cassandra on 15 August 1918 and was to serve as a Sapper with the Canadian Railway Construction Depot in England. He returned to Canada in February of 1919, discharged from service on the 25th in Winnipeg.

The 1921 census found Richard living with his mother Grace and sister Mary Louise in Ignace, occupation given as waiter on the census. The previous fall he had had his foot badly crushed while working as a switchman and for a while it had been thought that it would have to be amputated. On 28 July 1927, in Nipigon, Richard married Emma Alexia Ward. Born in 1899 in Advocate Harbour, Nova Scotia, Emma was the daughter of farmer Otto Ward and Margaret Morris who had married in 1889 in Advocate Harbour. At the time of the marriage Richard was working in a sawmill in Nipigon while Emma was teaching school in Advocate Harbour. Their intended residence after the marriage was given as Port Arthur. The next year Richard and Emma gave birth to a son, Gordon.

It appears that the marriage failed and Emma and Gordon returned to the Maritimes where Gordon died in 1984 (interred in Fairview Lawn Cemetery, Halifax) and Emma in 1987 (interred in the cemetery in Advocate Harbour). Richard later married Elena Gawdun (Gowdun) in Kenora, Elena born in 1914 in Saskatchewan. Richard and Elena had three children, Edwin, Richard, and Barbara Joan. According to his obituary, Richard began service with the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1917 in Fort William and transferred to the position of yardman in Ignace in 1920. He was promoted to yard foreman in 1933 and worked that position in Kenora and Ignace until his retirement in 1960. He was a member of Knox United Church and Trainman’s Lodge No 270.

Richard died on 9 August 1979 in Kenora. He was predeceased by his mother Grace in 1926 in Ignace (interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora), brother Harry, sister Lulu Gordon in 1971 in Nipigon, sister Ida Young in 1972 in Kenora, and sister Mary Louise Stewart in 1975 in Nelson, BC. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife Elena, son Gordon in Halifax, son Edwin in Dryden, son Richard in Edmonton, and daughter Barbara Turgeon of Fort Frances. He was also survived by nine grandchildren, two great grandchildren, and brother-in-law Bob Stewart in Nelson, BC. Richard’s wife Elena died in 2011 in Kenora and is interred with Richard in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora.

by Judy Stockham

obituaries: Kenora Miner and News

Lampshire-Richard-James-4 Lampshire-Richard-James-2 Lampshire-Richard-James-3 Lake of the Woods Cemetery

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