Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthJuly 25, 1896
Place of BirthCollingwood, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMrs FS Lovatt, mother, 9336 105th Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta
Trade / CallingClerk
Service Details
Regimental Number279053
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion8th Battalion CRT
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Railway Troops
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentEdmonton, Alberta
Address at Enlistment9336 105th Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta
Date of EnlistmentFebruary 26, 1916
Age at Enlistment19
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJanuary 16, 1978
Age at Death81
Buried AtNorth Shore Crematorium, Vancouver, British Columbia

Lovatt, Harold Griersley

Harold Griersley Lovatt was born on 25 July 1896 in Collingwood, Ontario. His father Frederick Charles Lovatt, a carpenter, was from England and had immigrated to Canada with his family as a young child, settling in the Meaford, Ontario area. His mother Mary Elizabeth Bingham grew up in the Whitchurch, York, Ontario area. The couple married on 8 March 1894 in Toronto. By the time of the 1901 census the family had relocated to Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) in northwestern Ontario. According to the census, son Clarence was born in 1898 and Arthur in 1899. By the birth of son Harry Bruce in 1903 the family was living in Victoria, British Columbia, with daughter Nora born in Rat Portage before the move. Other children born in British Columbia were Frederick Wilbur and Albert. Sadly Clarence died in Victoria in 1905.

In October of 1908 while living in Edmonton, Frederick applied for a homestead grant in the area, with the grant cancelled in February of 1911. The 1911 census found the family living on Clark Street in Edmonton with Frederick working as a carpenter. By the time of the 1916 census they had moved to 105th Avenue in downtown Edmonton, with both Harold and Arthur listed as being at Sarcee Camp.

Harold signed his attestation papers on 26 February 1916 in Edmonton. His occupation was given as clerk, his mother as next of kin, and previous military experience as service with the 19th Alberta Dragoons. As a Corporal with the 218th Battalion, Harold embarked from Halifax aboard the Southland on 17 February 1917. Once in England he was first transferred to the Canadian Railway Troops Depot at Purfleet, and then reverting to the rank of Private, arrived in France on 20 April 1917 to join the 8th Battalion, Canadian Railway Troops. Canadian railway units played a major role in the construction and maintenance of railways of all gauges, including light railways, for the five British Army areas in France and Belgium.

Harold was granted two fourteen day leaves during his service, the first in late January of 1918 and the second in mid January of 1919. With the end of the war Harold embarked for Canada aboard the Royal George on 3 May 1919, arriving in Halifax on the 14th with discharge on the 19th.

Harold’s brother Arthur, age 16, enlisted in February of 1916 a few days before Harold, and went overseas with the 194th Battalion. He served in France with the No 40 Company, Canadian Forestry Corps, returning to Canada in January of 1919.

Harold returned to Edmonton after the war, marrying Ethel Matilda Anderson in October of 1919. Born in 1899 in Alberta, Ethel was the daughter of Lt Col Peter and Mary Anderson. The 1921 census found Harold, Ethel, and six month old daughter Shirley living on Jasper Avenue in Edmonton, with Harold working as a rubber warehouseman. The couple gave birth to another child, daughter Lucille Gloria in June of 1929. Harold and Ethel separated in about 1938.

Harold later married Lucille Isabel Hornby. Born in 1905 in Calgary, Lucille, a registered nurse, was the daughter of James and Annie Isabel (MacRae) Hornby. Harold and Lucille had at least two children, Harold Douglas and Susan. Over the years Harold worked as a hardware salesman, found first living in Vancouver in 1943.

Harold died on 16 January 1978 in Vancouver. He was predeceased by his mother Mary Elizabeth in 1942, his father Frederick in 1949, both interred in the Edmonton Cemetery, his brothers Clarence, Albert, and Arthur. Lucille died on 29 June 1990 in Vancouver. Disposition for both was by cremation, North Shore Crematorium in charge of arrangements.

By Judy Stockham

photograph courtesy of Harold’s granddaughter Maureen McKillican

Shirley holding baby Lucille, Mary Ann, Frederick Charles, and Harold

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