Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthMay 24, 1885
Place of BirthListowell, Perth, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMary Love, mother, Chilliwack, BC
Trade / CallingLocomotive Engineer
Service Details
Regimental Number2125281
Service Record Link to Service Record
BattalionNo 2 Section, Skilled Railway Employees
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Railway Troops
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentYMCA, Kenora, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentMarch 12, 1917
Age at Enlistment31
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathDecember 4, 1968
Age at Death83

Love, James Alexander

James Alexander Love was born on 24 May 1885 in Listowell, Perth, Ontario. He was the first born child of Irish immigrants William Love and Mary Ann Scott. Another child, daughter Annie Jane, was born in Listowell before the family moved to the Tenby/Kelwood area in Manitoba to farm, living there by the time of the 1891 census. In 1898 a third child joined the family, Isabelle Frances.

According to his obituary, James had joined the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1904 as a locomotive engineer. By the time he signed his attestation papers on 12 March 1917 in Winnipeg he was living in the YMCA in Kenora located across the road from the railway station. Built by the CPR and then turned over to the YMCA, the building had two full floors of rooms capable of housing 65 men. It had a restaurant, billiard room, a reading and writing room, and in the basement a two lane bowling alley, a gym area for boxing, washrooms, and showers. Outside there was an area for lawn bowling as well as tennis courts.

James was one of nine men from the Kenora area who enlisted with No 2 Section, Skilled Railway Employees and they left town on 16 March 1917 on the first leg of their journey overseas. As reported in the local newspaper, a large crowd gathered at the Kenora train station to see them off and wish them well. On 16 April the men embarked from Halifax aboard the Grampian.

Once in England the unit was renamed the No 13 Light Railway Operating Company, Royal Engineers. After a few weeks of training the company was sent to France, arriving at LeHavre on 10 June 1917. Shortly before leaving James was appointed Acting 2nd Corporal with pay. That fall they were renamed once again, becoming the No 13 Canadian Light Railway Operating Company.

In late November of 1917 James was admonished for ‘drinking intoxicants on private premises during prohibited hours’. In February of 1918 he was granted a 4 day leave to Paris. That March he was attached to Workshops Trains at Barlin for two weeks and then had his working pay suspended for 14 days shortly after he returned for being absent from parade. In late August James was granted a two week leave to the UK. With the end of the war James returned to England in February of 1919, attached to the Canadian Railway Troops Depot. He embarked for Canada from Liverpool on 1 April and was discharged from service on the 13th.

After the war James continued to work for the Canadian Pacific Railway as an engineer, found living in Winnipeg for the 1921 census. His parents had moved to Chilliwack, BC during the war but later returned to Kelwood. On 17 August 1921, in Dryden, Ontario, James married Mabel Gladys Robinson. Born on 12 January 1898 in York, Mabel was the daughter of William and Mary Ann (née Brignall) Robinson who had married in the township of Pickering in 1892. By the time of the 1901 census the family had moved to Dryden where William ran a butcher shop.

James and Mabel were to make Winnipeg their home where they raised their two daughters, Bernice and Beryl. James retired from the railway in May of 1949 and was a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. James died on 4 December 1968 in the Princess Elizabeth Hospital in Winnipeg. He was predeceased by his mother Mary Ann in 1940 and his father William in 1942, both interred in the Kelwood Cemetery. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife Mabel, daughters Bernice Wilson and Beryl King, three grandchildren, all of Winnipeg, and sisters Annie Scott and Isabelle Graves, both of Vancouver. A service for James was held in the Clark Leatherdale Funeral Home on Kennedy Street, with cremation following at Pineview Crematorium.

By Judy Stockham

Kenora Miner and News, January 31, 1917 Kenora Miner and News, March 17, 1917 Winnipeg Free Press, December 6, 1968

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