Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthDecember 12, 1885
Place of BirthPalmerston, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMrs J L Pollock, mother, 149 River Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Trade / CallingLocomotive Engineer
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number2125014
Service Record Link to Service Record
BattalionNo 58 Broad Railway Operating Company
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Railway Troops
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentJanuary 30, 1917
Age at Enlistment31
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathMay 25, 1965
Age at Death79
Buried AtElmwood Cemetery, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Pollock, Rollo Livingston

Rollo Livingston Pollock was born on 12 December 1885 in Palmerston, Ontario. His father John Livingston Pollock was from Scotland while his mother Sarah Jane (Jennie) Elliot was from England, both immigrating to Canada in their youth. The couple married on 21 April 1885 in nearby Listowel, John’s occupation given as flax mill manager at the time. Rollo had two known younger sisters, Lillie (1887) and Jennie (1891). Sadly both died of croup two days apart in August of 1892 in Palmerston. By the time of the 1901 census Rollo and his parents were living in St Catharine’s, Ontario where John was working as a salesman. By 1911 they had moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba where John found work as a mill machinery salesman and Rollo as a railway locomotive engineer.

Rollo was living in Kenora, Ontario and working as a locomotive engineer for the Canadian Pacific Railway when he enlisted on 30 January 1917 in Winnipeg. He gave his mother Jennie on River Avenue in Winnipeg as next of kin. A Kenora newspaper article of the seventh of February spoke of Rollo, along with 31 other Kenora men that had signed up for overseas service with the No 1 Skilled Railway Operators, passing through Kenora heading east on the first leg of the journey to the front.

Listed as a Private on the nominal rolls of the No 1 Section, Skilled Railway Employees, Rollo embarked from Halifax aboard the Ausonia on 4 March 1917. Once in England he was promoted to Corporal and granted working pay at the rate of $1.00/day. First redesignated as the 12th (Canadian) Light Railway Operating Company, Royal Engineers that March, the unit was changed to the No 58 Broad Gauge Railway Operating Company (Canadians) Royal Engineers on April 7th; the battalion arrived in France on April 19th. “This unit was operating lines in the immediate rear of active operations and hauled troops, ammunition, supplies, material, ambulance trains, refugees for the battles of Messines Ridge, June 1917, and the Lys, April 1918.” (Library and Archives Canada). A description of some of the activities of the 58th Broad Gauge Operation Company was summarized in the Canadian Rail’s November December 1993 edition that marked the 75th anniversary of the end of the war: “The Canadian Railway Troops on World War 1” .

Rollo was granted three leaves during his service, the first for two weeks to the UK in early July of 1918, the second for ten days in France in late January of 1919, and the third for two weeks in Italy in late April of 1919. After his leave he proceeded to England and on the 21st of  May he embarked for Canada aboard the Carmania. Rollo was discharged from service on 31 May 1919 in Montreal.

By the time of the 1921 census Rollo was living Winnipeg with his parents and working as railway engineer. On 16 September 1923, in Winnipeg, Rollo married Ellen Jean Armit. Born in 1884 in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Ellen was the daughter of Alexander Armit and Ellen Gray. Her father was from the Orkneys, Scotland while her mother was from Ireland. The couple had married in 1874 in Prince Arthur’s Landing (now Thunder Bay), and eventually settled in Minnedosa, Manitoba.

Rollo and Ellen were to make Winnipeg their home, living in the family home on River Avenue. Rollo continued to work as an engineer for the Canadian Pacific Railway. He was a life member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, a member and past Elder of Augustine United Church, and a life member of AF and AM Ionic Lodge No 25, receiving his 50 year Jewel.

Rollo died on 25 May 1965 in the Winnipeg General Hospital. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife Ellen. He was predeceased by his two little sisters, his mother Jennie (1931) and father John (1945), the latter two in Winnipeg. In her 101st year, Ellen died on 30 July 1895 at the Oakview Place Nursing Home in Winnipeg. Rollo, his parents, and Ellen are interred in the family plot in Elmwood Cemetery, Winnipeg.

By Judy Stockham

Family grave marker photo: Del Barkley,
Footstone grave markers: Dave & Janice,

Pollock-Rollo-Livingston-2 Pollock-Rollo-Livingston-3 Pollock-Rollo-Livingston-4 Pollock-Rollo-Livingston-5 Pollock-Rollo-Livingston-6 Pollock-Rollo-Livingston-7

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