Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthNovember 9, 1896
Place of BirthRat Portage (Kenora), Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinHarriett Jane Shaw, mother, 323 5th Avenue North, Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingLocomotive Fireman
Service Details
Regimental Number2125307
Service Record Link to Service Record
BattalionNo 13 Light Railway Operating Company
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Railway Troops
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at Enlistment323 5th Avenue North, Kenora, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentMarch 14, 1917
Age at Enlistment20
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathOctober 12, 1973
Age at Death76
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

Shaw, Stanley Richard

Stanley Richard Shaw was born on 9 November 1896 in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) in northwestern Ontario. His parents William Shaw and Harriett Jane Swan were both from England, marrying on 14 May 1883 in Wallasey, Cheshire. The couple gave birth to two children in Wallasey, son William Beresford in 1885 and daughter Beatrice Harriett in 1887. By the time of the birth of their son Ralph John in 1889, the family had immigrated to Canada and were settled in Rat Portage. Other children born in Rat Portage were Florence May (1892), Reuben Samuel (1894), and Stanley. Sadly, Ralph died in 1891. Over the years William Sr worked as a boiler maker with the Canadian Pacific Railway at the shops.

Stanley signed his attestation papers on 14 March 1917 in Winnipeg. Living in Kenora at the time, his occupation was given as locomotive fireman, year of birth as 1894, and his mother Harriett in Kenora as next of kin. With the No 2 Section Skilled Railway Employees to the Canadian Railway Troops Depot, Stanley arrived in England aboard the Grampian on 29 April 1917. Organized in February 1917 as No 2 Section Skilled Railway Employees the unit was redesignated as No 13 Light Railway Operating Company, Royal Engineers on 12 May 1917  and arrived in France on 9 June 1917. The unit was later known as the 13th Canadian Light Railway Operating Company by March 1918. In addition to his regular pay, Stanley was also granted working pay of 80 cents/day.

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.  Light railways generally commenced from where the standard-gauge lines ended and continued forward to where they connected with the trench tramway systems. More information about the Canadian Railway Troops and the light railways can be found here.

In March of 1918 Stanley was admitted to the No 3 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station with PUO (fever of unknown origin). On the 23rd he was transferred to the No 18 General Hospital in Camiers and then on to the No 10 Convalescent Depot in Ecault in early April. First diagnosed with appendicitis, it was later changed to trench fever. Trench fever is a moderately serious disease transmitted by body lice, common in the trenches during WW1. The onset of symptoms is usually sudden, with high fever, severe headache, pain on moving the eyeballs, soreness of the muscles of the legs and back, and frequently hyperaesthesia of the shins. After spending time at a rest camp, Stanley rejoined his unit on 19 April. In July he was on command to the No 1 Light Railway Operating Company, returning to his unit on 10 November. That August he was granted a fourteen day leave to the UK, returning by the end of the month.

With the end of the war Stanley returned to England in late February of 1919 and embarked for Canada aboard the Saturnia on 30 March. He was discharged from service on demobilization on 13 April 1919 in Port Arthur, rank of Sapper.

After the war Stanley returned to Kenora, at the time of the 1921 census living with his mother and brother Reuben on 5th Avenue North and working as a fireman for the CPR. His father had died in 1918 in Kenora followed by his sister Florence in 1920 in Banff, with his brother Reuben later dying in 1923 as the result of an accident at the CPR roundhouse. Along with Ralph, all are interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora.

On 29 April 1924, in Kenora, Stanley married Hannah Ellen Lang. Born on 19 March 1901 in Gateshead, Durham in England, Hannah was the daughter of George Lang and Harriett Pearce. Along with her parents and siblings she had immigrated to Canada in 1909, embarking from Liverpool on the Corsican on 15 July and settling in Kenora.

Stanley and Hannah were to make Kenora their home, giving birth to children Winnifred Ellen (1925-1999), Florence Ruby (1927-2012), George William Richard (Bill) (1932-1943), Stanley Douglas Rutherford (Doug) (1934-2014), Donalda Desiree (Donnie) (1936-2014), Joan, and James (Jim). Over the years Stanley worked for the Canadian Pacific Railway, promoted to engineer in 1943 and retiring in November of 1961. He was a member of St Alban’s Cathedral, a charter member of the Lakewood Credit Union, a member of the Locomotive Engineers, BLF & E, a life member of the Kenora Branch of the Canadian Legion, and a member of the Oddfellows Lodge.

Stanley died on 12 October 1973 in the Lake of the Woods District Hospital. At the time of his death he was survived by sons James and Douglas of Kenora and daughters Winnifred Marjerison of Central Butte in Saskatchewan, Ruby Lachapelle and Joan Reid of Kenora, and Donalda (Eric) Emde of Regina. He was also survived by eleven grandchildren and siblings William Shaw of Brantford and Beatrice McQuarrie of Moose Jaw. Stanley was predeceased by his wife Hannah (1966), father William (1918) and mother Harriett (1942), siblings Ralph, Florence and Reuben, and by his son William in 1943. Along with Hannah and other family members, Stanley is interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora.

By Judy Stockham

Photograph of Stanley in uniform provided by his son Jim. Family photograph and Stanley’s obituary are from public family trees on

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