|Date of Birth||March 21, 1886|
|Place of Birth||Cheddar, Somersetshire|
|Next of Kin||Laura May Chinn, wife, General Delivery, Portage la Prairie, Manitoba|
|Trade / Calling||butcher, miscellaneous (labour)|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Regimental Number||Can 73869|
|Service Record||see images below|
|Battalion||Royal Air Force (Canada)|
|Branch||Royal Air Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Address at Enlistment||General Delivery, Portage la Prairie, Manitoba|
|Date of Enlistment||August 30, 1917|
|Age at Enlistment||31|
|Theatre of Service||Canada|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||November 4, 1964|
|Age at Death||78|
|Buried At||Pineview (Waverley) Memorial Gardens, Winnipeg, Manitoba|
Edward John Chinn was born on 21 March 1886 in Cheddar, Somerset in England, birth registered during the second quarter of 1886 in the District of Axbridge. Other sources such as censuses, his obituary, and his service record give varying years of birth, from 1883 to 1888. His father John Chinn, a butcher, was from Weston Zoyland while his mother Agnes Day was from East Brant, both in Somerset. The couple married during the second quarter of 1885 in the District of Axbridge. Edward, the eldest child, had five younger siblings, Rosina (abt 1889), Harold (1894), Rhea (1898), Reginald (1901), and Percy (1906-1906).
Edward immigrated to Canada in 1908, settling in Birtle, Manitoba. On 10 April 1912, in Winnipeg, Edward married Laura May Hall. Laura was the daughter of Abraham and Anne (née O’Neill) Hall who were operating a hotel in Birtle at the time of the 1911 Canada census. By 1915 the young family was living in Melville, Saskatchewan where their first child, son Edward John (Ted) was born on the 26th of February. By the time of the birth of their next child, son Harold in April of 1916, the family was back living in Birtle.
Edward signed attestation papers with the Royal Flying Corps on 30 August 1917 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He had given Birtle as his usual address but then changed it to General Delivery, Portage la Prairie. His occupation was given as butcher for miscellaneous (labour), and his next of kin as his wife Laura, also first given as living in Birtle and then changed to Portage la Prairie. Edward joined the force in Toronto on 4 September 1917, was appointed 2nd Class Air Mechanic on the 1st of December, and then as 1st Class Air Mechanic on 9 March 1918. On 1 April 1918 the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service were amalgamated to form the Royal Air Force and he was transferred to the RAF. Having served in Canada, he was discharged in consequences of being surplus to RAF requirements on 7 January 1919.
Edward’s brother Harold, with occupation given as butcher, signed attestation papers in November 1915 in England and served overseas as a Gunner with the Royal Garrison Artillery, discharged in 1919.
After the war Edward and Laura were found living in East Kildonan, Winnipeg for the 1921 census where Edward was working as a butcher. It appears that the family lived in Birtle for a few years but at some point also in Kenora, Ontario where Edward joined the Kenora Branch of the Canadian Legion in 1933. At the time the family was living on 2nd Street North. In 1935 they were back in Winnipeg, living on Corydon Avenue. By 1953 the family was living in Selkirk on the outskirts of Winnipeg, moving into West Kildonan in 1956. Three more children were born to the family, Reginald, Anne, and Loretta.
Predeceased by his wife Laura on 25 October 1964, Edward died ten days later on November 4th at the Winnipeg General Hospital. At the time of his death he was survived by sons Edward John, Harold Abraham, and Reginald Leo, all of Winnipeg, and two daughters Mrs Anne Bain of North Surrey, British Columbia and Mrs Loretta Beaudry of Calgary, Alberta. Also surviving were twelve grandchildren and four great grandchildren as well as his brothers Reginald and Harold and sister Mrs Cromwell, all of England. Edward and Laura are interred in the Pineview (Waverley) Memorial Gardens, Winnipeg, graves unmarked.
by Judy Stockham