|Date of Birth||May 5, 1901|
|Place of Birth||Rat Portage (Kenora), Ontario|
|Next of Kin||Andrew Stevenson, Rideout Estate, Kenora|
|Trade / Calling||labourer, clerk, chauffeur|
|Service Record||See images|
|Battalion||Royal Air Force (Canada)|
|Branch||Royal Air Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Address at Enlistment||Rideout Estate, Kenora, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||July 31, 1918|
|Age at Enlistment||17|
|Theatre of Service||Canada|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||November 25, 1974|
|Age at Death||73|
|Buried At||Brookside Cemetery, Winnipeg, Manitoba|
Henry Raymond Stevenson was born on 5 May 1901 in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) in northwestern Ontario. His father Andrew Stevenson was born in Namdalen, Norway and immigrated to Canada around 1896, settling in Rat Portage with two of his brothers to work as miners. The family surname was Sivertsen, changed to Stevenson upon immigration. Henry’s mother Hannah McClelland, born in Liverpool St Silas in Lancashire, had immigrated to Canada with her parents and brother around 1889. Andrew and Hannah married in 1897 in Rat Portage and gave birth to the following children: Alfred Frederick (1898), Henry, Hilda (1903), William Cecil (1905), Edith Evaline (1910), and Allen Russell (1912). Andrew mined for a number of years, later working as a car repairer for the railroad and in the lumber industry.
Henry signed his recruitment papers with the Royal Air Force in Winnipeg on 31 July 1918. His occupation was given as labourer, clerk, and chauffeur and residence as the Rideout Estates in Kenora. He gave his father Andrew back in Kenora as next of kin. Henry joined the force in Toronto on the 3rd of August and was discharged as surplus to requirements on 16 January 1919.
Henry’s brother Alfred went overseas with a draft of the 1st Depot Battalion, Manitoba Regiment in September of 1918. He served with the 11th and 18th Reserve Battalions in England and returned to Canada with his war bride Gertrude Tate in August of 1919.
Returning to Kenora, Henry was living with his family in Rideout for the 1921 census, working as a labourer. On 21 October 1925, in Kenora, Henry married Blanche Odilia Leydier. Born in 1907 in Kenora, Blanche was the daughter of Alphonse and Regina (née Jetté) Leydier. His occupation at the time of the marriage was given as clerk. Henry and Blanche operated a grocery store in the Rideout for many years before moving to Winnipeg where Henry found work as a traveller for McLean Wholesalers. Henry and Blanche had four children, sons Conrad and Rodney, and daughters Lorraine and Diane. According to his obituary, Henry served during WW2 with the RCAF.
Henry died on 25 November 1974 in Winnipeg. At the time he was survived by his wife Blanche, sons Rod of Ottawa and Bert of Winnipeg, and daughters Lorraine Delisle and Diane Hughes, both of Winnipeg. Also surviving were nine grandchildren, one great granddaughter, and brothers Bill and Allan, sisters Hilda Sinclair and Edith, the latter four in Kenora. He was predeceased by his mother Hannah in 1945 in Kenora, father Andrew in 1950 in Port Arthur, and brother Albert in 1973 in California. Henry is interred in Brookside Cemetery. His wife Blanche died in 1988 in Winnipeg and interred in the Glen Lawn Cemetery.
by Judy Stockham
service record: National Archives, London, England
gravemarker photograph: courtesy of Bocephus on findagrave.com