Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthDecember 4, 1886
Place of BirthDouglas
CountryIsle of Man
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMrs Cain, Greeba, Heath Drive, Heswall, Cheshire, England
Trade / CallingNurse
Service Details
BattalionQueen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service
ForceBritish Army
BranchRoyal Army Medical Corps
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentDavid Lewis Northern Hospital, Leed Street, Liverpool, England
Date of EnlistmentOctober 25, 1914
Age at Enlistment28
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of Death19611228
Age at Death75
Buried AtVancouver Crematorium, Vancouver, British Columbia

Cain, Alice Louise

Alice Louise Cain was born on 4 December 1886 in Douglas, Isle of Man. Her father Robert Edward Cain was from Douglas while her mother Anna Scadden was from Wirral in Cheshire. The couple married on 23 March 1875 in Liverpool. Over the years Robert’s occupation was given as joiner, builder, and contractor. The family were to make Douglas their home, giving birth to known children Robert James (abt 1876-1926), Frank Tregarther (1879-1935), Harry Christian (1883-1899), Elsie May (1885), Alice, Annie Isobel (1888-1926), and Mary Christian (1889-1957). Father Robert died in 1894 and by the time of the 1901 census Alice was living in the Royal Masonic Institute for Girls in Battersea, London. The school was instituted in 1788 with the aim of maintaining the daughters of indigent Freemasons, unable through death, illness, or incapacitation to support their families. By the time of the 1911 census Alice was listed as a nurse at the David Lewis Northern Hospital on Leed Street in Liverpool.

On 25 October of 1914, coming from the David Lewis hospital, Alice attested at Seaforth as a Nursing Sister with the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service. She renewed her yearly contract a couple of times, serving on the hospital/ambulance transfer ship Grantully Castle. It had been converted to a hospital ship in May 1915, with over 500 beds. In November of 1917 Alice applied to the Edmonton Military Hospital in Edmonton, London to work as a ward nurse.

During the third quarter of 1919, in Liverpool, Alice married Edward John Harris. Born in 1884 in Abington, Berkshire, Edward had immigrated to Canada around 1907. He had enlisted in Winnipeg in 1914, serving overseas with the No 4 Canadian Field Ambulance. Suffering a severe gunshot wound to the hip area on 8 August 1918 at Amiens, Edward had been invalided to the Edmonton Military Hospital where he was to remain until mid May of 1919. Presumably Alice was successful in her application and that is where they met.

Alice immigrated to Canada in October of 1919, arriving in Montreal aboard the Empress of France on the 5th on her way to Winnipeg. Edward was invalided to Canada that November, embarking from England aboard the Araguaya on the 11th. Upon arrival Edward was admitted to the Manitoba Military Hospital in Winnipeg for further surgeries and treatment. On 7 January 1921, in Winnipeg, Edward was discharged from service as medically unfit and transferred to the Department of Soldiers’ Civil Re-Establishment for further follow-up.

The 1921 census found Edward and Alice living on Warsaw Avenue in Winnipeg, Edward’s occupation given as soldier. In March of 1923 the couple travelled to England for a visit, returning in late November. They had at least one known child, daughter Muriel. The family lived for a while in Kenora, Ontario where Edward was an accountant for Westerio Motors and was a member of the Lake of the Woods Lodge No 445 AF and AM and the Kenora Branch of the Canadian Legion. He was also a past president of the Deer Lodge Manitoba Canadian Legion in Winnipeg.

Retiring in 1952, in 1954 Edward and Alice moved to Vancouver. Edward died on 9 September 1961 in Shaughnessy Hospital followed by Alice on 28 December 1961 in St Paul’s Hospital. Disposition was by Vancouver Crematorium. Alice was predeceased by her mother Anna in 1928 in Douglas and all of her siblings. Her parents and some of her siblings are interred in the Bradden Cemetery in Douglas. At the time of their deaths Edward and Alice were survived by daughter Muriel, her husband Gordon Brown, and two grandsons.

Alice was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal for her service during the war.

By Judy Stockham

Photos of Edmonton Military Hospital:
Vancouver obituary: courtesy of Mike Melen

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