Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthFebruary 22, 1897
Place of BirthYarmouth
Marital StatusSingle
Service Details
Regimental NumberM2 153591
BattalionMotor Transport
ForceBritish Expeditionary Force
BranchRoyal Army Service Corps
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of Death19731001
Age at Death76

Cossey, Claude Albert

Claude Albert Cossey was born on 22 February 1897 in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England. His parents, Herbert Thomas Cossey and Rose Annie Lake were married in Yarmouth in 1893. They had four children – Hylton, Ruby, Claude and Donald when they immigrated to Canada in June of 1903. Herbert was a boat builder and he came to Canada to honour a contract to build the 120 foot stern wheeler ‘Alberta ‘ for the Hudson Bay Company. Later it was brought down the Saskatchewan River through Lake Winnipeg and the Red River where it wound up its career making excursions to River Park.

The 1911 Canadian census shows the family living in Kenora, Ontario with the addition of children Lillian, Stanley and Douglas. Son, Gordon, arrived in 1918. While in ┬áKenora/Keewatin Herbert’s boat building business (Keewatin Boat Works or Cossey Boat Works) crafted many boats for cruising Lake of the woods including, the Erin, Calypso, Hostalingia, Raven, Ramona, Nahmeaka, Condon and the Ariel.

During World War One, Claude served overseas with the Royal Army Service Corps in the Motor Transport pool. His application for Legion membership says he enlisted in 1915 in Winnipeg, Manitoba and was discharged in 1919 in England. He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal for his service. He is also commemorated on the Town of Keewatin plaque that formerly hung in the Keewatin Legion.

After the war Claude returned to Keewatin, Ontario and the 1921 Canadian census shows him living with his parents and siblings on May Avenue in Keewatin. His occupation at the time is ‘engineer’. On 26 September 1923 Claude married Margaret Christina Viola Hall in Kenora. She was a teacher and the marriage record shows Claude working as a machinist. They lived in Keewatin until 1968 and during that time Claude worked as a civil servant (1945 Voter’s List), a manager (1949 Voter’s List), and a boat captain (1953, 1963 & 1965 Voter’s lists). At one point he was the chief engineer and manager of the Grace Anne 11. Claude was in charge of the Kenora office of Wartime Prices and Trade Board form May 1942 to May 1946.

In 1968 Claude and Viola retired to Haney, British Columbia. A 1972 Voter’s List shows them living in the Fraser Valley.

Claude Albert Cossey died on 01 October 1973 at Shaughnessy Hospital in Vancouver, BC. He was cremated at the Vancouver Crematorium with the Garden Hill Funeral Chapel in Haney, BC listed as undertaker on his BC death record. His wife, Viola, passed away in 1987 in Maple Ridge, BC.

Claude’s brother, Hylton Herbert Cossey, served in WW1 with the Canadian navy.

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