|Date of Birth||November 9, 1897|
|Place of Birth||Glasgow|
|Trade / Calling||Driver|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Battalion||Royal Field Artillery|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Address at Enlistment||England|
|Date of Enlistment||January 1, 1914|
|Age at Enlistment||16|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||March 13, 1960|
|Age at Death||62|
|Buried At||Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario|
Charles Henry Quinton was born November 9, 1897 in Glasgow, Scotland. His parents were Robert Quinton and Ellen Ada Theedam who married in Stepney St. Thomas, an Anglican Parish in London, England. This parish was bombed in the 2nd World War, 1940, and later demolished. Their children, listed in order of birth, were Ellen E., Elizabeth C., Ethel M., Edith, George, Stanley Harold, Charles Henry, Lilly May, Robert Harry, and Ivy Florence.
Charles entered his year of birth as one year older on his enlistment papers in 1914; he was only turning 17 years old in November. During the war he served in Egypt, France and Ireland.
Charles had the job of a driver – A driver in WW1 rode on team horses which pulled wagons, guns, ambulances, equipment. Usually a wagon had a team of 6 horses, 3 pairs of 2. Each driver was responsible for his two horses (feeding, shoeing, vet care, etc.) and he teamed up with two other drivers to pull the wagon.
Drivers were usually privates in rank, but designated ‘Driver’ to distinguish them from infantry.
Drivers were essential in getting supplies, food, ammunition and equipment to the men at the front, and bringing wounded back to medical stations. It was a dangerous job as they were targeted by machine guns and artillery to prevent them getting supplies through.
From Robert Quinton ( Charles’ son ):
The following things Dad told me, as I remember. He was fortunate that he did not go to the Dardenalls ( the international waterway belonging to Turkey ) as the British army was badly beat by the Turks there. He was sent to Egypt, saw the pyramids and learned to swim in the Suez canal. He did not like the sand storms or the millions of flies. They were called to serve in France and shortly after arriving by ship he was in the horse barn cleaning harness and passed out. He had malaria and when he woke up he was on a stretcher in a hallway. The doctor was going along with a nurse pointing out which ones would survive. He was lucky and they took him for treatment. Malaria would come back every so often and I recall him having it; a high fever one minute and cold the next. It is very hard on the heart and may have contributed to his heart problems in later life.
Charles immigrated to Canada in 1921, first going to Manitoba and Saskatchewan to work as a farm labourer. Being in Manitoba this brought him further employment at the Seven Sisters Dam which was approximately 90 km east of Winnipeg. This led Charles further east to find employment and to settle down in a new town to call his home; this was Norman (which is part of Kenora, Ontario). For the next 35 years he was employed with the Ontario Minnesota Pulp and Paper Company. Charles was an oiler and later became the operator in the power house at the Dam on the Winnipeg River in Norman (Kenora), Ontario.
Charles Henry Quinton and Fidelia Marie Audette were joined in marriage on January 14, 1932 in Kenora, Ontario. Reverand Hislop Dixon/Dickson performed their wedding ceremony at St. Alban’s Pro-Cathedral, the Anglican church. Their five children Robert, James, Gordon, Stanley and Diane were all raised in Norman (Kenora).
Charles was an active member of the Keewatin Town Band and became the Band Master in the late 1930’s through 1945. He served on the Kenora Town Council for 2 years in 1946 and 1947. He was a Past Master of the Lake of the Woods Masonic Lodge in Kenora and a Past Principal of Golden Chapter Lodge, member of the Ledger Preceptory, a Shriner, a member of the Khartum Temple, and a Past President of the (Royal) Canadian Legion, Keewatin Branch # 13 in 1940-1941. He was also a member of the local Armouries, the Electical Workers Union and a member of the St. Alban’s Pro-Cathedral in Kenora.
Charles was an accomplished artist with oil paintings. One of his first paintings was for his wife-to-be, Fidelia, which he gave to his ‘love’ before their marriage in 1930; no doubt winning her affection. He completed other paintings which now are proudly displayed in the homes of his family members. Another oil painting was donated to the Lake of the Woods Museum in Kenora.
Charles lived an active full life, contributing much to his community, but passed away still at the young age of 62 on March 13, 1960. Charles is buried in the local Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario. Fidelia was buried with her husband, Charles, in 1980.
By Linda Pelletier
Photos courtesy of Diane (Quinton) Bradley, Stanley Quinton, Robert Quinton and the Keewatin Legion.