Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthJanuary 6, 1897
Place of BirthRat Portage (Kenora), Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMrs Bella Paul, mother, 390 23rd Avenue East, Vancouver, BC
Trade / CallingQuartermaster
Service Details
Regimental NumberWR 600143
BattalionInland Water Transport
ForceBritish Expeditionary Force
BranchRoyal Engineers
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentVancouver, BC
Address at Enlistment390 23rd Avenue East, Vancouver, BC
Date of EnlistmentDecember 11, 1917
Age at Enlistment20
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Death Details
Date of DeathJune 28, 1950
Age at Death53
Buried AtMasonic Memorial Park, Tumwater, Washington, USA

Paul, George Alexander

George Alexander Paul II was born on 6 January 1897 in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) in northwestern Ontario according to the 1901 Canada census. His father George Alexander Paul was from Ontario while his mother Isabella McIvor was from Stornoway, Outer Hebrides in Scotland. The couple married on 18 December 1895 in Rat Portage. At the time of the marriage George was working as a mill hand while the later 1901 census for Rat Portage gave his occupation as teamster. By the 1911 census the family had moved to Vancouver, BC. It appears that George may have had a younger brother as Kenneth Paul was born in Rat Portage in 1900 but sadly died in March of 1901.

George was living with his parents in Vancouver when he enlisted with the Inland Water Transport Section, Royal Engineers on 11 December 1917 in Vancouver. His next of kin was given as his mother Bella in Vancouver and occupation as Quartermaster/Able Seaman. A quartermaster seaman is/was a navigational expert who assists the ship’s chief navigator, keeps navigational charts and equipment in working order, and can serve as helmsman if called upon. According to his service record, George served as a Sapper at “Home” from enlistment to 25 March 1918 and with the British Expeditionary Force from 26 March 1918 to 28 January 1919. In December 1914, as part of the Railways Directorate, the Inland Water Transport and Docks Section was formed to deal with transportation along the canals and waterways in France and Belgium. It became a separate section in October 1915 and grew rapidly in size with its headquarters in Richborough Kent. Sappers operated in a variety of roles, and worked to maintain communication and transportation of food, supplies, ammunition and the evacuation of wounded. In 1916 its work was extended to Mesopotamia and in 1917 to Egypt and Salonika (source Imperial War Museum). With the end of the war and while waiting to return to Canada, George lived in Stornoway. He returned to Canada aboard the Caronia, arriving in Halifax on 17 August 1919. Serving in Europe, he was awarded the Victory and British War medals.

On 21 November 1921, in Vancouver, George married Annabella Graham. Born in 1898 in Ninette, Manitoba, Annabella was the daughter of Murdo Graham and Jessie (Janet) Matheson. Both from Isle of Lewis in Scotland, the couple had married in 1882 in Ug. Immigrating to Canada in 1888, the family first lived in Manitoba before moving to Vancouver. George’s occupation was given as seaman on the marriage record. In 1927 George and Annabella moved to the Bellingham area of Washington, occupation for George on the border crossing record given as mariner and place of birth as Warroad, Minnesota, USA. Warroad is a small town on the southern end of Lake of the Woods, Kenora on the northern shore.

The 1930 US census found George living alone at the Ritz hotel in Bellingham and working as a master mariner. The marriage ended in divorce, with Annabella later marrying Ronald McCauley in 1934 in Whatcom County in Washington. For the 1940 census George was an inmate (patient) at the Troutdale Multnomal County Farm and Tuberculosis Pavilion in Troutdale, Oregon. The census indicate that he was also living there in 1935. In December of 1941, in Oregon, a marriage licence was issued to George and Dorothy V Allen. Born in 1917 in South Bend, Indiana, Dorothy was the daughter of Leo Allen and Martha Pufahl, her parents marrying in 1905 in Cassopolis, Michigan. George and Dorothy settled in the Lacey area of Olympia in Washington where George worked as an auto mechanic in a motor garage. Dorothy and George gave birth to three children, Connie Denise (b 1940 in Roseburg, Oregon), Barbara Bella (b 1942 in Olympia) and George Alexander III (b 1950 in Olympia).

George died on 28 June 1950 in Olympia as the result of burns received at the garage where he worked. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife Dorothy and the three children as well as his mother Bella in Scotland. After the death of her husband in 1927 in Vancouver, Bella had returned to Stornoway where she died in March of 1951. In 1952 Dorothy married Richard Whittaker, and according to her later U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index, she had married a Reed and her surname was Heckler at the time of her death. She died on 13 December 1996 in Santa Barbara, California. George is interred in the Masonic Memorial Park cemetery in Tumwater, Washington.

By Judy Thorburn