Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthOctober 18, 1900
Place of BirthRat Portage (Kenora), Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinJohn Hansen, father, 702 4th Avenue South, Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingWiper (CPR)
Service Details
Regimental NumberVR-5488
Service Recordsee images below
BattalionNiobe, Stradacona, Seagull, Guelph, Niobe
BranchRoyal Naval Canadian Volunteer Reserve
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Date of EnlistmentOctober 27, 1917
Age at Enlistment17
Theatre of ServiceCanada
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathMay 28, 1982
Age at Death81
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

Hansen, Einer

Along with his twin brother Rudolph Eugene, Einer Sixtus Hansen was born on 18 October 1900 in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora), Ontario. His father Johan Haaken (John) Hansen, a marine engineer, was born in Norway and had immigrated to Canada with his widowed father and some of his siblings in the late 1880’s, first settling in nearby Keewatin where he was living at the time of the 1891 census. His mother Ida Malie Olson was born in Sweden and at the time of the 1891 census was living in Keewatin with her mother. Einer’s oldest siblings were born in Keewatin, Henry in 1893 and Karine Hulda in 1895, before the family moved to Rat Portage where children Myrtle Christine (1896), Arthur Godfrey (1898), and the twins were born. Sadly Einer’s mother died in 1902 followed by his twin brother in 1908. In March of 1911, in Kenora, his father John married Swedish immigrant Hilma Wahlin, the couple giving birth to two sons in 1912, Robert Rudolph in early February and John Hans in late December.

Shortly after his 17th birthday, Einer joined the Royal Naval Canadian Volunteer Reserve on 27 October 1917 in Halifax. He gave his occupation as wiper for the Canadian Pacific Railway, date of birth as 1 October 1899, and his father John back in Kenora as next of kin. With blue eyes and light hair, Einer was 5 feet 3 3/4 inches tall.

First serving as an Able Seaman on the depot ship Niobe in the Halifax harbour, Einer was promoted to Stoker A a month before the Halifax Explosion in December 1917. On 1 March 1918 he was transferred to the Stadacona as Able Seaman (Stoker), upgraded to Stoker 1 on 1 April. One of a number of American private yachts acquired by the RCN during the war, the Stadacona was largely engaged in patrol duties out of Halifax. On 1 May 1918 Einer, along with Chief Cook John Knight who was also from Kenora, was transferred to the Seagull. The increased number of personnel required for the expanded patrol service led to a reorganization of the service’s shore establishments. Whereas all patrol personnel had previously been carried on the books of HMCS Stadacona, commencing on 1 May 1918, the sailors of patrol vessels based at Halifax and Sydney were given their own organizations. At Sydney, the drifter CD 74 was designated HMCS Seagull to represent the patrols depot afloat. Einer spent the month of December on the Guelph, returning to the Niobe 1 January – 18 June 1919 until discharged on demobilization. For his service, in 1925 Einer was awarded War Badge Class AA # 4122 and the British War and Victory Medals.

Einer’s brother Henry enlisted with the 52nd Battalion in Kenora in 1915. Serving overseas, he returned to Canada in March of 1919.

Einer returned to Kenora after the war, lodging with the Harry and May Brown family on 3rd Street North. It appears that he was working as a labourer for a railway. At the time of the death of his brother Henry in 1926 Einer was living in Toronto but at some point returned to Kenora. According to his obituary he served with the Canadian Forestry Corps during WW2 and upon his return worked as a fishing guide on Lake of the Woods for several years. For a number of years he lived in a boarding house on Third Street South. He was a member of the Kenora branch of the Royal Canadian Legion.

Einer died on 28 May 1982 in the Pinecrest Home for the Aged in Kenora. At the time of his death he was survived by his brother Robert of Pineville, BC, sisters Myrtle Nickle of Scarborough, Ontario and Hulda Swanson of Kenora, as well as several nieces and nephews. Along with his mother and twin brother Rudolph, he was predeceased by his brothers Henry (1926), Arthur (1937), and John (1943, Gunner for the Royal Air Force), stepmother Hilma (1956), and his father John (1964). Einer is interred in a military plot in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora.

By Judy Stockham

Hansen-Einer-2 Hansen-Einer-3 Hansen-Einer-4

Row 29E Hansen, Einer

Row 29E Hansen, Einer

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