Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthOctober 10, 1900
Place of BirthEden, Manitoba
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMildred Kennedy, mother, Shoal Lake, Manitoba
Trade / CallingMechanic
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental NumberVR-3125
BattalionHMCS Niobe, Pembroke, Wallington, Vivid III, Guelph, Ypres
BranchRoyal Naval Canadian Volunteer Reserve
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Date of EnlistmentDecember 23, 1916
Age at Enlistment16
Theatre of ServiceAt sea
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJuly 21, 1968
Age at Death68
Buried AtBrookside Cemetery, Winnipeg, Manitoba
PlotAsh Blk 1-0351-0

Kennedy, Norman Walter

Norman Walter Kennedy was born on 10 October 1900, his birth registered in the RM of Rosedale in Manitoba. His later obituary gave his place of birth as Eden, a small community just north of Neepawa. His parents were John Walter Kennedy and Mildred Maria Henderson, both from the Kawartha Lakes area in Ontario, Walter from Dunsford and Mildred from nearby Verulam/Bobcaygeon. The couple married on 21 December 1899 in Winnipeg. At the time of the 1901 census the family was living in the Ochre River area near Dauphin in Manitoba where they were farming. From there they moved to Neepawa and then on to Shoal Lake by the time of the birth of their next child, son Lyman Henderson in January of 1911. Living in Shoal Lake for many years, Walter worked as an electrical engineer and then later as an auto dealer.

Although underage, Norman enlisted with the Royal Naval Canadian Volunteer Reserve on 23 December 1916. Upon enlistment his date of birth was given as 10 October 1898, his occupation as mechanic, and his mother Mildred in Shoal Lake as next of kin. His naval ledger sheet indicated that he first was posted to the depot ship Niobe, rank of Ordinary Seaman. In January of 1917 he was transferred to the Pembroke (shore barrack in Chatham, England) until early October. From there he served on the Wallington (depot ship in Humber, northern England) until early May of 1918 when he was transferred to the Vivid III. HMS Vivid was the Navy barracks at Devonport, England. Other nominal bases were established for personnel on detached duty and attached to HMS Vivid for accounting purposes also named “Vivid”, with Vivid III used for the Royal Naval Division Trawler Section. From June to September Norman was back on the Niobe for training as a stoker, and then posted to the Guelph for Ypres on 1 October. HMCS Ypres was one of twelve Battle-class naval trawlers constructed for and used by the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) during the First World War. Named after the Second and Third battles of Ypres, the ship entered service in 1918, patrolling the east coast of Canada for submarine activity. With the end of the war, Norman returned to the Niobe in January of 1919 and was discharged from service on demobilization on 10 February 1919 at Halifax, rank given as Stoker (T). For his service during the war he was awarded War Badge Class AA #2942 and the British War Medal and Victory Medal.

By the time of the 1921 census Norman was living in Morris, Manitoba, boarding with Henry and Ida Villeneuve and working at a bank. His parents and brother were living in Shoal Lake but would later move to Neepawa and then on to Winnipeg. Also living in Morris and working at a bank was Mary Frances Tomney. Born on 29 June 1899 in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Frances was the daughter of Norbert Tomney and Florence May Johnson. Sadly, by the time of the 1901 census Florence was widowed, having given birth to daughter Norbert in 1900. For awhile Florence, Frances, and Norbert lived with Florence’s brother in Dufferin, Lisgar, Manitoba.

Norman and Frances married on 6 October 1934 in Winnipeg. The couple were to make Winnipeg their home where Norman worked as a Federal Auditor with the Dominion of Canada. Retiring on 1 May 1961, Norman and Florence moved to the Kenora area, living on Inglis Lake Road. While in Winnipeg Norman was a member of the Norwood-St Boniface Royal Canadian Legion.

Norman died on 21 July 1968 in the Lake of the Woods Hospital in Kenora. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife Frances on Inglis Lake Road and his brother Lyman of North Vancouver. He was predeceased by his father Walter in 1949 and mother Mildred in 1964, both interred in Brookside Cemetery in Winnipeg. Formerly a resident of Pinecrest Home for the Aged in Kenora, Frances later died on 9 June 1979 in the Lake of the Woods Hospital. Norman and Frances are interred in the Medical Section of Brookside Cemetery in Winnipeg, the section of the cemetery where the remains of persons who have donated their bodies to the University of Manitoba are interred.

By Judy Stockham

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