Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthSeptember 1, 1892
Place of BirthRat Portage (Kenora), OntarioKenora), Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinJohn Ludwig Locking, father, Emo, Ontario
Trade / CallingFarmer
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number820085
Service RecordLink to Service Record
Battalion141st Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentEmo, Ontario
Address at EnlistmentEmo, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentJanuary 10, 1916
Age at Enlistment25
Theatre of ServiceCanada
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathAugust 14, 1917
Age at Death25
Buried AtEmo Municipal Cemetery, Emo, Ontario

Locking, Percy Ludwig

According to his Ontario birth record, Percy Ludwig Webb was born on 1 September 1892 in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) in northwestern Ontario. His mother was Annie Adelaide Jones, date and place of her birth unknown with some records indicating that she was born between 1867 and 1870 in England while others in Wales. Annie had given birth to son Albert William Dunham Jones on 28 January 1889 in North Somercotes, Lincolnshire, England. At the time of the birth Annie was working as a domestic servant. By the 1891 England census, Annie and Albert were listed as visitors with the William and Caroline Humberstone family in North Somercotes, Caroline having been the witness on Albert’s birth record. At some point shortly after the census was taken, Annie and Albert immigrated to Canada, with Annie marrying Charles Percy Webb on 6 October 1891 in Rat Portage. The marriage record indicated that they both had been living in Lockington, Rainy River, Ontario. A witness on the record was John Ludwig Locking. Following Percy’s birth, daughter Myrtle Amelia Webb was born in 1893 in Minnesota. At the time of the 1895 US census for Duluth, Minnesota, Annie and children Albert, Percy, and Myrtle were living with John Locking, Annie listed as housekeeper and the three children going by the surname of Webb. On 28 August 1896, in the registration district of St. Louis (likely in Duluth), Annie and John married. Moving back to the Emo area in the Rainy River district to farm, daughter Grace Adelaide was born in 1896 followed by daughter Mary in 1900. By time of the 1901 census for Emo, Mary had likely died as she was no longer with the family, and all the children has assumed the surname of Locking.

Percy enlisted with the 141st Battalion on 10 January 1916 in Emo. On attestation, his date and place of birth was given as 13 July 1892 in Emo, his next of kin as his father John Ludwig Locking in Emo, and his occupation as farmer. In late May Percy attended a bombing throwing school of instruction and was granted a farm furlough in mid July to early August. However found to have a duodenal ulcer, he was discharged from service as medically unfit on 13 February of 1917 in Port Arthur, Ontario, rank of Lance Corporal. His conduct and character during service was described as very good.

Percy’s brother Albert enlisted in January of 1918 in Winnipeg, arriving in England that March with a Railway Construction Troops Draft. He served overseas with the No 69 (Canadian) Wagon Erecting Company of the Canadian Railway Troops, rank of Company Sergeant Major. Albert returned to Canada in late March of 1919.

On 14 August 1917, a double tragedy occurred at Emo. Apparently due to jealousy, Percy shot and killed his sixteen year old cousin Ethel Locking. The daughter of William Locking and Louise O’Keefe, Ethel had been born in 1901 in Duluth, Minnesota, her family later moving to the Emo area to farm. According to a Fort Frances newspaper account of the day, the cousins were known to have been on friendly terms but romantic relations appear to have been discouraged by the parents for reasons of consanguinity. Following Ethel’s death, Percy turned the gun on himself, passing away a short time later. Percy’s stepfather/father John Locking later died in 1928 followed by his mother Annie in 1933, both in Emo. His brother Albert died in 1954 in Marquette, Michigan, sister Myrtle (David) Muckle in 1973 in Calgary, and sister Grace Johnson in 1981 in Rainy River. Along with John and Annie, Percy is interred in the Emo Municipal Cemetery.

By Judy Stockham

Percy’s death notice provided by the Thunder Bay Public Library.

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