Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthSeptember 18, 1882
Place of BirthCirencester, Gloucestershire
Marital StatusMarried
Next of KinRose Mathews, wife, 915 Banning Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Trade / CallingStore clerk
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number2776067
Service RecordLink to Service Record
BattalionNo 10 Detachment
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Ordnance Corps
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentWinnipeg, Manitoba
Address at Enlistment915 Banning Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Date of EnlistmentJune 22, 1918
Age at Enlistment35
Theatre of ServiceCanada
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJanuary 27, 1972
Age at Death89

Mathews, Seymour James

Seymour James Mathews was born on 18 September 1882 in Cirencester, Gloucester, England. His father Francis William (Frank) Mathews, a bootmaker, was from Cirencester while his mother Mary Jane Holland was from nearby Duntisbourne Abbots. The couple married during the second quarter of 1874 in the registration district of Cirencester. Children born to the family were Florence Kate (1875), Francis Charles (1876), William Holland (1878), Reginald Arthur (1880), Seymour, Beatrice Jane Louise (1885), and Dorothy Mary (1887). Sadly, Reginald died in infancy (1881).

Seymour immigrated to Canada in 1906, arriving in Montreal, Quebec aboard the Tunisian on 12 May. On the passenger manifest he was listed as a farm assistant on his way to Rapid City, Manitoba. A border crossing record from November of 1909 had Seymour working as a shipping agent out of Winnipeg. A short while later he returned to England, marrying Constance Rosetta Short on 8 February 1910 in Gloucester, Gloucestershire. Born on 11 October 1882 in Duntisbourne Abbots, Rose was the daughter of Reuben Short, shepherd/farmer, and Catherine Abell. Her parents had married during the third quarter of 1871 in the registration district of Cirencester.

Seymour and Rose arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia on 11 March 1910 on the Virginian. Living in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Seymour found work with Crescent Creamery, first as a route inspector and then as a foreman. The couple gave birth to son Arthur Vaughan on 15 January 1912 in Winnipeg.

According to a later note in his service record, Seymour first enlisted on 23 February 1916 in Winnipeg. He attested again on 22 June 1918, giving previous military service as two years and 119 days with the Canadian Ordnance Corps. His occupation was given as store clerk, his date of birth as 18 September 1885, and his wife Rose in Winnipeg as next of kin. That December Seymour was promoted to Corporal with the Canadian Ordnance Corps, No 10 Detachment. He was hospitalized at the Manitoba Military Hospital in Winnipeg from 22 January to 21 February 1919 with callouses on his feet, the problem dating back to an injury during his previous service. Seymour was discharged from service on demobilization on 31 July 1919 in Winnipeg. He re-enlisted on 26 August 1919 in Winnipeg and served with the Canadian Army Dental Corps, Military District No 10. Appointed Staff Sergeant in early September, Seymour served until discharge on 31 May 1920 in Winnipeg.

Seymour’s brother William enlisted with the Royal Flying Corps on 29 January 1918 in England. With rank of 2nd Air Mechanic he served with the Royal Air Force in France from 11 September 1918 until 16 January 1919.

By the time of the 1921 census, Seymour, Rose, and Arthur were living in Wade, Ontario, a small community about 45 kilometres north of Kenora in northwestern Ontario. At the time Seymour was working as a railroad section man. A couple of years later the family moved to Regina, Saskatchewan where Seymour found work as a tobacco salesman. Sadly, son Arthur died on 8 January 1935 in Regina. Around 1938 Seymour and Rose moved to Victoria, British Columbia, with a 1945 Voters list giving Seymour’s occupation as fireman.

Seymour died on 27 January 1972 in the Veterans Hospital in Victoria. At the time of his death he was survived by his sister Dorothy back in England. He was predeceased by his wife Rose on 25 August 1961 in Victoria as well as his father Frank (1910), mother Mary Jane (1934), siblings William (1934), Beatrice (1940), Florence (Edmund) Lewis (1956), and Francis, all back in England. Disposition was by cremation at Royal Oak Crematorium in Victoria.

By Judy Stockham

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