Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthApril 25, 1895
Place of BirthBirnie, Manitoba
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinWilliam Proutt, father, Denmark PO, Western Australia
Trade / CallingFarmer
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number3349121
Service RecordLink to Service Record
Battalion1st Depot Battalion, Manitoba Regiment
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedConscripted
Place of EnlistmentWinnipeg, Manitoba
Address at EnlistmentBirnie PO, Manitoba
Date of EnlistmentOctober 1, 1918
Age at Enlistment23
Theatre of ServiceCanada
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathNovember 19, 1971
Age at Death76
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

Proutt, William

William Proutt was born on 25 April 1895 in the RM of Rosedale in the Neepawa/Birnie area in Manitoba where his family farmed. His father William Proutt Sr was born in Ontario, living and farming in the Medonte, Simcoe area. Around 1872 he married Ellen Thompson, her family also farming in the area. Together William Sr and Ellen gave birth to a number of children, Florence (1873), Maud (abt 1875), John Kendall (1879), Christina and Mabel (abt 1882), and Edward (abt 1884).

Likely around 1885 or 1886, Ellen passed away, with William Sr marrying widow Sussanna Jane (née McCallum) Tindall on 26 November 1890 in Simcoe, Ontario. Sussanna’s first husband Edward Tindall had died in 1884, the couple having at least three children surviving infancy, Elizabeth, Lucy, and Edward, with Elizabeth and Lucy assuming the Proutt surname at the time of the 1891 census. For the census, the family had moved to Manitoba where Sussanna died on 9 July 1891 in Minnedosa. It appears that around the time of her death the couple had given birth to daughter Flossie.

On 9 February 1892, in Minnedosa, William Sr married Lecretia Peters. It is likely that Lecretia was a widow, her maiden name either Robinson or Robertson. William and Lecretia gave birth to three children, Ida (1892), William, and Arthur (1897). However, although a death record was not found for Lecretia, by the time of the 1901 census William Sr was listed as a widower on the census.

On 14 May 1905, in Neepawa, William Sr married Mary Theresa Thompson, sister of his first wife Ellen. In the fall of November 1909, William Sr, Theresa, and Arthur left New York for Southampton, England, arriving on 10 November on the Oceanic. They then embarked from London aboard the Ophir on 11 December 1909, arriving in Fremantle, Australia on 13 January 1910. Passenger lists gave William’s occupation as gardener. Once in Australia they settled in Albany, Swan in Western Australia. A 1916 list gave William’s occupation as fruit grower and Theresa’s as florist. William Sr passed away in 1919 in Western Australia.

By the time of the 1911 Canada census William was living with the Aaron and Frances Alice Botterill family in the district of Brandon in Manitoba and working as a farming labourer. With the onset of conscription in the latter part of the war, William had his medical examination on 8 August 1918 in Winnipeg. At the time he was living near Birnie. His occupation was given as farmer/farm hand and his father in Australia as next of kin, later changed to his sister Mrs Martin “Drewitt” of McGregor, Manitoba. Ida had married Martin Dewett in 1914 in Winnipeg. Called up for service that October, it appears that William was given a harvest leave and then was discharged from service on demobilization on 6 January 1919 at Minto Barracks in Winnipeg, rank of Private.

At some point William moved to Kenora in northwestern Ontario. On 10 November 1934, in Kenora, he married widow Cathleen Matilda (née Coulter) McFadden. At the time of their marriage, William was working as a labourer and Cathleen as a housekeeper, both in Kenora. Born on 23 November 1886 in the Neepawa area, Cathleen was the daughter of James Coulter and Katherine Jackson. She had married William James McFadden on 10 April 1906 in Neepawa, and the couple had at least one son, Carl. William had died in an accident in 1930 in Insinger, Saskatchewan.

William and Cathleen lived at 110 Mascott Avenue in the Rideout area of Kenora, with William working at the nearby paper mill for 24 years before retiring in 1965. Son Arthur joined the family in the 1940’s. Cathleen died on 19 June 1968 and is interred in the Riverside Cemetery in Neepawa, as are her parents. After her death William married the former Geraldine Brown on 17 July 1969.

William died on 19 November 1971 at his home on Main Street Rideout in Kenora. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife Geraldine and his son Art and family in Winnipeg. William is interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora.

By Judy Stockham

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