Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthMay 17, 1886
Place of BirthKenora, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinSS Scovil, father, Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingCivil Engineer
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number2160917
Service RecordLink to Service Record
Battalion7th Battalion, CRT
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Railway Troops
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentOttawa, Ontario
Address at Enlistment169 Bank Street, Ottawa, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentMay 21, 1917
Age at Enlistment31
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJuly 17, 1954
Age at Death68
Buried AtBeechwood Cemetery, Ottawa, Ontario

Scovil, Stuart Southmayd

Stuart Southmayd Scovil was born on 17 May 1886 in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) in northwestern Ontario. His father Simmons Stuart Scovil, a physician and surgeon, was from Portland while his mother Ella Ursala O’Laughlin was from Kingston, both in Ontario. The couple married on 18 February 1879 in North Gower, Carleton, Ontario where Simmons was practicing at the time. Children born in North Gower were May Kathleen (1880) and Gertrude Vivian (1881). Moving to northwestern Ontario the next year, Simmons was appointed surgeon for the area division for the recently completed Canadian Pacific Railway, later opening his own practice. Children born in Rat Portage were Stuart and Jack (1891). Sadly Jack died in July of 1900.

According to his obituary, Stuart received his diploma in electrical engineering in 1910 and graduated in 1912 with honours from Queen’s University in Civil Engineering, his father’s alma mater. He joined the staff of the Dominion Water Power Branch and was living in Ottawa at the time of his attestation on 21 May 1917, giving his father in Kenora as next of kin.

With a draft of the Railway Construction and Forestry Depot, Stuart arrived in England on 5 July 1917 aboard the Justicia, rank of Private. Taken on strength with the Canadian Railway Troops Depot at Purfleet the next day, he arrived in France on 10 September 1917 to serve with the 7th Battalion, Canadian Railway Troops. Canadian railway units played a major role in the construction and maintenance of railways of all gauges, including light railways, for the five British Army areas in France and Belgium. In July of 1918 Stuart was confirmed with rank of Corporal. In late September he was granted a two week leave to the UK. With the end of the war he returned to England in late January of 1919 and arrived back in Canada at Halifax on the Royal George on 25 March 1919. Stuart was discharged from service on demobilization two days later at Ottawa.

After the war Stuart resumed working for the Dominion Water Power until 1927, working in Winnipeg in hydrometrics and water power investigations of the Manitoba Hydrometric Survey. Then appointed chief engineer of the Lake of the Woods Technical Board he investigated the Lake of the Woods and later Rainy Lake and other boundry waters. In 1927 he started a consulting practice as a hydraulic engineer in Ottawa and was retained by the Gatineau Power Company, Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario, and the Winnipeg Electric Company among others. Over the years he was regarded as an outstanding authority on river flow, storage, and other related branches of hydraulic engineering. He was a member of the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario and the Engineering Institute of Canada.

On 31 January 1935, in Montreal, Stuart married school teacher Alberta Marion Hough. Born on 10 June 1896 in the Sawyerville/Cookshire area of Quebec, Marion was the daughter of James Gilbert Hough, an engineer, and Laura Mabel Lindsay. Her parents had married in 1895 in Sawyerville. Stuart and Marion did not have any children.

Stuart died on 17 July 1954 in Ottawa. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife Marion, and his sisters May (Robert) Persse of Winnipeg and Gertrude (Lionel) Charlesworth of Victoria. He was predeceased by his young brother and his parents, his father Simmons in 1927 and mother Ella in 1940, all interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora. Gertrude later died in 1959 in Edmonton and May in 1966 in Winnipeg. Stuart’s wife Marion died on 21 December 1967 and interred with Stuart in Beechwood Cemetery in Ottawa.

By Judy Stockham

Grave marker photograph provided by Carolyn Malek,

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