|Date of Birth||March 9, 1894|
|Place of Birth||Maple Ridge, Quebec|
|Next of Kin||Emma Stewart, mother, Pine Creek, Manitoba|
|Trade / Calling||Brakeman|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Battalion||No 12 Canadian Field Ambulance|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Branch||Canadian Army Medical Corps|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Place of Enlistment||Winnipeg, Manitoba|
|Address at Enlistment||Pine Creek, Manitoba|
|Date of Enlistment||April 7, 1917|
|Age at Enlistment||23|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||April 21, 1974|
|Age at Death||80|
|Buried At||Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario|
Harry Raymond Stewart was born on 9 March 1894 in the township of Bristol in Pontiac, Quebec. His father Ephraim Stewart was from Bristol while his mother Emma Way was from nearby Shawville, both families farmers. The couple married on 12 August 1891 in Ottawa, the city about 75 kilometres east of Bristol. The next year they gave birth to son Edmund Nelson, followed by Harry, and then Earle Way in 1896. By the time of the birth of their next child, son Eddie Lorne in 1898, the family had relocated to the RM of North Norfolk in Manitoba. Their farm was located near Pine Creek, about 60 kilometres west of Portage la Prairie in south central Manitoba. Children born in Manitoba were Eva Florence in 1901, Gordon Leonard in 1904, and Vernon Wellington in 1907. Sadly, Eva died in 1906.
With occupation given as brakeman and his mother Emma in Pine Creek as next of kin, Harry enlisted with the A Section of the No 1 Field Ambulance Depot of the Canadian Army Medical Corps on 7 April 1917 in Winnipeg. His place of birth was given as Maple Ridge, a small community on the outskirts of Bristol.
As a Private with the 20th Draft to the Canadian Army Medical Corps Depot, Harry arrived in Liverpool, England aboard the Megantic on 14 May 1917. On 6 June he arrived in France and was posted to the No 12 Canadian Field Ambulance. Field Ambulances were mobile medical units that treated wounded soldiers very close to the combat zone. They removed casualties from dressing stations and regimental aid posts to casualty clearing stations where urgent surgery was performed. Patients then proceeded to general to stationery hospitals and thence to a special hospital or a convalescent hospital.
On 31 October 1917, Harry sustained shrapnel wounds to his hand, arm, and leg. He was evacuated to the No 3 Australian General Hospital in Abbeville on 2 November and then on to the War Hospital in Exeter, England on the 14th. On 19 December Harry was transferred to the Military Convalescent Hospital Woodcote Park in Epson, with discharge on 20 February 1918. From there he was transferred to the Canadian Army Medical Corps Depot, first appointed Acting Lance Corporal in early September and then as Acting Corporal in early November. On 6 December Harry was admitted to the No 11 Canadian General Hospital Moore Barracks in Shorncliffe as the wound to his hand had not completely healed. A letter in his service record dated 12 December 1918 indicated that he asked to be discharged to his depot as a promotion was possible. Discharged on the 17th, on 12 January 1919 Harry was appointed Acting Sergeant with pay and allowances. With the end of the war, that June he was struck off strength to Canada, embarking on the 25th on the Caronia. Harry was discharged from service on demobilization on 5 July 1919 in Winnipeg.
Harry’s brother Earle, a student at the time, enlisted in July 1915, embarking for England as a Private with the 61st Battalion in April 1916. Once overseas he was transferred for service with the 3rd Battalion, arriving in France a short time later. He was injured twice during the war, a gunshot wound to the forearm in September of 1916 and a gunshot wound to the scalp in August of 1918. Returning to Canada after the war, he was discharged from service on 31 January 1919 in Winnipeg, rank of Corporal. Going back to school, Earle graduated from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba in 1924 and was on the medical staff of St Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg as obstetrician and gynaecologist for 25 years. An active member of the militia, he was Medical Officer for the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders for many years.
During the war Harry’s family had moved to the Transcona area on the outskirts of Winnipeg to run a dairy farm. At the time of the 1921 Canada census, although Harry was listed as living with his family, he was attending university. First enrolled at the University of Manitoba, he had entered the Royal College of Dental Surgeons at the University of Toronto in 1920, with graduation in 1924.
On 24 December 1924, in Unionville on the outskirts of Toronto, Harry married Effie Irene MacKinnon. At the time of the marriage Harry was living in Transcona and working as a dentist while Effie was living in Unionville and working as a school teacher. Born in 1902 near Maple Creek in Saskatchewan, Effie was the daughter of Allan Hugh MacKinnon and Ida Merrick. Both from Ontario, her parents had married in 1893 in Brock Township, Ontario. By the time of the 1901 census they had moved to the Saskatchewan to farm. By the 1921 census the family had moved to the Markham/Unionville area, also to farm.
Harry and Effie were to make the Winnipeg area their home, with Harry practicing dentistry in Transcona until 1940. According to his obituary, from 1940 to 1945 he served in the Canadian Army Dental Corps, attached to the Royal Canadian Air Force. After the war he resumed his private practice in Winnipeg and subsequently was Director of Dental Services for the province of Manitoba and until his retirement in 1955. Harry and Effie gave birth to two sons, Wallace and Bruce.
Following retirement, Harry and Effie spent the summer months in Redditt in northwestern Ontario, a village about 30 kilometres north of Kenora, and wintered in Corpus Christie, Texas. Effie died on 17 October 1965 in the Kenora General Hospital, and at some point after her death Harry moved back to Winnipeg and married Beatrice McDonald.
Harry died on 21 April 1974 in Deer Lodge Hospital in Winnipeg. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife Beatrice, sons Wallace (Helen) in Kenora and Bruce (June) in Windsor, Ontario, seven grandchildren, and brothers Lorne of Surrey, BC, Gordon of Victoria, BC, and Vernon of Winnipeg. He was predeceased by his father Ephraim in 1940 and mother Emma in 1961, both in Winnipeg, and brothers Nelson in 1967 in Edmonton and Earle in 1970 in Winnipeg. Harry and Effie are interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora.
By Judy Stockham
Photographs and documents provided by Harry’s granddaughter Peggy (Stewart) Gustafson.