Kenora Great War Project


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The People


These are the stories of Kenora participants in the First World War.

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McIntee, Merrit Melton

Birth date and location: Merrit Melton McIntee was arguably one of the oldest living Canadians in recorded history, reaching 106 years of age – just 3 weeks away from his 107th birthday. Merrit was not born in Kenora and did not enlist in Kenora; however, he and his wife lived here for nineteen years, when… Read More »

Tapp, Walter

Likely born a day or two earlier, William Wilfred (Walter) Tapp was baptized on 30 May 1894 in Rivière au Renard (Fox River), Gaspé, Quebec, the village now amalgamated with the town of Gaspé. Both from the area, his parents Jean Baptiste Tapp and Berenice Bond had married on 6 November 1876 in Rivière au… Read More »

Lavigne, William

Sapper William Lavigne was living in the Nelson area in British Columbia when he enlisted on 6 September 1916. According to his attestation paper he was born on 27 January 1876 in Kenora, Ontario, although it’s very unlikely he was actually born there. His death registration records his birth as 19 February 1877 in Ontario… Read More »

Ryan, James Anthony

Born on 18 May 1893 in Bromley, Osceola, Ontario, James Anthony (Jim) Ryan was the son of Michael and Bridget (née Gannon) Ryan, both of Irish descent. The family settled in the Renfrew area where they farmed. Jim was the eldest child in the family and had the following known siblings: Mary Frances, Michael L,… Read More »

Johnson, John Walford

Private John Walford Johnson enlisted in March 1916 and served in France and Belgium with the Canadian Army Medical Corps. He was invalided back to Canada in October 1918 due to illness. John was born on 26 June 1894 in Norman, Ontario. His parents, Sven John Johnson and Josephine Carlson, both immigrated to Canada in… Read More »

Storey, Hayston

Hayston Storey was born on 20 March 1892 in Oulton, Cumberland, England. He was the son of Esther Storey, also born in Oulton, and grandson of James and Mary (née Hayston) Storey. Over the years grandfather James worked as a cotton weaver, husbandman (free tenant farmer) and in latter years operated a market gardening business… Read More »

McCutchan, Edward Head

Edward Head McCutchan was among the early volunteers for the 52nd Battalion, the first infantry battalion to be raised in Northwestern Ontario during the war with volunteers from Kenora, Fort Frances, Dryden, Port Arthur and Fort William. Recruiting had begun in the fall of 1914 and Edward McCutcheon enlisted as a private on Dec 18,… Read More »

Baker, Leonard James

Leonard James Baker was born on 15 December 1894 in Horsham, Sussex, England.  His parents were Frederick James Baker (a builder’s carpenter joiner) and Fanny Patching.  Siblings included Ernest Frederick (born 1893), Albert Arthur (born 1896), Bessie Fanny (born 1899), William John (born 1904) and Eva Minnie (born 1906).  Leonard was educated in England and… Read More »

Begg, Duncan

Duncan Begg was born on 19 July 1897 in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) in northwestern Ontario. He was the son of James and Jemina (née Muggaberg) Begg. Originally from Selkirk/St Andrews, Manitoba, the couple had married 27 August 1891 in Rat Portage. James had  moved to the area in 1888, employed by the Hudson’s Bay… Read More »

McMillan, James

James McMillan was born on 14 July 1877 in Poltimore, Quebec. Poltimore was/is a village situated in a valley between the Gatineau and Lievre Rivers north of Gatineau. James’ father Archibald McMillan had been born in  Lochiel, Glengarry County, but had moved with his family to the Poltimore area to start a logging camp. Wood… Read More »