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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MacGillivray, Grant

Private Grant MacGillivray arrived in France in March 1917 and served with the 13th Battalion (Royal Highlanders). He died of wounds a month later during the Battle of Vimy Ridge. James Alexander Farquhar Grant MacGillivray, known as Grant, was born on 10 May 1880 in Ottawa, Ontario. His parents, Farquhar MacGillivray and Jane Mary MacFarlane,… Read More »

Hamilton, John Thompson

John Thompson Hamilton was born on 12 December 1896 in Fort William, Ontario. His father Nathaniel Hamilton was from New Brunswick while his mother Margaret Thompson was from England. The couple married on 18 October 1883 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Over the years Nathaniel worked as a yard master for the Canadian Pacific Railway, first in… Read More »

Woods, James Huston Ross

James Huston Ross  Woods was born on 14  January 1893 in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora), Ontario. His father Arthur Woods, son of Irish immigrant Russel Woods and Quebec born Eliza Huston, grew up on a farm in the Kildare/Joliette, Quebec region. His mother Harriet Ross, daughter of William and Margaret (née Caswell) Ross was… Read More »

Swanson, Carl Johan

Private Carl Johan Swanson was married and a father of nine when he enlisted in 1916 at age 46. He served in England and France with the Canadian Forestry Corps and returned to Canada in May 1919. Carl was the son of Sven Olsson and Kristina Jönasdotter of Torsas, Kalmar lan (Kalmar county), Sweden. Sven… Read More »

Benoiton, Etienne

Etienne Benoiston (later changed to Benoîton once in Canada) was born on 1 January 1869 in Malville, Savenay, France. His parents were Benoist Benoiston and Francoise Brizay. In 1889 Etienne joined the French Army, his service booklet describing him as having chГўtains (auburn) hair, grey eyes, ordinary forehead, average nose, round jaw, average mouth, and… Read More »

Hall, Percival James

According to his attestation papers, Percival James Hall was born 23 September 1891 in Carman, Manitoba.* The son of Scottish immigrant William Hall and Ontario born Helen Carr, Percy’s father William Nesbit Hall had been born in Mildmay, Bruce County where the family farmed. By the 1881 Canada census, William and some of his siblings had… Read More »

Page, John Walter Bowden

Reverend John Walter Bowden Page was born in England in 1861 and lived in Canada for more than twenty years. He moved back to the UK before the war and served as a British army chaplain during the war. John was the youngest son of Joseph and Mary Jane Page of Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England. Joseph,… Read More »

McIlwraith, Hastings Shankland

Hastings Shankland McIlwraith was born September 16, 1892 at 25 High Street, Girvan, Ayrshire, Scotland to David & Agnes (Shankland) McIlwraith. (from the official birth register of the Parish of Girvan, County of Ayr, page 57). Setting sail from Glasgow Scotland on the ‘Grampian’, Hastings arrived at Quebec City, Canada   on May 6, 1913…. Read More »

Williamson, Reginald

Reginald Williamson was born on 6 December 1888 in East Ardsley, Yorkshire in England. His father George Williamson, an elementary school master, was from Edinburgh in Scotland while his mother Catherine (Kate) Drummond Hodge was from Birkenhead, Cheshire in England. The couple married during the third quarter of 1878 in the registration district of Leeds,… Read More »