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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McLean, Donald

Born on 10 June 1888 in Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Scotland, Donald McLean was the son of farmer John McLean and his wife Christina. Donald served five years with the Seaforth Highlanders.  In 1906, 18 year old Donald immigrated to Keewatin, Ontario, Canada and obtained work with the Lake of the Woods Flour Milling Company… Read More »

Newman, Ernest Maitland

Ernest Maitland Newman was born on 01 October 1899 in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba.  His parents were Colin Campbell Newman and Helen Margaret Armstrong.  Siblings included: Charles Frederick (1892-1938), Helen Margaret (1893-1976) and Victor Bell (1896-1981). When he was 18, on 3 June 1918, Ernest enlisted with the RAF in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  He served in… Read More »

Murdoch, Donald Herbert

Born in Keewatin on May 7, 1896, Donald was the son of John Murdoch and Kate Lithgow.   The Murdochs were of Scottish heritage.    His mother, Kate, died of heart disease in December 1899 when he was still 2 years old.   Donald’s father was a tinsmith in Keewatin.   In the 1901 census,… Read More »

Bolton, Philip Henry

Philip Henry Bolton was born on 14 February 1859* in the township of Bastard, Leeds County, Ontario. His father was Irish immigrant William Bolton and his mother, born in Upper Canada, was Sarah Ann Dowsett. Henry had an older brother Patrick and a younger sister Mary. With William working as a labourer, likely on Sarah’s… Read More »

King, William Charles

William Charles King was born 11 June 1870 in Hammersmith, England. He was the eldest child of William King and Emma Sarah Tomlin. His siblings were: Ellen Sarah (1872-1934; m. William J. Granville), James Edward (1876-1929), Emma Elizabeth (1880-1938; m. John E. Pike), Edward George (1884-1943), and Mary Annie (1887-1910). The family was living in… Read More »

Fawcett, John Middleton

John Middleton Fawcett was born on 3 December 1889 in Toronto, Ontario, birth date confirmed by his Ontario birth record. His father William Fawcett was from the Pickering, Ontario area where he had been farming and his mother Sarah Ann Richards was from Darlington. The couple married on 26 December 1888 in Pickering. At the… Read More »

Redsky, Edward

Private Edward Redsky enlisted in July 1916 and served for three years in Canada, the UK, France and Belgium. He was wounded at the Battle of Hill 70 but he survived the war and returned home in August 1919. Edward was the son of Chief Redsky (Miskokesik) and Endopeek of Shoal Lake First Nation in… Read More »

Spence, Robert

Robert Spence was born on 3 November 1893 in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) in northwestern Ontario. His parents Robert Spence and Elizabeth Park Johnston were both from the Orkneys in Scotland, marrying on 21 June 1888 in Burray, South Ronaldshay. At the time Robert, a widower, was working as a fisherman. Later that year… Read More »

Bateson, George Theodore

Private George Theodore Bateson was the son of John Hope Bateson and Agnes Victoria (nee Bateson) of Ely, St. Louis County, Minnesota. John and Agnes were of Scottish and Irish ancestry and they were both born in Victoria County, Ontario. They were married in 1882 in Somerville Township, Victoria County. George was born on 27… Read More »

McHenry, Samuel Fulton

According to his attestation papers, Samuel Fulton McHenry was born on 23 February 1872 in Coleraine, Londonderry, Ireland. His parents were Hugh and Elizabeth (née Fulton) McHenry. Samuel’s father was a tailor and over the years Samuel and his siblings worked in the tailoring/textile industry. His known siblings were his older sister Susan, and younger… Read More »