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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Hodgins, Herbert Alexander

Herbert Alexander Hodgins spent much of his life in Africa, however he always considered Kenora, Ontario, where he’d spent a decade or so working in the timber business, his first home. Hodgins also served in several different army forces during his lifetime fighting for Queen and country. He first volunteered for service in 1899 as… Read More »

Tennant, George William

Private George William Tennant was the son of George Tennant Sr. and Catherine (Kate) Margaret Lambert. George Sr. and Kate had at least five other children: Herbert Maxwell (1889), Francis Lambert (1892), Janet Louisa (1894), Charlotte Mary (1900) and Roland Judd Murray (1904). Most of the children were born in Port Arthur, Ontario but George… 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 »

Fortin, Edgar

Private Edgar Fortin enlisted in April 1916, at age 17, and arrived in France four months later. He was killed in November 1917 at the Battle of Passchendaele. Edgar was the youngest son of Charles François Fortin and Emilie Jolicouer of Kenora, Ontario. Charles was from the Gaspé region in eastern Quebec and Emilie was… Read More »

Burton, Frank

Frank Burton was born on 14 September 1885 in the Vaughn district of Ontario where his father Robert Burton was a farmer.  His mother was Margaret Ann Lawrence. Frank came from a large family. He had 12 siblings: Mary Gertrude, Henry, Margaret, Frank, Annie, William, Gideon, Berla, Charlie (who also served in WW1), Orville, Alvin… Read More »

Tarris, Harold Alton

Although a birth record was not found, by most accounts Harold Alton Tarris was born on 6 June 1897 in Oxford Junction, Nova Scotia. His parents Eli Tarris and Florence Killam were both from New Brunswick, Eli from Hillsborough and Florence from Salisbury. The couple married on 13 March 1891 in nearby Moncton. Harold had… Read More »

Edgar, Charles

According to his attestation papers, Charles Edgar was born on 20 February 1875 in Glasgow, Scotland. With occupation given as telegraph linesman and a sister-in-law back in Scotland as next of kin, Charles signed his attestation papers in Kenora, Ontario on 3 June 1915. He listed 9 years previous military experience with the 1st Royal… Read More »

Rousseau, Alfred Ferdinand

Alfred Ferdinand Rousseau was born on 24 April 1900 in Selkirk, Manitoba. His father Alfred (Fred) Rousseau was born in Alpena, Michigan (according to his WW1 attestations) while his mother Sarah Elizabeth Gunn, of Métis descent, was born in the Northwest Territories. Fred and Sarah married on 23 August 1898 in Selkirk, Manitoba. At the… Read More »

Smith, Herbert Douglas Sinclair

Herbert Douglas Sinclair Smith was one of the over 4,000 Canadian fatal casualties of the Battle of Passchendaele Oct 27-Nov 12, 1917). Badly wounded during the battle, he later died in hospital in England. Born July 20, 1879/1878 in Burford Township, Brant County, Ontario to William Taylor Smith and Margaret Matilda Carpenter, Herbert grew up… Read More »

Wootton, Francis Edward

Lieutenant-Colonel (Retired) Francis Edward Wootton, OBE, MC, ED, served for more than four years during the First World War and was awarded the Military Cross in 1919. He enlisted again during the Second World War and served from 1939 to 1945. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the… Read More »