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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Wickham, Joseph

Joseph Wickham was born on 28 June 1891 in Newthorpe in the registration district of Tadcaster in Yorkshire West, England. His father Samuel Wickham was from Gravesend in Kent while his mother Sarah Barrow was from Crewe in Cheshire. The couple’s marriage was registered during the second quarter of 1888 in the district of Nantwich,… Read More »

Affleck, Ernest John

Sapper Ernest John Affleck enlisted in June 1918 and served for ten months with the Canadian Railway Troops in Canada, the UK and France. Ernest was the youngest son of Thomas Richard Affleck and Maria Yarroll. Thomas was born on the Isle of Guernsey, in the English Channel, and his wife was from Hastings, East… Read More »

Desmarais, Rene

The son of Eusebe and Josephine (Belanger) Desmarais, Rene Desmarais was born in Keewatin, Ontario 7 May 1891.  According to his father’s obituary in the Kenora Miner and News of 6 August 1932, the family came to Keewatin with the first sawmill that was brought over the ice to Keewatin in the early pioneer days…. Read More »

Saddington, William

Birth and early life: According to his Attestation Papers from the First World War, William was born October 31, 1888, in Leicester, Leicestershire, England; however, his actual birth date was October 31, 1885. He was the son of William Saddington and Bertha Ann Wright who were married in 1863 in the parish of St. Andrew,… Read More »

Lancaster, Ivan Bruce

Ivan Bruce Lancaster was born on 25 October 1898 in Cedar Springs, Kent, Ontario. His father Joseph Lancaster was from England while his mother Mary Jane Cullis was from the Port Hope area of Ontario. The couple married on 7 February 1876 in Howard, Kent. The family first farmed in the area of Euphemia, Bothwell,… Read More »

Tompkins, Nicholas

Nicholas Tompkins was born on 5 September 1868 in Margaree, Inverness on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia. He was the first born son of farmers John Nicholas Tompkins and Judith Coardy who had married 8 October 1867 in Margaree. Both of his parents were born in Nova Scotia to Irish immigrants. Nick had four… Read More »

Beatty, George Thomas

George Thomas Beatty was born on 03 August 1898 in Beamsville, Lincoln, Ontario.   He was the only son of George Alexander Beatty and Jennie R. Box.    He had two older sisters, Rhea and Lena.   A brother, Frank, died at age 18 months. The family was living in Beamsville in 1901 where George… Read More »

Reid, Charles

Charles Reid was born on 22 September 1893 in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora), in northwestern Ontario. His parents Charles Francis Reid and Mary Elizabeth Savage were both born in New Brunswick, marrying on 1 November 1887 in Newcastle. Son Francis William (Frank) was born in 1888 in New Brunswick before the family moved to… Read More »

Villiard, Joseph

Private Joseph Villiard enlisted in Kenora, Ontario in May 1916 and served for almost three years in Canada, the UK and France, returning home in February 1919. Joseph was the son of Louis Villiard and Marie Cédélie Couturier dite Labonté of Saint-Michel-d’Yamaska, Quebec, a parish about 15 km east of the town of Sorel. Louis… Read More »