|Date of Birth||June 1, 1895|
|Place of Birth||Brownville Junction, Maine|
|Next of Kin||Arthur and Mabel Mansfield (parents), Port Arthur, Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||Railway telegraph operator|
|Battalion||301st Field Signal Battalion|
|Force||American Expeditionary Forces|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Conscripted|
|Address at Enlistment||Port Arthur, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||May 28, 1918|
|Age at Enlistment||23|
|Theatre of Service||France|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||June 6, 1982|
|Age at Death||87|
|Buried At||St. Vital Cemetery, Winnipeg, Manitoba|
Paul Burrill Mansfield was the younger son of Arthur Holmes Mansfield and Mabel Ida Smart. Mabel was born in Maine and Arthur in Vermont. They were married in 1893 and their first child, Charles Smart, was born in Brownville Junction, Maine in 1894. Paul followed on 1 June 1895, also in Brownville Junction. There were also two daughters: Pauline (1898) and Maude Lillian (1901). Around 1904 the family moved to Canada and settled in the town of Kenora in northwestern Ontario. Arthur was a telegrapher and dispatcher and he found work with the Canadian Pacific Railway. They were still in Kenora for the 1911 census but within a few years the family had moved to Port Arthur.
Charles enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force in March 1917, when the war was in its third year. He served in France and the UK and returned home in May 1919. The U.S. entered the war in April 1917 and Paul completed his American draft card on 2 June. He was living in Port Arthur by then and his occupation was railway telegraph operator. He was single and 22 years old. He was called up for service a year later and assigned to Company C, 301st Field Signal Battalion in the 76th Infantry Division. He sailed from Montreal on 11 July 1918 on the SS Durham Castle and served for ten months in France, including Marbache and Moselle. His rank was Private First Class. Paul returned to the U.S. in May 1919, embarking from Brest on 16 May on the SS North Carolina and arriving in Boston near the end of the month. He was honorably discharged on demobilization on 2 June.
Paul was married in Port Arthur on 1 March 1920. His wife, Mabel Grace Zest, was born on 16 October 1900 in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, the daughter of Alexander Zest and Cecilia Lauzon. Like his father and brother, Paul had a long career with the railway. He and his wife lived in Beaudette, Minnesota from 1921-1922. Sometime after that they settled in the community of Kashabowie, northwest of Port Arthur, where they lived until at least 1930. Sadly they lost an infant daughter, Cecilia Blossom, in 1926 and a two-year-old son, Paul “Donnie” Donald, in 1930. No other children are mentioned in family obituaries.
By 1954 Paul and Grace had moved to Swan River, Manitoba then a few years later to Flin Flon. When Paul retired from the CNR in 1961 they settled in Winnipeg. He passed away at the Health Sciences Centre on 6 June 1982, at age 87. Grace died on 15 February 1999, at age 98. They are both buried in St. Vital Cemetery in Winnipeg.
By Becky Johnson
Gravemarker photo courtesy of findagrave.com.