Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthJune 19, 1891
Place of BirthKingston, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMrs Nora Oldfin, mother, 135 Ordance Street, Kingston, Ontario
Trade / CallingClerk
Service Details
Regimental Number883594
Service Recordsee images below
Battalion6th Company 4th Grand Division
ForceAmerican Expeditionary Forces
BranchUS Transportation Corps
Enlisted / ConscriptedConscripted
Place of EnlistmentAnchorage, Alaska
Address at EnlistmentAnchorage, Alaska
Date of EnlistmentJuly 16, 1917
Age at Enlistment26
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathAugust 20, 1959
Age at Death68

Oldfin, Edmund Charles

(Thomas) Edmund Charles Oldfin was born on 19 June 1891 in Kingston, Ontario. His father John William Oldfin and mother Honoria Nora O’Connor, both from Ontario, had married in 1884 in Kingston. Over the years John worked as a gas fitter/tinsmith/plumber. Children born to the couple were Mary (1885), Catherine (1886), John O’Connor (1888), Edmund, and twins Vincent Michael (1893) and Leo Joseph (1893), all born in Kingston. By the time of the 1911 census Edmund and his brother John were living in Kenora, Ontario where both were working as clerks for the Canadian Pacific Railway.

When he signed his US WW1 Draft Registration card on 16 July 1917, Edmund was living in Anchorage in Alaska and working as a clerk for the Alaskan Engineering Commission. As a Private with the 31st Engineers, he embarked from Hoboken, New Jersey aboard the Manchuria in June of 1918. With the end of the war Edmund returned to the States, sailing from Brest, France aboard the Rotterdam on 14 July 1919. With rank of Sergeant 1st Class, his unit was given as 6th Company, Transportation Corps. Further details of his service are unknown.

Edmund’s brother Leo enlisted with the Royal Flying Corps in November of 1917 in Toronto. He was discharged from the Royal Air Force in August of 1918 having been selected for appointment for a temporary commission. His brother Vincent was called up for service under the 1917 Military Act in January 1918 and served in England with Lord Strathcona’s Horse.

Returning to Alaska, the 1920 census found Edmund living in Kenai and working as a railroad clerk. At some point, likely in Alaska, he married Merle Helena Alexander. Born in 1899 in New Westminster in British Columbia, she was the daughter of Robert Alexander and Katherine Smith, the couple marrying in 1898 in Victoria. Her father died in 1902, with Katherine later marrying Joseph Charles Seeley. A 1921 Oceans Arrival document for Merle had her mother listed as living in Anchorage and a 1918 Washington Arriving and Departing Passenger and Crew List had Merle living in Anchorage..

Edmund and Merle gave birth to daughter Alexandra in 1928 in Anchorage but by the time of the birth of son Edmund Charles in 1929, the family was living in Seattle, Washington. Another child, daughter Merle Katherine was born in May of 1938. Sadly, mother Merle died the same day. Over the years Edmund worked as a bank clerk/banker. The 1950 census had Edmund living in the Washington Veterans Home in Retsil, Washington.

Edmund died on 20 August 1959 at the Veterans Home in Retsil. At the time of his death he was survived by son Edmund of Seattle, Alexandra (Rune) Appelo of Seattle, and Merle (Robert) Schauer of Maryland. He was also survived by sisters Mary (William Henry) Savage and Catherine, both in Kingston, as well as three grandchildren. Edmund was predeceased by his father (1924) and mother (1932), both interred in the Saint Mary’s Roman Catholic Cemetery in Kingston, and siblings Leo (1945, Toronto), John (1952, Vancouver), and Vincent (1953, Toronto). His sisters Mary and Catherine later died in 1964 and are interred the cemetery in Kingston. Following cremation, Edmund’s final resting place is unknown.

Photographs courtesy of Edmund’s granddaughter LK Oldfin as found on

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