The People

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These are the stories of Kenora participants in the First World War.

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  • Barclay, Alexander Image
  • Barclay, Alexander

  • Alexander Barclay was born 06 January 1889 in Dufftown, Scotland.  He was the only son of George Barclay and Jane MacIntosh. His sisters were Georgina, Jean, Jessie, Bella and Mary. He received his education in Scotland.

    In April of 1908 Alexander immigrated to Canada listing his occupation as farm labourer. He went to Baddeck, Nova Scotia and was employed as a gardener for the late Alexander Graham Bell at the time of the experiments of the first flight by air in Canada – the Silver Dart.

    By 1911 Alexander had moved to Ottawa. He came west in the employ of the CPR and to Kenora, Ontario in 1912 working as a locomotive fireman. He lived at the YMCA in Kenora.

    On 01 February 1917 Alexander enlisted with the Section #1 Skilled Railway Operators in Winnipeg. His group traveled overseas arriving in England on 15 May 1917. They were attached to the 58th Broad Gauge Railway Operating Company and sent to France. This unit was operating lines in the immediate rear of active operations and hauled troops , ammunition, supplies, material, ambulance trains, refugees, etc. for the battles of Messines Ridge, June 1917 and the Lys, April 1918. Alexander was granted working pay of 80 cents per day.

    In the spring of 1918, No. 58 Broad Gauge Operating Company was brought under the command of the Headquarters, Canadian Railway Troops and became part of the Corps of Canadian Railway Troops.  Because of this, Alexander was attached to the 12th Battalion Canadian Railway Troops on 22 June 1918 and served with them until August 31 1918.  During this time he was awarded the Military Medal and also granted two weeks leave back to England.  His service in France continued until April of 1919 when he returned to England.  Alexander was struck off strength in May of 1919 and returned to Canada on the S.S. Aquitania, arriving in Halifax on 18 May 1919.  His official discharge due to demobilization came on 27 May 1919 in Montreal.

    Alexander returned to his job on the CPR after the war and settled in Kenora. He married Margot O’Reilly on 29 August 1922. They had one daughter, Margot Alexandra.

    Alexander retired from the railroad after 41 years of service. He was active in Knox Church, the Kenora Lawn Bowling Association, the Kenora Curling Club, the Kenora Horticultural Society, Branch 26 of the Royal Canadian Legion and Pequonga Masonic Lodge.

    Alexander died on 06 October 1977 and is buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery. His wife, Margot passed away the next year and is buried beside him.

    Barclay-Alexander-2Barclay-Alexander-3 Barclay-Alexander-4 Barclay-Alexander-5 Barclay-Alexander-6 Barclay-Alexander-7 Barclay-Alexander-8

  • Regimental Number:
  • 2124998
  • Service Record:
  • Link to Service Record
  • Survived War:
  • Yes
  • Force:
  • Canadian Expeditionary Force
  • Branch:
  • Canadian Railway Troops
  • Battalion:
  • Skilled Railway Employees
  • Place of Birth:
  • Dufftown
  • Country:
  • Scotland
  • Next of Kin:
  • Jane Barclay. mother, Newburgh, Botriphni, Banffshire, Scotland
  • Address at Enlistment:
  • YMCA Kenora On
  • Date of Birth:
  • January 6, 1889
  • Trade or Calling:
  • Locomotive Fireman
  • Marital Status:
  • Single
  • Place of Enlistment:
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Date of Enlistment:
  • February 1, 1917
  • Age at Enlistment:
  • 28
  • Religion:
  • Presbyterian
  • Enlisted or Conscripted:
  • Enlisted
  • Saw Service In:
  • Europe
  • Date of Death:
  • October 6, 1977
  • Age at Death:
  • 89
  • Buried at:
  • Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario
  • Plot:
  • RC D - 5 - 4
  • Prisoner of War:
  • No
  • Alexander Barclay was born 06 January 1889 in Dufftown, Scotland.  He was the only son of George Barclay and Jane MacIntosh. His sisters were Georgina, Jean, Jessie, Bella and Mary. He received his education in Scotland.

    In April of 1908 Alexander immigrated to Canada listing his occupation as farm labourer. He went to Baddeck, Nova Scotia and was employed as a gardener for the late Alexander Graham Bell at the time of the experiments of the first flight by air in Canada – the Silver Dart.

    By 1911 Alexander had moved to Ottawa. He came west in the employ of the CPR and to Kenora, Ontario in 1912 working as a locomotive fireman. He lived at the YMCA in Kenora.

    On 01 February 1917 Alexander enlisted with the Section #1 Skilled Railway Operators in Winnipeg. His group traveled overseas arriving in England on 15 May 1917. They were attached to the 58th Broad Gauge Railway Operating Company and sent to France. This unit was operating lines in the immediate rear of active operations and hauled troops , ammunition, supplies, material, ambulance trains, refugees, etc. for the battles of Messines Ridge, June 1917 and the Lys, April 1918. Alexander was granted working pay of 80 cents per day.

    In the spring of 1918, No. 58 Broad Gauge Operating Company was brought under the command of the Headquarters, Canadian Railway Troops and became part of the Corps of Canadian Railway Troops.  Because of this, Alexander was attached to the 12th Battalion Canadian Railway Troops on 22 June 1918 and served with them until August 31 1918.  During this time he was awarded the Military Medal and also granted two weeks leave back to England.  His service in France continued until April of 1919 when he returned to England.  Alexander was struck off strength in May of 1919 and returned to Canada on the S.S. Aquitania, arriving in Halifax on 18 May 1919.  His official discharge due to demobilization came on 27 May 1919 in Montreal.

    Alexander returned to his job on the CPR after the war and settled in Kenora. He married Margot O’Reilly on 29 August 1922. They had one daughter, Margot Alexandra.

    Alexander retired from the railroad after 41 years of service. He was active in Knox Church, the Kenora Lawn Bowling Association, the Kenora Curling Club, the Kenora Horticultural Society, Branch 26 of the Royal Canadian Legion and Pequonga Masonic Lodge.

    Alexander died on 06 October 1977 and is buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery. His wife, Margot passed away the next year and is buried beside him.

    Barclay-Alexander-2Barclay-Alexander-3 Barclay-Alexander-4 Barclay-Alexander-5 Barclay-Alexander-6 Barclay-Alexander-7 Barclay-Alexander-8

  • « Return to all stories
  • Barclay, Alexander Image
  • Regimental Number:
  • 2124998
  • Force:
  • Canadian Expeditionary Force
  • Battalion:
  • Skilled Railway Employees
  • Place of Birth:
  • Dufftown
  • Next of Kin:
  • Jane Barclay. mother, Newburgh, Botriphni, Banffshire, Scotland
  • Date of Birth:
  • January 6, 1889
  • Survived War:
  • Yes
  • Branch:
  • Canadian Railway Troops
  • Country:
  • Scotland
  • Address at Enlistment:
  • YMCA Kenora On
  • Trade or Calling:
  • Locomotive Fireman
  • Marital Status:
  • Single
  • Place of Enlistment:
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Date of Enlistment:
  • February 1, 1917
  • Age at Enlistment:
  • 28
  • Religion:
  • Presbyterian
  • Enlisted or Conscripted:
  • Enlisted
  • Saw Service In:
  • Europe
  • Date of Death:
  • October 6, 1977
  • Age at Death:
  • 89
  • Buried at:
  • Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario
  • Plot:
  • RC D - 5 - 4
  • Prisoner of War:
  • No
  • Barclay, Alexander

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