The People

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

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  • Boquist, William Norman Image
  • Boquist, William Norman

  • William Norman Boquist was born on 09 October 1895 in Bodo, Nordland, Norway. His parents were Gustaf and Marie Boquist. At the age of nine, William and his mother immigrated to Canada to join his father who was working as a contractor in Rat Portage(Kenora), Ontario. They left Liverpool aboard the Tunisian on 06 October 1904. When William was fourteen he began working at Woods Drug Store in Kenora. The 1911 Canadian Census shows William, his mother and an adopted sister, Amanda, living together, but there is no sign of Gustaf. William’s occupation is listed as millhand at the Rat Portage Lumber Company. By 1915 he became a clerk for Canadian Pacific Express.

    William was called to serve in the Canadian Expeditionary Force by the military draft of 1917. He passed his medical exam in Kenora on 06 October 1917 and attested in Winnipeg on 04 February 1918. William traveled to England aboard the Tunisian (the same ship on which he and his mother had immigrated) arriving on 19 April 1918. He was placed in the 18th Reserve Battalion but came down with the mumps and was in Ravenscroft Military Hospital from 26 April to 16 May. On 08 July 1918 William was placed on command to Signal Base and attached to the 6th Reserve Battalion for rations, pay, discipline and duty. He served with the Royal Canadian Signal Corps until October 1918 when he was returned to the 18th Reserve Battalion. William spent another week in hospital in February of 1919 with influenza. He was struck off strength to the Manitoba Regimental Depot on 07 June 1919 and returned to Canada aboard the S.S. Belgic in August 1919. His official discharge due to demobilization came on 26 August 1919 in Port Arthur.

    William returned to Kenora and his job with C.P Express. On 15 September 1923 he married Elsie Dixon Rivers. They had three children: Bill, Shirley(1928-2011) and Daphne (married John Kron). The family lived on Rupert Road in the Rideout area of Kenora for many years.

    The Kenora Miner & News reported that William also served in WW2.

    William was an avid sportsman who participated in rowing, curling, ski jumping and track and field. He enjoyed playing cribbage and bridge. He was a member of the Kenora Legion and also the Masonic order. William worked for CP Express for forty-five years, retiring in 1960.

    William Norman Boquist passed away at the age of 100 on 25 March 1996.  He is buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora beside his wife, Elsie who died in 1975. He was the last WWI Veteran to be interred in the cemetery.

     

    William's application for Legion membership

    William’s application for Legion membership

    William's grave marker in Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

    William’s grave marker in Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

    William's obituary from the Miner & News

    William’s obituary from the Miner & News

  • Regimental Number:
  • 2380299
  • Service Record:
  • Link to Service Record
  • Survived War:
  • Yes
  • Force:
  • Canadian Expeditionary Force
  • Branch:
  • Canadian Infantry
  • Battalion:
  • 1st Depot Battalion, Manitoba Regiment
  • Place of Birth:
  • Bode
  • Country:
  • Norway
  • Next of Kin:
  • Mrs. Marie Boquist, mother, Kenora On
  • Address at Enlistment:
  • Kenora On
  • Date of Birth:
  • October 9, 1895
  • Trade or Calling:
  • Clerk
  • Marital Status:
  • Single
  • Place of Enlistment:
  • Kenora, Ontario
  • Date of Enlistment:
  • June 10, 1917
  • Age at Enlistment:
  • 21
  • Religion:
  • Church of England
  • Enlisted or Conscripted:
  • Conscripted
  • Saw Service In:
  • Great Britain
  • Date of Death:
  • March 25, 1996
  • Age at Death:
  • 100
  • Buried at:
  • Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario
  • Plot:
  • 40E-12-1
  • Prisoner of War:
  • No
  • William Norman Boquist was born on 09 October 1895 in Bodo, Nordland, Norway. His parents were Gustaf and Marie Boquist. At the age of nine, William and his mother immigrated to Canada to join his father who was working as a contractor in Rat Portage(Kenora), Ontario. They left Liverpool aboard the Tunisian on 06 October 1904. When William was fourteen he began working at Woods Drug Store in Kenora. The 1911 Canadian Census shows William, his mother and an adopted sister, Amanda, living together, but there is no sign of Gustaf. William’s occupation is listed as millhand at the Rat Portage Lumber Company. By 1915 he became a clerk for Canadian Pacific Express.

    William was called to serve in the Canadian Expeditionary Force by the military draft of 1917. He passed his medical exam in Kenora on 06 October 1917 and attested in Winnipeg on 04 February 1918. William traveled to England aboard the Tunisian (the same ship on which he and his mother had immigrated) arriving on 19 April 1918. He was placed in the 18th Reserve Battalion but came down with the mumps and was in Ravenscroft Military Hospital from 26 April to 16 May. On 08 July 1918 William was placed on command to Signal Base and attached to the 6th Reserve Battalion for rations, pay, discipline and duty. He served with the Royal Canadian Signal Corps until October 1918 when he was returned to the 18th Reserve Battalion. William spent another week in hospital in February of 1919 with influenza. He was struck off strength to the Manitoba Regimental Depot on 07 June 1919 and returned to Canada aboard the S.S. Belgic in August 1919. His official discharge due to demobilization came on 26 August 1919 in Port Arthur.

    William returned to Kenora and his job with C.P Express. On 15 September 1923 he married Elsie Dixon Rivers. They had three children: Bill, Shirley(1928-2011) and Daphne (married John Kron). The family lived on Rupert Road in the Rideout area of Kenora for many years.

    The Kenora Miner & News reported that William also served in WW2.

    William was an avid sportsman who participated in rowing, curling, ski jumping and track and field. He enjoyed playing cribbage and bridge. He was a member of the Kenora Legion and also the Masonic order. William worked for CP Express for forty-five years, retiring in 1960.

    William Norman Boquist passed away at the age of 100 on 25 March 1996.  He is buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora beside his wife, Elsie who died in 1975. He was the last WWI Veteran to be interred in the cemetery.

     

    William's application for Legion membership

    William’s application for Legion membership

    William's grave marker in Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

    William’s grave marker in Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

    William's obituary from the Miner & News

    William’s obituary from the Miner & News

  • « Return to all stories
  • Boquist, William Norman Image
  • Regimental Number:
  • 2380299
  • Force:
  • Canadian Expeditionary Force
  • Battalion:
  • 1st Depot Battalion, Manitoba Regiment
  • Place of Birth:
  • Bode
  • Next of Kin:
  • Mrs. Marie Boquist, mother, Kenora On
  • Date of Birth:
  • October 9, 1895
  • Survived War:
  • Yes
  • Branch:
  • Canadian Infantry
  • Country:
  • Norway
  • Address at Enlistment:
  • Kenora On
  • Trade or Calling:
  • Clerk
  • Marital Status:
  • Single
  • Place of Enlistment:
  • Kenora, Ontario
  • Date of Enlistment:
  • June 10, 1917
  • Age at Enlistment:
  • 21
  • Religion:
  • Church of England
  • Enlisted or Conscripted:
  • Conscripted
  • Saw Service In:
  • Great Britain
  • Date of Death:
  • March 25, 1996
  • Age at Death:
  • 100
  • Buried at:
  • Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario
  • Plot:
  • 40E-12-1
  • Prisoner of War:
  • No
  • Boquist, William Norman

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