The People

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

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  • Currie, Benjamin William Image
  • Currie, Benjamin William

  • Benjamin William Currie, the eldest child of William and Emily Currie was born on 30 September 1876 in Melrose, Scotland. His father worked in the wool business as a packer and a dyer.  Benjamin’s siblings included: Andrew (b. 1880), Eliza (b. 1882), Rowland (b. 1883), Charles (b. 1888) and George (b. 1889) and Evelyn (b. 1894). In 1904 Benjamin immigrated to Canada and settled in Keewatin, Ontario where he found work as a flour mill labourer at the Lake of the Woods Milling Company.

    When WW1 broke out, Benjamin tried to enlist with the Canadian army in 1914, 1915 and again in 1916, but he was turned down because he did not pass the medical examination.  His age (approaching 40) was also a factor. He even tried to join the forestry and labour battalions with no success.  So, Benjamin arranged his own passage back to Scotland sailing from St. John’s New Brunswick aboard the S.S. Scotian.  He intended to join “one of the brave highland regiments” in his home country.  However, on 09 January 1917 when he enlisted at Dundee, Scotland he was put in the 10th Works Battalion of the Royal Scottish Fusiliers.  In March of 1917 he was transferred to the 40th Labour Company and sent to France where he served for two years.

    Upon his discharge on 01 April 1919, Benjamin resided in Darnick, Melrose, Scotland.  He got a letter from T.J Cherry of the Lake of the Woods Milling Company stating his “old position in the shipping department was still open and his services were required at the earliest possible moment”. Benjamin applied to have his passage back to Canada paid by the military and returned to Keewatin.

    The 1921 Canadian Census shows Benjamin living on Ottawa Street, Keewatin working as a shipper at the flour mill.  He remained single. During the winter of 1936-37 Benjamin drowned in the Winnipeg River.  His body was recovered near the Norman dam on 12 June 1937.  On his death record a notation of “suicide” was made by the coroner.  Benjamin is buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario.

    Notice of Benjamin's death in Miner & News

    Notice of Benjamin’s death in Miner & News

  • Regimental Number:
  • 36231
  • Service Record:
  • Survived War:
  • Yes
  • Force:
  • British Army
  • Branch:
  • British Infantry
  • Battalion:
  • Royal Scots Fusiliers
  • Place of Birth:
  • Melrose, Roxburghshire
  • Country:
  • Scotland
  • Next of Kin:
  • Address at Enlistment:
  • Date of Birth:
  • September 30, 1876
  • Trade or Calling:
  • Shipper at Lake of the Woods Milling Company
  • Marital Status:
  • Single
  • Place of Enlistment:
  • Dundee, Scotland
  • Date of Enlistment:
  • January 9, 1917
  • Age at Enlistment:
  • 40
  • Religion:
  • Unknown
  • Enlisted or Conscripted:
  • Enlisted
  • Saw Service In:
  • Europe
  • Date of Death:
  • June 12, 1937
  • Age at Death:
  • 60
  • Buried at:
  • Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario
  • Plot:
  • 40E-29-1
  • Prisoner of War:
  • No
  • Honouring all who served, remembering those who died.
  • Benjamin William Currie, the eldest child of William and Emily Currie was born on 30 September 1876 in Melrose, Scotland. His father worked in the wool business as a packer and a dyer.  Benjamin’s siblings included: Andrew (b. 1880), Eliza (b. 1882), Rowland (b. 1883), Charles (b. 1888) and George (b. 1889) and Evelyn (b. 1894). In 1904 Benjamin immigrated to Canada and settled in Keewatin, Ontario where he found work as a flour mill labourer at the Lake of the Woods Milling Company.

    When WW1 broke out, Benjamin tried to enlist with the Canadian army in 1914, 1915 and again in 1916, but he was turned down because he did not pass the medical examination.  His age (approaching 40) was also a factor. He even tried to join the forestry and labour battalions with no success.  So, Benjamin arranged his own passage back to Scotland sailing from St. John’s New Brunswick aboard the S.S. Scotian.  He intended to join “one of the brave highland regiments” in his home country.  However, on 09 January 1917 when he enlisted at Dundee, Scotland he was put in the 10th Works Battalion of the Royal Scottish Fusiliers.  In March of 1917 he was transferred to the 40th Labour Company and sent to France where he served for two years.

    Upon his discharge on 01 April 1919, Benjamin resided in Darnick, Melrose, Scotland.  He got a letter from T.J Cherry of the Lake of the Woods Milling Company stating his “old position in the shipping department was still open and his services were required at the earliest possible moment”. Benjamin applied to have his passage back to Canada paid by the military and returned to Keewatin.

    The 1921 Canadian Census shows Benjamin living on Ottawa Street, Keewatin working as a shipper at the flour mill.  He remained single. During the winter of 1936-37 Benjamin drowned in the Winnipeg River.  His body was recovered near the Norman dam on 12 June 1937.  On his death record a notation of “suicide” was made by the coroner.  Benjamin is buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario.

    Notice of Benjamin's death in Miner & News

    Notice of Benjamin’s death in Miner & News

  • « Return to all stories
  • Currie, Benjamin William Image
  • Regimental Number:
  • 36231
  • Force:
  • British Army
  • Battalion:
  • Royal Scots Fusiliers
  • Place of Birth:
  • Melrose, Roxburghshire
  • Next of Kin:
  • Date of Birth:
  • September 30, 1876
  • Survived War:
  • Yes
  • Branch:
  • British Infantry
  • Country:
  • Scotland
  • Address at Enlistment:
  • Trade or Calling:
  • Shipper at Lake of the Woods Milling Company
  • Marital Status:
  • Single
  • Place of Enlistment:
  • Dundee, Scotland
  • Date of Enlistment:
  • January 9, 1917
  • Age at Enlistment:
  • 40
  • Religion:
  • Unknown
  • Enlisted or Conscripted:
  • Enlisted
  • Saw Service In:
  • Europe
  • Date of Death:
  • June 12, 1937
  • Age at Death:
  • 60
  • Buried at:
  • Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario
  • Plot:
  • 40E-29-1
  • Prisoner of War:
  • No
  • Currie, Benjamin William

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  • Honouring all who served, remembering those who died.
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