The People

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

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  • Currie, John Erroll Image
  • Currie, John Erroll

  • Flight Cadet Pilot John Erroll Currie joined the Royal Air Force in April 1918 and served for seven months in Canada.

    John, sometimes known as Jack, was the son of Donald Hector Currie and Annie Jane Campbell of Kenora, Ontario. His parents were both born in Quebec, Donald in Lochaber and Annie in the nearby village of Thurso. They were married in March 1889 in Ferris, a small community that’s now part of North Bay, Ontario. They made their home in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora), in northwestern Ontario, where Donald worked in the lumber industry. They had six children: James Campbell (1890), Minnie (1891), John Erroll (23 August 1893), Norma (1895), Hector Donald (1897) and Methuen (1899). Donald served as town clerk for several years and in 1911 he was elected mayor of Kenora.

    The war started in August 1914 and Hector Donald was the first of the brothers to enlist. He signed up in May 1915 and he was seriously wounded in November 1916 in France. James Campbell, the oldest son, enlisted on 15 April 1916 and he was killed a year later at the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Conscription started in Canada in 1917 and single men aged 20 to 34 were required to register by November. John had his medical in Kenora on 12 October and he was found fit for overseas service. He was called up in the spring, on 19 April 1918, and assigned to the 1st Depot Battalion, Manitoba Regiment. He was discharged the same day so that he could enroll in the Royal Air Force. He was accepted as a Pilot Cadet and he trained at Long Branch Aerodrome, which was west of Toronto. The Armistice ended the war in November and John was discharged on demobilization a short time later, arriving back home in Kenora in early December.

    John’s parents moved to Stackpool, Ontario after the war but he stayed in Kenora for several years. When the 1921 census was taken he was working there as a bookkeeper for a lumber company. He was married on 23 August 1921 in Parkhill, Middlesex County, Ontario. His wife, 24-year-old Ruth Irene Fenn, was a teacher from Parkhill. She was born in 1897 in the nearby village of Dashwood, the daughter of Michael and Emma Fenn. Her older sister Olive was also a teacher.

    John and Ruth raised three children: Joan, Margaret and Donald. John passed away on 25 July 1992, a month before his 99th birthday. His wife had died ten years earlier, at age 85. They are both buried in Parkhill Union Cemetery in Ruth’s hometown of Parkhill, Ontario.

    By Becky Johnson

    Currie-John-Erroll-90 Currie-John-Erroll-91 Currie-John-Erroll-92

    Photos proved by a relative and from Currie family tree on ancestry.
    A photo of John’s grave marker can be found on CanadaGenWeb.

  • Regimental Number:
  • 2382226
  • Service Record:
  • Link to Service Record
  • Survived War:
  • Yes
  • Force:
  • Royal Air Force
  • Branch:
  • Royal Air Force (Canada)
  • Battalion:
  • Place of Birth:
  • Kenora, Ontario
  • Country:
  • Canada
  • Next of Kin:
  • Donald Hector Currie (father), Kenora, Ontario
  • Address at Enlistment:
  • Kenora, Ontario
  • Date of Birth:
  • August 23, 1893
  • Trade or Calling:
  • Clerk
  • Marital Status:
  • Single
  • Place of Enlistment:
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Date of Enlistment:
  • April 18, 1918
  • Age at Enlistment:
  • 24
  • Religion:
  • Baptist
  • Enlisted or Conscripted:
  • Conscripted
  • Saw Service In:
  • Canada
  • Date of Death:
  • July 25, 1992
  • Age at Death:
  • 98
  • Buried at:
  • Parkhill Cemetery, Parkhill, Ontario
  • Plot:
  • Prisoner of War:
  • No
  • Honouring all who served, remembering those who died.
  • Flight Cadet Pilot John Erroll Currie joined the Royal Air Force in April 1918 and served for seven months in Canada.

    John, sometimes known as Jack, was the son of Donald Hector Currie and Annie Jane Campbell of Kenora, Ontario. His parents were both born in Quebec, Donald in Lochaber and Annie in the nearby village of Thurso. They were married in March 1889 in Ferris, a small community that’s now part of North Bay, Ontario. They made their home in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora), in northwestern Ontario, where Donald worked in the lumber industry. They had six children: James Campbell (1890), Minnie (1891), John Erroll (23 August 1893), Norma (1895), Hector Donald (1897) and Methuen (1899). Donald served as town clerk for several years and in 1911 he was elected mayor of Kenora.

    The war started in August 1914 and Hector Donald was the first of the brothers to enlist. He signed up in May 1915 and he was seriously wounded in November 1916 in France. James Campbell, the oldest son, enlisted on 15 April 1916 and he was killed a year later at the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Conscription started in Canada in 1917 and single men aged 20 to 34 were required to register by November. John had his medical in Kenora on 12 October and he was found fit for overseas service. He was called up in the spring, on 19 April 1918, and assigned to the 1st Depot Battalion, Manitoba Regiment. He was discharged the same day so that he could enroll in the Royal Air Force. He was accepted as a Pilot Cadet and he trained at Long Branch Aerodrome, which was west of Toronto. The Armistice ended the war in November and John was discharged on demobilization a short time later, arriving back home in Kenora in early December.

    John’s parents moved to Stackpool, Ontario after the war but he stayed in Kenora for several years. When the 1921 census was taken he was working there as a bookkeeper for a lumber company. He was married on 23 August 1921 in Parkhill, Middlesex County, Ontario. His wife, 24-year-old Ruth Irene Fenn, was a teacher from Parkhill. She was born in 1897 in the nearby village of Dashwood, the daughter of Michael and Emma Fenn. Her older sister Olive was also a teacher.

    John and Ruth raised three children: Joan, Margaret and Donald. John passed away on 25 July 1992, a month before his 99th birthday. His wife had died ten years earlier, at age 85. They are both buried in Parkhill Union Cemetery in Ruth’s hometown of Parkhill, Ontario.

    By Becky Johnson

    Currie-John-Erroll-90 Currie-John-Erroll-91 Currie-John-Erroll-92

    Photos proved by a relative and from Currie family tree on ancestry.
    A photo of John’s grave marker can be found on CanadaGenWeb.

  • « Return to all stories
  • Currie, John Erroll Image
  • Regimental Number:
  • 2382226
  • Force:
  • Royal Air Force
  • Battalion:
  • Place of Birth:
  • Kenora, Ontario
  • Next of Kin:
  • Donald Hector Currie (father), Kenora, Ontario
  • Date of Birth:
  • August 23, 1893
  • Survived War:
  • Yes
  • Branch:
  • Royal Air Force (Canada)
  • Country:
  • Canada
  • Address at Enlistment:
  • Kenora, Ontario
  • Trade or Calling:
  • Clerk
  • Marital Status:
  • Single
  • Place of Enlistment:
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Date of Enlistment:
  • April 18, 1918
  • Age at Enlistment:
  • 24
  • Religion:
  • Baptist
  • Enlisted or Conscripted:
  • Conscripted
  • Saw Service In:
  • Canada
  • Date of Death:
  • July 25, 1992
  • Age at Death:
  • 98
  • Buried at:
  • Parkhill Cemetery, Parkhill, Ontario
  • Plot:
  • Prisoner of War:
  • No
  • Currie, John Erroll

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  • Honouring all who served, remembering those who died.
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