The People

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

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  • Deacon, Lester Jerome Image
  • Deacon, Lester Jerome

  • Lester Deacon was born in 1895 in Rat Portage, now Kenora.

    His father Thomas Russ Deacon, a civil engineer, had moved there in 1892 as manager of the Ontario Gold Concessions and was also managing director for the Mikado Gold Mine. Thomas Deacon was a member of the town council and served as town engineer.

    In 1902 the family, which now included daughter Edith (born in 1900) and son Alfred (1902) moved to Winnipeg where Thomas Deacon co-founded the Manitoba Bridge and Iron Works. A fourth child, Ronald, was born there in 1907.

    Lester Deacon remained a frequent summer visitor to Kenora after the move and was well known as a local baseball player.

    In 1913 Thomas Deacon was elected mayor of Winnipeg on a platform promoting the use of Shoal Lake, Ontario, as the city’s water source. He was re-elected in 1914.

    Lester Deacon attended Wesley College (now the University of Winnipeg) and in 1914 enrolled in the University of Toronto, his father’s alma mater.

    Lester Jerome Deacon volunteered for service with the Canadian Expeditionary Force in the spring of 1915 and was assigned to the 26th Battery of Artillery. He was transferred to the 13th Battery for overseas duty in May 1915. His name appeared on a casualty list that month and he was shortly after transferred to the ammunition supply service.

    He arrived in France in September of 1915 where he served as an ammunition driver during the Ypres campaign. In the spring of 1916 he was promoted to Lieutenant and, after a training course in England, was transferred to the 1st Divisional Supply Column. Deacon was involved in the Canadian Corps operations at Vimy and Messines. He was later transferred to the 5th Calvary Divisional Supply Column.

    Lester suffered an appendicitis attack on July 16, 1917 while en route to England for leave. He was rushed to hospital for surgery, but died of complications on July 28.

    Lester Deacon is buried at the St. Hilaire Cemetery, Frevent, France. He is commemorated on the Next of Kin Monument in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

    by Bob Stewart

    photo of Lester: University of Toronto

    CEF Burial Entry: Library and Archives Canada

    CEF Burial Entry: Library and Archives Canada

    Winnipeg Free Press 31 July 1917

    Winnipeg Free Press 31 July 1917

    Kenora Miner and News 1 August 1917

    Kenora Miner and News 1 August 1917

    Next of Kin Monument, Winnipeg

    Next of Kin Monument, Winnipeg

    Next of Kin Monument, Winnipeg

    Next of Kin Monument, Winnipeg

     

  • Regimental Number:
  • 2843
  • Service Record:
  • Link to Service Record
  • Survived War:
  • No
  • Force:
  • Army
  • Branch:
  • Canadian Army Service Corps
  • Battalion:
  • 1st Divisional Supply Column
  • Place of Birth:
  • Rat Portage (Kenora, Ontario)
  • Country:
  • Canada
  • Next of Kin:
  • Address at Enlistment:
  • University of Toronto
  • Date of Birth:
  • June 2, 1895
  • Trade or Calling:
  • Student
  • Marital Status:
  • Single
  • Place of Enlistment:
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • Date of Enlistment:
  • April 7, 1915
  • Age at Enlistment:
  • 19
  • Religion:
  • Christian Scientist
  • Enlisted or Conscripted:
  • Enlisted
  • Saw Service In:
  • Europe
  • Date of Death:
  • July 28, 1917
  • Age at Death:
  • 22
  • Buried at:
  • St. Hilaire Cemetery, Frevent, France
  • Plot:
  • III. A. 22.
  • Prisoner of War:
  • No
  • Lester Deacon was born in 1895 in Rat Portage, now Kenora.

    His father Thomas Russ Deacon, a civil engineer, had moved there in 1892 as manager of the Ontario Gold Concessions and was also managing director for the Mikado Gold Mine. Thomas Deacon was a member of the town council and served as town engineer.

    In 1902 the family, which now included daughter Edith (born in 1900) and son Alfred (1902) moved to Winnipeg where Thomas Deacon co-founded the Manitoba Bridge and Iron Works. A fourth child, Ronald, was born there in 1907.

    Lester Deacon remained a frequent summer visitor to Kenora after the move and was well known as a local baseball player.

    In 1913 Thomas Deacon was elected mayor of Winnipeg on a platform promoting the use of Shoal Lake, Ontario, as the city’s water source. He was re-elected in 1914.

    Lester Deacon attended Wesley College (now the University of Winnipeg) and in 1914 enrolled in the University of Toronto, his father’s alma mater.

    Lester Jerome Deacon volunteered for service with the Canadian Expeditionary Force in the spring of 1915 and was assigned to the 26th Battery of Artillery. He was transferred to the 13th Battery for overseas duty in May 1915. His name appeared on a casualty list that month and he was shortly after transferred to the ammunition supply service.

    He arrived in France in September of 1915 where he served as an ammunition driver during the Ypres campaign. In the spring of 1916 he was promoted to Lieutenant and, after a training course in England, was transferred to the 1st Divisional Supply Column. Deacon was involved in the Canadian Corps operations at Vimy and Messines. He was later transferred to the 5th Calvary Divisional Supply Column.

    Lester suffered an appendicitis attack on July 16, 1917 while en route to England for leave. He was rushed to hospital for surgery, but died of complications on July 28.

    Lester Deacon is buried at the St. Hilaire Cemetery, Frevent, France. He is commemorated on the Next of Kin Monument in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

    by Bob Stewart

    photo of Lester: University of Toronto

    CEF Burial Entry: Library and Archives Canada

    CEF Burial Entry: Library and Archives Canada

    Winnipeg Free Press 31 July 1917

    Winnipeg Free Press 31 July 1917

    Kenora Miner and News 1 August 1917

    Kenora Miner and News 1 August 1917

    Next of Kin Monument, Winnipeg

    Next of Kin Monument, Winnipeg

    Next of Kin Monument, Winnipeg

    Next of Kin Monument, Winnipeg

     

  • « Return to all stories
  • Deacon, Lester Jerome Image
  • Regimental Number:
  • 2843
  • Force:
  • Army
  • Battalion:
  • 1st Divisional Supply Column
  • Place of Birth:
  • Rat Portage (Kenora, Ontario)
  • Next of Kin:
  • Date of Birth:
  • June 2, 1895
  • Survived War:
  • No
  • Branch:
  • Canadian Army Service Corps
  • Country:
  • Canada
  • Address at Enlistment:
  • University of Toronto
  • Trade or Calling:
  • Student
  • Marital Status:
  • Single
  • Place of Enlistment:
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • Date of Enlistment:
  • April 7, 1915
  • Age at Enlistment:
  • 19
  • Religion:
  • Christian Scientist
  • Enlisted or Conscripted:
  • Enlisted
  • Saw Service In:
  • Europe
  • Date of Death:
  • July 28, 1917
  • Age at Death:
  • 22
  • Buried at:
  • St. Hilaire Cemetery, Frevent, France
  • Plot:
  • III. A. 22.
  • Prisoner of War:
  • No
  • Deacon, Lester Jerome

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