The People

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

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  • Duncan, John Image
  • Duncan, John

  • According to his attestation papers, John Duncan was born on 14th of May, 1887 in Glasgow Scotland. His mother Ann (maiden name – Main) was his next of kin when enlisting in 1915, and she still lived in Scotland. He had been named after his father, John Duncan (Sr.).  Immigrating in 1910, John was living in Kenora by the census of 1911 and listed as an electrician. John moved to Keewatin sometime before signing his attestation papers and is listed on the Municipality of Keewatin plaque as a resident.

    John enlisted with the 52nd Battalion of the Canadian Infantry on 21 May 1915 in Kenora. In June of 1915 he travelled to Port Arthur for basic training. His unit left Port Arthur on 4 November 1915 heading for St. John, New Brunswick by train. They stopped in Ottawa and were inspected by the Governor General of Canada. On 23 November the 52nd Battalion left St. John aboard the S.S. California – destination, Plymouth England. Upon their arrival in England they trained under British instructors in Witley and Bramshott for eight weeks. Then the unit went over to France, arriving in LeHavre on 21 February 1916. They spent the night in tents during a snow storm and the next day boarded a train for Belgium. John served the next three years with the 52nd Battalion without injury. He did spend two weeks at a Casualty Clearing Station suffering from myalgia but was returned to his unit. John received a Good Conduct Badge in May of 1917. During his three years in France he had three two week leaves back to the UK. He was returned to England on 19 February 1919 and by March 1919 John was on his way back to Canada. His official discharge due to demobilization came on 31 March 1919 in Port Arthur.

    On 26 April 26 1920 John married a Scottish girl Margaret Tolmie Levie. Margaret was the daughter of George and Maria Melville (Lauson?).  The application for the marriage license was completed in Kenora with the intended place of marriage to be Toronto, York county, Ontario. They were both of the Presbyterian faith.

    In the 1921 census, John and Margaret were living on Van Horne Avenue in Dryden along with son Ian, age 1. His occupation was still listed as an electrician. By 1922 they were living in Keewatin and he was working for the flour mill. He remained there till his retirement in 1957 after 35 years of service.

    John was a life member of the Keewatin Canadian Legion branch #13, a Past Master of the Keewatin Masonic Lodge, and a member of the St. Andrew’s United Church in Keewatin.

    John Duncan passed away at the General Hospital in Kenora on 10 February 1961. His wife Margaret had died before him on 4 July 1959.  Members of the Masonic Lodge in Keewatin acted as his pallbearers.

    John and wife Margaret are both buried in the Heavenly Junction Block of the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora, Ontario.  Surviving both parents was their son Ian George Duncan who became a Flight Sergeant with the Royal Canadian Air Force on exchange with the American Air Force in Washington, U.S.A.  At the time of John’s death a sister, Mrs. E. Patton of Beacon, New York and 1 grandson Bill were also left to mourn his passing.

    John Duncan is commemorated on the Municipality of Keewatin – Honour plaque and the Roll of Honor – Lake of the Woods Milling Company plaque for their Officers and Employees.

    Duncan-John-2 Duncan-John-3 Duncan-John-4 Duncan-John-5 Duncan-John-6 Duncan-John-7 Duncan-John-8 Duncan-John-9

  • Regimental Number:
  • 439229
  • Service Record:
  • Link to Service Record
  • Survived War:
  • Yes
  • Force:
  • Canadian Expeditionary Force
  • Branch:
  • Canadian Infantry
  • Battalion:
  • 52nd Battalion
  • Place of Birth:
  • Glasgow, Scotland
  • Country:
  • Scotland
  • Next of Kin:
  • Mother - Mrs. Ann Duncan, 19 Darnley Ave. Scotstown, Glasgow, Scotland
  • Address at Enlistment:
  • Keewatin, Ontario
  • Date of Birth:
  • May 14, 1887
  • Trade or Calling:
  • Electrician
  • Marital Status:
  • Single
  • Place of Enlistment:
  • Kenora, Ontario
  • Date of Enlistment:
  • May 24, 1915
  • Age at Enlistment:
  • 28
  • Religion:
  • Presbyterian
  • Enlisted or Conscripted:
  • Enlisted
  • Saw Service In:
  • Europe
  • Date of Death:
  • February 10, 1961
  • Age at Death:
  • 74
  • Buried at:
  • Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario
  • Plot:
  • HJ 22E-12-3
  • Prisoner of War:
  • No
  • According to his attestation papers, John Duncan was born on 14th of May, 1887 in Glasgow Scotland. His mother Ann (maiden name – Main) was his next of kin when enlisting in 1915, and she still lived in Scotland. He had been named after his father, John Duncan (Sr.).  Immigrating in 1910, John was living in Kenora by the census of 1911 and listed as an electrician. John moved to Keewatin sometime before signing his attestation papers and is listed on the Municipality of Keewatin plaque as a resident.

    John enlisted with the 52nd Battalion of the Canadian Infantry on 21 May 1915 in Kenora. In June of 1915 he travelled to Port Arthur for basic training. His unit left Port Arthur on 4 November 1915 heading for St. John, New Brunswick by train. They stopped in Ottawa and were inspected by the Governor General of Canada. On 23 November the 52nd Battalion left St. John aboard the S.S. California – destination, Plymouth England. Upon their arrival in England they trained under British instructors in Witley and Bramshott for eight weeks. Then the unit went over to France, arriving in LeHavre on 21 February 1916. They spent the night in tents during a snow storm and the next day boarded a train for Belgium. John served the next three years with the 52nd Battalion without injury. He did spend two weeks at a Casualty Clearing Station suffering from myalgia but was returned to his unit. John received a Good Conduct Badge in May of 1917. During his three years in France he had three two week leaves back to the UK. He was returned to England on 19 February 1919 and by March 1919 John was on his way back to Canada. His official discharge due to demobilization came on 31 March 1919 in Port Arthur.

    On 26 April 26 1920 John married a Scottish girl Margaret Tolmie Levie. Margaret was the daughter of George and Maria Melville (Lauson?).  The application for the marriage license was completed in Kenora with the intended place of marriage to be Toronto, York county, Ontario. They were both of the Presbyterian faith.

    In the 1921 census, John and Margaret were living on Van Horne Avenue in Dryden along with son Ian, age 1. His occupation was still listed as an electrician. By 1922 they were living in Keewatin and he was working for the flour mill. He remained there till his retirement in 1957 after 35 years of service.

    John was a life member of the Keewatin Canadian Legion branch #13, a Past Master of the Keewatin Masonic Lodge, and a member of the St. Andrew’s United Church in Keewatin.

    John Duncan passed away at the General Hospital in Kenora on 10 February 1961. His wife Margaret had died before him on 4 July 1959.  Members of the Masonic Lodge in Keewatin acted as his pallbearers.

    John and wife Margaret are both buried in the Heavenly Junction Block of the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora, Ontario.  Surviving both parents was their son Ian George Duncan who became a Flight Sergeant with the Royal Canadian Air Force on exchange with the American Air Force in Washington, U.S.A.  At the time of John’s death a sister, Mrs. E. Patton of Beacon, New York and 1 grandson Bill were also left to mourn his passing.

    John Duncan is commemorated on the Municipality of Keewatin – Honour plaque and the Roll of Honor – Lake of the Woods Milling Company plaque for their Officers and Employees.

    Duncan-John-2 Duncan-John-3 Duncan-John-4 Duncan-John-5 Duncan-John-6 Duncan-John-7 Duncan-John-8 Duncan-John-9

  • « Return to all stories
  • Duncan, John Image
  • Regimental Number:
  • 439229
  • Force:
  • Canadian Expeditionary Force
  • Battalion:
  • 52nd Battalion
  • Place of Birth:
  • Glasgow, Scotland
  • Next of Kin:
  • Mother - Mrs. Ann Duncan, 19 Darnley Ave. Scotstown, Glasgow, Scotland
  • Date of Birth:
  • May 14, 1887
  • Survived War:
  • Yes
  • Branch:
  • Canadian Infantry
  • Country:
  • Scotland
  • Address at Enlistment:
  • Keewatin, Ontario
  • Trade or Calling:
  • Electrician
  • Marital Status:
  • Single
  • Place of Enlistment:
  • Kenora, Ontario
  • Date of Enlistment:
  • May 24, 1915
  • Age at Enlistment:
  • 28
  • Religion:
  • Presbyterian
  • Enlisted or Conscripted:
  • Enlisted
  • Saw Service In:
  • Europe
  • Date of Death:
  • February 10, 1961
  • Age at Death:
  • 74
  • Buried at:
  • Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario
  • Plot:
  • HJ 22E-12-3
  • Prisoner of War:
  • No
  • Duncan, John

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