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

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  • Farr, Cecil Jardine Image
  • Farr, Cecil Jardine

  • During the war over 250 battalions were raised in Canada but only a small number of them served with the Canadian Corps in France and Belgium. Most battalions were broken up in England and used as reinforcements to replace casualties in front line units. Lieutenant Cecil Jardine Farr joined the 222nd Battalion in Winnipeg and after 15 months of training he was drafted to a front line unit and sent to France. He was killed in action five weeks later.

    Cecil was the youngest son of James Farr and Elizabeth Jardine of Stratford, Perth County, Ontario. James and Elizabeth were both born in Ontario, called Canada West at the time. They were married in January 1876 in the village St. Mary’s, about 20 km southwest of Stratford. James worked as a railway driver and engineer and they had four children: Edward James (October 1876), Mabel Elizabeth (December 1878), John William (May 1882) and Cecil Jardine (4 May 1888). When Cecil was about four years old his family moved a short distance northwest to the town of Goderich on Lake Huron.

    Cecil’s parents were back in Stratford for the 1911 census but Cecil was no longer living at home. Around 1907 he had left Goderich and moved to the small town of Kenora in northwestern Ontario, where he worked in the office of the Maple Leaf Milling Company. About three years later he moved further west and continued to work for the company as a bookkeeper and accountant. By 1913 he was living in Winnipeg, first at the Waldorf Hotel then in an apartment on Hargrave Street. He was apparently employed by Canada Metal Co. and he belonged to a local militia unit, the 106th Winnipeg Light Infantry. The war started in August 1914 and Cecil enlisted in Winnipeg on 10 January 1916, joining the 222nd Battalion. He was given a commission as a Lieutenant and after training for almost a year in Manitoba he embarked for England with his unit in November 1916 on the SS Olympic. In England the recruits were transferred to the 19th Reserve Battalion, to be used for reinforcements for other units.

    In December Cecil was appointed assistant adjutant, an administrative position, likely due to his experience as an accountant. According to an article in the Toronto Star (1 May 1917) he was offered a permanent clerical position in England, which meant he would not be sent to the front, but he didn’t accept the offer. Early in March he was sent to France and transferred to the 46th Battalion, which was in the 10th Infantry Brigade. He joined them in the field a short time later. That spring the Canadians were holding a section of the front line between Arras and Lens, opposite Vimy. They were carrying out raids on the German trenches and undergoing intensive training for the upcoming Battle of Vimy Ridge (9-14 April 1917).

    The 46th was relieved in the front line on 1 April and for the next week the men continued with their training. On 6 April the 10th Brigade held a sports programme that included football matches, rowing and boxing and the following day the units began to move into position for the Vimy operation, where they would initially be in support for the 12th Brigade.

    The Battle of Vimy Ridge began early on Easter Monday morning, 9 April, in a snow and sleet storm. By the following day most of the objectives had been reached and the southern part of the ridge was in Canadian hands. The next part of the operation was to take the Pimple, a heavily defended knoll at the north end of the ridge. Originally the task had been assigned to the 1st British Corps but early in April it was decided that the 10th Canadian Brigade, including two companies of the 46th Battalion, would carry out the operation. At 2:30 am on 12 April companies “C” and “D” of the 46th moved into position for the attack. Their advance that morning took place in a driving snowstorm and the men faced heavy rifle and machine gun fire from the Germans but by nightfall the Pimple and nearby areas were captured. Cecil was killed in action during the operation that day, one of 10,600 casualties suffered by the Canadian Corps in the six-day battle at Vimy.

    From the War Diary of the 46th Battalion, the Pimple Operation began at 5 am on the morning of 12 April: … operations were carried out under very adverse conditions. There were very heavy snow storms at intervals. Beyond the original enemy front line the ground was terribly cut up, and knee deep in mud. The following casualties occurred during these operations … Lieut Farr C.J. Killed.

    Cecil is buried in Villers Station Cemetery in the village of Villers-au-Bois, 10 km west of Vimy. The cemetery has 1,200 First World War Commonwealth burials, many of them Canadian soldiers who died at the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

    Cecil is commemorated on the War Memorial at Augustine United Church (formerly Presbyterian) and on the Next of Kin Monument, both in Winnipeg. He is also remembered on the memorial marker erected by Gold Hill and Minnetonka Lodges of Kenora/Keewatin in Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora. Cecil belonged to Lake of the Woods Lodge No. 445 and the marker honours members who fell in the Great War.

    His mother died in 1915 before he enlisted and his father passed away in 1924 in Stratford. Cecil is commemorated on the Farr family grave marker at Avondale Cemetery in Stratford, where his parents, brother Edward (1876-1926) and sister Mabel (1878-1968) are buried.

    By Becky Johnson

    Farr-Cecil-89Farr-Cecil-90 Farr-Cecil-91 Farr-Cecil-92 Farr-Cecil-imageNOK-image NOK-Wpg2-imageFarr-Cecil-94 Farr-Cecil-95

  • Regimental Number:
  • NA
  • Service Record:
  • Link to Service Record
  • Survived War:
  • No
  • Force:
  • Canadian Expeditionary Force
  • Branch:
  • Canadian Infantry
  • Battalion:
  • 46th Battalion
  • Place of Birth:
  • Stratford, Perth County, Ontario
  • Country:
  • Canada
  • Next of Kin:
  • James Farr (father), Stratford, Ontario
  • Address at Enlistment:
  • Maple Leaf Milling Company, Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Date of Birth:
  • May 4, 1888
  • Trade or Calling:
  • Accountant
  • Marital Status:
  • Single
  • Place of Enlistment:
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Date of Enlistment:
  • January 10, 1916
  • Age at Enlistment:
  • 27
  • Religion:
  • Presbyterian
  • Enlisted or Conscripted:
  • Enlisted
  • Saw Service In:
  • Europe
  • Date of Death:
  • April 12, 1917
  • Age at Death:
  • 28
  • Buried at:
  • Villers Station Cemetery, France
  • Plot:
  • X. A. 1.
  • Prisoner of War:
  • No
  • Honouring all who served, remembering those who died.
  • During the war over 250 battalions were raised in Canada but only a small number of them served with the Canadian Corps in France and Belgium. Most battalions were broken up in England and used as reinforcements to replace casualties in front line units. Lieutenant Cecil Jardine Farr joined the 222nd Battalion in Winnipeg and after 15 months of training he was drafted to a front line unit and sent to France. He was killed in action five weeks later.

    Cecil was the youngest son of James Farr and Elizabeth Jardine of Stratford, Perth County, Ontario. James and Elizabeth were both born in Ontario, called Canada West at the time. They were married in January 1876 in the village St. Mary’s, about 20 km southwest of Stratford. James worked as a railway driver and engineer and they had four children: Edward James (October 1876), Mabel Elizabeth (December 1878), John William (May 1882) and Cecil Jardine (4 May 1888). When Cecil was about four years old his family moved a short distance northwest to the town of Goderich on Lake Huron.

    Cecil’s parents were back in Stratford for the 1911 census but Cecil was no longer living at home. Around 1907 he had left Goderich and moved to the small town of Kenora in northwestern Ontario, where he worked in the office of the Maple Leaf Milling Company. About three years later he moved further west and continued to work for the company as a bookkeeper and accountant. By 1913 he was living in Winnipeg, first at the Waldorf Hotel then in an apartment on Hargrave Street. He was apparently employed by Canada Metal Co. and he belonged to a local militia unit, the 106th Winnipeg Light Infantry. The war started in August 1914 and Cecil enlisted in Winnipeg on 10 January 1916, joining the 222nd Battalion. He was given a commission as a Lieutenant and after training for almost a year in Manitoba he embarked for England with his unit in November 1916 on the SS Olympic. In England the recruits were transferred to the 19th Reserve Battalion, to be used for reinforcements for other units.

    In December Cecil was appointed assistant adjutant, an administrative position, likely due to his experience as an accountant. According to an article in the Toronto Star (1 May 1917) he was offered a permanent clerical position in England, which meant he would not be sent to the front, but he didn’t accept the offer. Early in March he was sent to France and transferred to the 46th Battalion, which was in the 10th Infantry Brigade. He joined them in the field a short time later. That spring the Canadians were holding a section of the front line between Arras and Lens, opposite Vimy. They were carrying out raids on the German trenches and undergoing intensive training for the upcoming Battle of Vimy Ridge (9-14 April 1917).

    The 46th was relieved in the front line on 1 April and for the next week the men continued with their training. On 6 April the 10th Brigade held a sports programme that included football matches, rowing and boxing and the following day the units began to move into position for the Vimy operation, where they would initially be in support for the 12th Brigade.

    The Battle of Vimy Ridge began early on Easter Monday morning, 9 April, in a snow and sleet storm. By the following day most of the objectives had been reached and the southern part of the ridge was in Canadian hands. The next part of the operation was to take the Pimple, a heavily defended knoll at the north end of the ridge. Originally the task had been assigned to the 1st British Corps but early in April it was decided that the 10th Canadian Brigade, including two companies of the 46th Battalion, would carry out the operation. At 2:30 am on 12 April companies “C” and “D” of the 46th moved into position for the attack. Their advance that morning took place in a driving snowstorm and the men faced heavy rifle and machine gun fire from the Germans but by nightfall the Pimple and nearby areas were captured. Cecil was killed in action during the operation that day, one of 10,600 casualties suffered by the Canadian Corps in the six-day battle at Vimy.

    From the War Diary of the 46th Battalion, the Pimple Operation began at 5 am on the morning of 12 April: … operations were carried out under very adverse conditions. There were very heavy snow storms at intervals. Beyond the original enemy front line the ground was terribly cut up, and knee deep in mud. The following casualties occurred during these operations … Lieut Farr C.J. Killed.

    Cecil is buried in Villers Station Cemetery in the village of Villers-au-Bois, 10 km west of Vimy. The cemetery has 1,200 First World War Commonwealth burials, many of them Canadian soldiers who died at the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

    Cecil is commemorated on the War Memorial at Augustine United Church (formerly Presbyterian) and on the Next of Kin Monument, both in Winnipeg. He is also remembered on the memorial marker erected by Gold Hill and Minnetonka Lodges of Kenora/Keewatin in Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora. Cecil belonged to Lake of the Woods Lodge No. 445 and the marker honours members who fell in the Great War.

    His mother died in 1915 before he enlisted and his father passed away in 1924 in Stratford. Cecil is commemorated on the Farr family grave marker at Avondale Cemetery in Stratford, where his parents, brother Edward (1876-1926) and sister Mabel (1878-1968) are buried.

    By Becky Johnson

    Farr-Cecil-89Farr-Cecil-90 Farr-Cecil-91 Farr-Cecil-92 Farr-Cecil-imageNOK-image NOK-Wpg2-imageFarr-Cecil-94 Farr-Cecil-95

  • « Return to all stories
  • Farr, Cecil Jardine Image
  • Regimental Number:
  • NA
  • Force:
  • Canadian Expeditionary Force
  • Battalion:
  • 46th Battalion
  • Place of Birth:
  • Stratford, Perth County, Ontario
  • Next of Kin:
  • James Farr (father), Stratford, Ontario
  • Date of Birth:
  • May 4, 1888
  • Survived War:
  • No
  • Branch:
  • Canadian Infantry
  • Country:
  • Canada
  • Address at Enlistment:
  • Maple Leaf Milling Company, Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Trade or Calling:
  • Accountant
  • Marital Status:
  • Single
  • Place of Enlistment:
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Date of Enlistment:
  • January 10, 1916
  • Age at Enlistment:
  • 27
  • Religion:
  • Presbyterian
  • Enlisted or Conscripted:
  • Enlisted
  • Saw Service In:
  • Europe
  • Date of Death:
  • April 12, 1917
  • Age at Death:
  • 28
  • Buried at:
  • Villers Station Cemetery, France
  • Plot:
  • X. A. 1.
  • Prisoner of War:
  • No
  • Farr, Cecil Jardine

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  • Honouring all who served, remembering those who died.
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