The People

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

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  • Gault, Robert Image
  • Gault, Robert

  • Robert was the oldest son of John and Eliza Gault of Keewatin, Ontario. He was born in Hastings County, Ontario in June 1865 or 1866. His father had emigrated from Ireland as a child and his mother was born in Ontario. Robert had at least one brother and five sisters: William, Matilda, Eliza, Kate, Alice and Frances. The family lived in Hastings County until the mid-1890s when they moved to northwestern Ontario. At the time of the 1901 census John, Robert and William were working at a lumber camp on Lake of the Woods. By 1911 the family had settled in Keewatin where Robert worked as a lumber mill hand and his father as a foreman.

    Robert enlisted on 6 September 1916, signing up in the neighbouring town of Kenora and joining the 141st “Bull Moose” Battalion. He was at least 50 years old at the time but he passed himself off as 44. He was 5′10″ tall, 160 lb with grey eyes and greyish hair and he was found fit for overseas service. The 141st Battalion had been training in Port Arthur since early August and Robert was sent there to join his unit. On 3 November he was found medically unfit for further service due to being “over 50 years of age.” He was officially discharged in Port Arthur on 6 December 1916, three months after enlisting. A week later his mother became ill with the flu and she died on 20 December, at age 72.

    Robert and his father John continued living in the Keewatin area, both of them working in the lumber industry. John died in St. Joseph’s Hospital in Kenora in July 1924, at age 81. In his last few years Robert lived alone in a cabin on Lake of the Woods, a couple of miles from Keewatin. He passed away in the Kenora General Hospital on 25 November 1929, at age 63 or 64. He had been found near his cabin with serious self-inflicted injuries and he was taken to the hospital but never recovered. He was survived by three of his sisters: Mrs. Alfred (Alice) Dickinson, Mrs. Levi (Kate) MacKey and Mrs. Harold (Eliza) Vaughan. Robert is buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery, along with his parents, his brother and a niece.

    By Becky Johnson

  • Regimental Number:
  • 821012
  • Service Record:
  • Link to Service Record
  • Survived War:
  • Yes
  • Force:
  • Army
  • Branch:
  • Canadian Infantry
  • Battalion:
  • 141st Battalion
  • Place of Birth:
  • Hastings County, Ontario
  • Country:
  • Canada
  • Next of Kin:
  • John Gault (father), Keewatin, Ontario
  • Address at Enlistment:
  • Keewatin, Ontario
  • Date of Birth:
  • June 5, 1866
  • Trade or Calling:
  • Blacksmith
  • Marital Status:
  • Single
  • Place of Enlistment:
  • Kenora, Ontario
  • Date of Enlistment:
  • September 6, 1916
  • Age at Enlistment:
  • 50
  • Religion:
  • Church of England
  • Enlisted or Conscripted:
  • Enlisted
  • Saw Service In:
  • Canada
  • Date of Death:
  • November 25, 1929
  • Age at Death:
  • 63
  • Buried at:
  • Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario
  • Plot:
  • 29E-38-4
  • Prisoner of War:
  • No
  • Robert was the oldest son of John and Eliza Gault of Keewatin, Ontario. He was born in Hastings County, Ontario in June 1865 or 1866. His father had emigrated from Ireland as a child and his mother was born in Ontario. Robert had at least one brother and five sisters: William, Matilda, Eliza, Kate, Alice and Frances. The family lived in Hastings County until the mid-1890s when they moved to northwestern Ontario. At the time of the 1901 census John, Robert and William were working at a lumber camp on Lake of the Woods. By 1911 the family had settled in Keewatin where Robert worked as a lumber mill hand and his father as a foreman.

    Robert enlisted on 6 September 1916, signing up in the neighbouring town of Kenora and joining the 141st “Bull Moose” Battalion. He was at least 50 years old at the time but he passed himself off as 44. He was 5′10″ tall, 160 lb with grey eyes and greyish hair and he was found fit for overseas service. The 141st Battalion had been training in Port Arthur since early August and Robert was sent there to join his unit. On 3 November he was found medically unfit for further service due to being “over 50 years of age.” He was officially discharged in Port Arthur on 6 December 1916, three months after enlisting. A week later his mother became ill with the flu and she died on 20 December, at age 72.

    Robert and his father John continued living in the Keewatin area, both of them working in the lumber industry. John died in St. Joseph’s Hospital in Kenora in July 1924, at age 81. In his last few years Robert lived alone in a cabin on Lake of the Woods, a couple of miles from Keewatin. He passed away in the Kenora General Hospital on 25 November 1929, at age 63 or 64. He had been found near his cabin with serious self-inflicted injuries and he was taken to the hospital but never recovered. He was survived by three of his sisters: Mrs. Alfred (Alice) Dickinson, Mrs. Levi (Kate) MacKey and Mrs. Harold (Eliza) Vaughan. Robert is buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery, along with his parents, his brother and a niece.

    By Becky Johnson

  • « Return to all stories
  • Gault, Robert Image
  • Regimental Number:
  • 821012
  • Force:
  • Army
  • Battalion:
  • 141st Battalion
  • Place of Birth:
  • Hastings County, Ontario
  • Next of Kin:
  • John Gault (father), Keewatin, Ontario
  • Date of Birth:
  • June 5, 1866
  • Survived War:
  • Yes
  • Branch:
  • Canadian Infantry
  • Country:
  • Canada
  • Address at Enlistment:
  • Keewatin, Ontario
  • Trade or Calling:
  • Blacksmith
  • Marital Status:
  • Single
  • Place of Enlistment:
  • Kenora, Ontario
  • Date of Enlistment:
  • September 6, 1916
  • Age at Enlistment:
  • 50
  • Religion:
  • Church of England
  • Enlisted or Conscripted:
  • Enlisted
  • Saw Service In:
  • Canada
  • Date of Death:
  • November 25, 1929
  • Age at Death:
  • 63
  • Buried at:
  • Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario
  • Plot:
  • 29E-38-4
  • Prisoner of War:
  • No
  • Gault, Robert

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