The People

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

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  • Hitchen, Frederick Image
  • Hitchen, Frederick

  • It is likely that Frederick Hitchen was born on 18 October 1863 in Cressing, Essex, England although his death record gives the year as 1864. His father, born in Finchingfield, Essex, was Aaron Hitchen and his mother, born in Bradwell, Essex, was Mary Ann Ager. Aaron and Mary Ann had married during the third quarter of 1855. Over the years Aaron worked as an agricultural or general labourer. As found in the 1871 England census, known children born to the family were Walter, Emily, George, Fred and his twin brother Arthur, and Thomas.

    Fred found his calling early in the military, serving with the 2nd Devonshire Regiment with almost 13 years spent abroad. Achieving rank of “full Corporal”, he was a veteran of the Boer War as well as campaigns on the Indian frontier. During the last quarter of 1893, Fred married Alice Venman Small, marriage registered in the district of St Thomas, Devonshire. The couple gave birth to a son Arthur Thomas during the first quarter of 1898 in the district of Newton Abbot in Devonshire. By the 1911 Canada census, Fred, Alice, and Arthur were farming in the rural area of Jaffray just outside of Kenora in Ontario. Immigration year given on the census was 1910.

    On 11 November 1915, Fred signed his attestation papers in Kenora, giving a false birth date due to his advanced age. His occupation was given as market gardener and his actual age was 52. Along with a number of other Kenora fellows, he left for Port Arthur, Ontario in May of 1916 for brief training with the 94th Battalion before heading east. The 94th left for Valcartier, Quebec for “summer camp” as they called it in early June, and embarked for overseas from Halifax, Nova Scotia aboard the SS Olympic on the 28th of June. On board was Sergeant (Instructor) Frederick Hitchen.

    Once overseas the 94th was disbanded with the men transferred to reserve battalions. Fred was transferred to the 32nd Reserve Battalion but due to his age and a history of rheumatism, he was unable to keep pace with training expectations. He was reverted to the rank of Private and posted to the Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre for base duty in mid October of 1916. However, he was found medically unfit for service due to his age in December and was discharged on 30 January 1917 in Quebec.

    Fred returned to the Kenora area to farm as found in the 1921 census. He died on 20 August 1938 in the Kenora General Hospital, followed by Alice in 1942. His son Arthur stayed in Kenora, married, and died in 1976. Arthur’s wife Emma Geraldine (Galinski) died in 2000. Arthur and Emma had one child, a son Earl. Fred, Alice, Arthur and Emma Hitchen are interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora. Fred’s gravemarker was replaced in 2015

    by Judy Stockham

    newspaper clippings: Kenora Miner and News

    KMN 17 November 1915

    KMN 17 November 1915

    KMN 27 May 1916

    KMN 27 May 1916

    KMN 23 August 1938

    KMN 23 August 1938

    previous gravemarker

    previous gravemarker

  • Regimental Number:
  • 198282
  • Service Record:
  • Link to Service Record
  • Survived War:
  • Yes
  • Force:
  • Army
  • Branch:
  • Canadian Infantry
  • Battalion:
  • 32nd Battalion
  • Place of Birth:
  • Cressing, Essex
  • Country:
  • England
  • Next of Kin:
  • Alice Venman Hitchen, wife, Kenora, Ontario
  • Address at Enlistment:
  • Kenora, Ontario
  • Date of Birth:
  • October 18, 1863
  • Trade or Calling:
  • Market Gardener
  • Marital Status:
  • Married
  • Place of Enlistment:
  • Kenora, Ontario
  • Date of Enlistment:
  • November 11, 1915
  • Age at Enlistment:
  • 52
  • Religion:
  • Methodist
  • Enlisted or Conscripted:
  • Enlisted
  • Saw Service In:
  • Great Britain
  • Date of Death:
  • August 20, 1938
  • Age at Death:
  • 75
  • Buried at:
  • Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario
  • Plot:
  • 36E-34-1
  • Prisoner of War:
  • No
  • It is likely that Frederick Hitchen was born on 18 October 1863 in Cressing, Essex, England although his death record gives the year as 1864. His father, born in Finchingfield, Essex, was Aaron Hitchen and his mother, born in Bradwell, Essex, was Mary Ann Ager. Aaron and Mary Ann had married during the third quarter of 1855. Over the years Aaron worked as an agricultural or general labourer. As found in the 1871 England census, known children born to the family were Walter, Emily, George, Fred and his twin brother Arthur, and Thomas.

    Fred found his calling early in the military, serving with the 2nd Devonshire Regiment with almost 13 years spent abroad. Achieving rank of “full Corporal”, he was a veteran of the Boer War as well as campaigns on the Indian frontier. During the last quarter of 1893, Fred married Alice Venman Small, marriage registered in the district of St Thomas, Devonshire. The couple gave birth to a son Arthur Thomas during the first quarter of 1898 in the district of Newton Abbot in Devonshire. By the 1911 Canada census, Fred, Alice, and Arthur were farming in the rural area of Jaffray just outside of Kenora in Ontario. Immigration year given on the census was 1910.

    On 11 November 1915, Fred signed his attestation papers in Kenora, giving a false birth date due to his advanced age. His occupation was given as market gardener and his actual age was 52. Along with a number of other Kenora fellows, he left for Port Arthur, Ontario in May of 1916 for brief training with the 94th Battalion before heading east. The 94th left for Valcartier, Quebec for “summer camp” as they called it in early June, and embarked for overseas from Halifax, Nova Scotia aboard the SS Olympic on the 28th of June. On board was Sergeant (Instructor) Frederick Hitchen.

    Once overseas the 94th was disbanded with the men transferred to reserve battalions. Fred was transferred to the 32nd Reserve Battalion but due to his age and a history of rheumatism, he was unable to keep pace with training expectations. He was reverted to the rank of Private and posted to the Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre for base duty in mid October of 1916. However, he was found medically unfit for service due to his age in December and was discharged on 30 January 1917 in Quebec.

    Fred returned to the Kenora area to farm as found in the 1921 census. He died on 20 August 1938 in the Kenora General Hospital, followed by Alice in 1942. His son Arthur stayed in Kenora, married, and died in 1976. Arthur’s wife Emma Geraldine (Galinski) died in 2000. Arthur and Emma had one child, a son Earl. Fred, Alice, Arthur and Emma Hitchen are interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora. Fred’s gravemarker was replaced in 2015

    by Judy Stockham

    newspaper clippings: Kenora Miner and News

    KMN 17 November 1915

    KMN 17 November 1915

    KMN 27 May 1916

    KMN 27 May 1916

    KMN 23 August 1938

    KMN 23 August 1938

    previous gravemarker

    previous gravemarker

  • « Return to all stories
  • Hitchen, Frederick Image
  • Regimental Number:
  • 198282
  • Force:
  • Army
  • Battalion:
  • 32nd Battalion
  • Place of Birth:
  • Cressing, Essex
  • Next of Kin:
  • Alice Venman Hitchen, wife, Kenora, Ontario
  • Date of Birth:
  • October 18, 1863
  • Survived War:
  • Yes
  • Branch:
  • Canadian Infantry
  • Country:
  • England
  • Address at Enlistment:
  • Kenora, Ontario
  • Trade or Calling:
  • Market Gardener
  • Marital Status:
  • Married
  • Place of Enlistment:
  • Kenora, Ontario
  • Date of Enlistment:
  • November 11, 1915
  • Age at Enlistment:
  • 52
  • Religion:
  • Methodist
  • Enlisted or Conscripted:
  • Enlisted
  • Saw Service In:
  • Great Britain
  • Date of Death:
  • August 20, 1938
  • Age at Death:
  • 75
  • Buried at:
  • Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario
  • Plot:
  • 36E-34-1
  • Prisoner of War:
  • No
  • Hitchen, Frederick

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