The People

soldier_photobar

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

Search by name, or filter the search results using the list of options below. To search by alphabetical list, click here.

  • « Return to all stories
  • McKellar, David Gibson Image
  • McKellar, David Gibson

  • Birth and Early Life:  David Gibson McKellar was born May 18th, 1893 in Maybole, Ayrshire, Scotland, the youngest child of Peter and Grace (Gibson) McKellar. Peter, who was born 1864 in Helensburgh and Grace, who was born in 1864 in Sandiford, St. Quivox, were married in Maybole in 1886.  As their family grew, Peter held several jobs in Maybole and Glasgow. Their last known residence in Scotland, according to the 1901 Scottish census was at Red Brae, Maybole. The family consisted of David, his parents and three older siblings: John Low Menzies (born 1887), Elizabeth Anderson (born 1889), and Catherine Jane Hector (born 1891). David, at age 8, was listed as a scholar (student).

    Family Names: This is a family who followed a typical Scottish tradition naming their sons and daughters after relatives.  It is interesting to point out that David, John and Catherine also followed this tradition with their children. It is also important to point out that each of these four siblings had nicknames that were used throughout their lives and would be recognized in Keewatin.  John was called Jack; Elizabeth was Bessie or Auntie Bette; Catherine was Kate; and David was known as Dave.

    Arrival in Canada: 1907 and 1909 were significant years for the McKellar family. With the expectation of better employment opportunities in Canada, particularly at the Keewatin Lumber Company, Peter and eldest son, John, arrived in Halifax on the Pretorian in 1907, with Keewatin as their final destination.  Two years later, Grace, David and his sisters followed, leaving Glasgow on August 14, 1909 and sailing to Canada on the vessel, the Ionian, of the Allan line.  On the ship’s manifest, David’s occupation was listed as machinist.

    Life just before the war: By 1911, according to the Canadian census of that year, the McKellar family is living at 5 Ottawa Street in Keewatin.  Catharine was at Normal School in Saskatchewan at the time so was not included.  David’s occupation is recorded as “Teamster, Saw Mill”.  His religion is stated as Presbyterian. On December 6th, 1917, at the age of 24, David married Anna May Hill, daughter of John and Ann Bell (Dornan) Hill of Keewatin.

    War Service:  In 1917, David was conscripted.  He had his medical on October 17th in Kenora.  David was approved for service through the Port Arthur office effective January 10th, 1918.  He was posted to the 1st Depot Battalion, Manitoba Regiment in Winnipeg.

    Life after World War I:  Following the war, David returned to the Keewatin Lumber Company and worked as a scaler and grader for several years. He then went to the Keewatin Flour Mill until his retirement in 1958.  David became a member of the St. Andrews United Church and was active in the community serving on Keewatin Town Council; sitting on sports committees; and, supporting and working with the Liberal party throughout the district.  He was a member of Minnetonka Lodge No. 292 and held several offices in the 6th IOOF Grand Lodge of Ontario.  In 1955, he joined the Keewatin Branch #13 of the Royal Canadian Legion.

    In the 1921 census, Peter, Grace and their daughter Bessie were living in Winnipeg. The rest remained in Keewatin: John was married to Elizabeth (Lizzie Davis); Kate married Alexander (Sandy) Johnston; and, David and Anna were living at 271 Bay Street, where they raised their four children: Hector Peter (married 1. Jessie King 2. Eileen Bamford); Douglas Gibson (married Dorothy Baseley); Margaret May (married Keith Affleck); and, John ‘Ledger’ (married Mary Batiuk). David and Anna had 11 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. All three sons served in World War II.

    Passing of Family Members: Mother, Grace, died in 1924 and father, Peter, in 1948.  Brother, John, died in 1973 and sisters Bessie in 1977 and Kate in 1985. They are all buried in Kenora.  Two of David’s sons died in British Columbia: Douglas in 1976 and Hector in 1989.  Anna, his wife of 51 years, died in 1968. Margaret and “Ledger” continue to reside in Keewatin and Kenora.

    Death and Place of Burial:  David died December 27, 1981 in Kenora, Ontario.  He was buried in the same plot as Anna, on December 31 in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Range 1E, Lot 30, Grave 3.

    By great grandniece, Susan (Hillman) Brazeau with respect for my Uncle Dave.  In support of the Kenora Great War Project – honouring all who served, remembering those who died.

    Sources:

    – scotlandspeople.gov.uk

    – 1901 Scottish census

    – Passenger List Leaving the UK-Online site (Genes Reunited.com)

    – 1911 Canadian Census

    – Ontario, Canada Marriages 1801-1928 (ancestry.ca)

    – Library and Archives First World War, Soldiers of the First World War 1914-1918

    – Canada Soldiers of the First World War, 1914-1918 (ancestry.ca)

    – 1921 Canadian Census

    – Keewatin Legion Branch #13 Application

    – Kenora Daily Miner and News, Winnipeg Free Press (MyHeritage.com)

    – Obituary, Kenora Daily Miner and News, 1981

    – Oral Family Source: John Ledger McKellar

    McKellar siblings (L-R) John, David, Elizabeth, Catherine

    McKellar siblings (L-R) John, David, Elizabeth, Catherine

    David's grave marker in Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

    David’s grave marker in Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

  • Regimental Number:
  • 2383454
  • Service Record:
  • Link to Service Record
  • Survived War:
  • Yes
  • Force:
  • Army
  • Branch:
  • Canadian Infantry
  • Battalion:
  • 1st Depot Battalion, Manitoba Regiment
  • Place of Birth:
  • Maybole, Ayrshire
  • Country:
  • Scotland
  • Next of Kin:
  • Wife- Anne McKellar., Keewatin P.O. Ontario, Canada.
  • Address at Enlistment:
  • Keewatin P.O. Ontario, Canada.
  • Date of Birth:
  • May 18, 1893
  • Trade or Calling:
  • Teamster
  • Marital Status:
  • Married
  • Place of Enlistment:
  • Port Arthur, Ontario
  • Date of Enlistment:
  • January 10, 1918
  • Age at Enlistment:
  • 24
  • Religion:
  • Presbyterian
  • Enlisted or Conscripted:
  • Conscripted
  • Saw Service In:
  • Unknown
  • Date of Death:
  • December 27, 1981
  • Age at Death:
  • 88
  • Buried at:
  • Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario
  • Plot:
  • Rge 1E, Lot 30, grave 3
  • Prisoner of War:
  • No
  • Birth and Early Life:  David Gibson McKellar was born May 18th, 1893 in Maybole, Ayrshire, Scotland, the youngest child of Peter and Grace (Gibson) McKellar. Peter, who was born 1864 in Helensburgh and Grace, who was born in 1864 in Sandiford, St. Quivox, were married in Maybole in 1886.  As their family grew, Peter held several jobs in Maybole and Glasgow. Their last known residence in Scotland, according to the 1901 Scottish census was at Red Brae, Maybole. The family consisted of David, his parents and three older siblings: John Low Menzies (born 1887), Elizabeth Anderson (born 1889), and Catherine Jane Hector (born 1891). David, at age 8, was listed as a scholar (student).

    Family Names: This is a family who followed a typical Scottish tradition naming their sons and daughters after relatives.  It is interesting to point out that David, John and Catherine also followed this tradition with their children. It is also important to point out that each of these four siblings had nicknames that were used throughout their lives and would be recognized in Keewatin.  John was called Jack; Elizabeth was Bessie or Auntie Bette; Catherine was Kate; and David was known as Dave.

    Arrival in Canada: 1907 and 1909 were significant years for the McKellar family. With the expectation of better employment opportunities in Canada, particularly at the Keewatin Lumber Company, Peter and eldest son, John, arrived in Halifax on the Pretorian in 1907, with Keewatin as their final destination.  Two years later, Grace, David and his sisters followed, leaving Glasgow on August 14, 1909 and sailing to Canada on the vessel, the Ionian, of the Allan line.  On the ship’s manifest, David’s occupation was listed as machinist.

    Life just before the war: By 1911, according to the Canadian census of that year, the McKellar family is living at 5 Ottawa Street in Keewatin.  Catharine was at Normal School in Saskatchewan at the time so was not included.  David’s occupation is recorded as “Teamster, Saw Mill”.  His religion is stated as Presbyterian. On December 6th, 1917, at the age of 24, David married Anna May Hill, daughter of John and Ann Bell (Dornan) Hill of Keewatin.

    War Service:  In 1917, David was conscripted.  He had his medical on October 17th in Kenora.  David was approved for service through the Port Arthur office effective January 10th, 1918.  He was posted to the 1st Depot Battalion, Manitoba Regiment in Winnipeg.

    Life after World War I:  Following the war, David returned to the Keewatin Lumber Company and worked as a scaler and grader for several years. He then went to the Keewatin Flour Mill until his retirement in 1958.  David became a member of the St. Andrews United Church and was active in the community serving on Keewatin Town Council; sitting on sports committees; and, supporting and working with the Liberal party throughout the district.  He was a member of Minnetonka Lodge No. 292 and held several offices in the 6th IOOF Grand Lodge of Ontario.  In 1955, he joined the Keewatin Branch #13 of the Royal Canadian Legion.

    In the 1921 census, Peter, Grace and their daughter Bessie were living in Winnipeg. The rest remained in Keewatin: John was married to Elizabeth (Lizzie Davis); Kate married Alexander (Sandy) Johnston; and, David and Anna were living at 271 Bay Street, where they raised their four children: Hector Peter (married 1. Jessie King 2. Eileen Bamford); Douglas Gibson (married Dorothy Baseley); Margaret May (married Keith Affleck); and, John ‘Ledger’ (married Mary Batiuk). David and Anna had 11 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. All three sons served in World War II.

    Passing of Family Members: Mother, Grace, died in 1924 and father, Peter, in 1948.  Brother, John, died in 1973 and sisters Bessie in 1977 and Kate in 1985. They are all buried in Kenora.  Two of David’s sons died in British Columbia: Douglas in 1976 and Hector in 1989.  Anna, his wife of 51 years, died in 1968. Margaret and “Ledger” continue to reside in Keewatin and Kenora.

    Death and Place of Burial:  David died December 27, 1981 in Kenora, Ontario.  He was buried in the same plot as Anna, on December 31 in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Range 1E, Lot 30, Grave 3.

    By great grandniece, Susan (Hillman) Brazeau with respect for my Uncle Dave.  In support of the Kenora Great War Project – honouring all who served, remembering those who died.

    Sources:

    – scotlandspeople.gov.uk

    – 1901 Scottish census

    – Passenger List Leaving the UK-Online site (Genes Reunited.com)

    – 1911 Canadian Census

    – Ontario, Canada Marriages 1801-1928 (ancestry.ca)

    – Library and Archives First World War, Soldiers of the First World War 1914-1918

    – Canada Soldiers of the First World War, 1914-1918 (ancestry.ca)

    – 1921 Canadian Census

    – Keewatin Legion Branch #13 Application

    – Kenora Daily Miner and News, Winnipeg Free Press (MyHeritage.com)

    – Obituary, Kenora Daily Miner and News, 1981

    – Oral Family Source: John Ledger McKellar

    McKellar siblings (L-R) John, David, Elizabeth, Catherine

    McKellar siblings (L-R) John, David, Elizabeth, Catherine

    David's grave marker in Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

    David’s grave marker in Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

  • « Return to all stories
  • McKellar, David Gibson Image
  • Regimental Number:
  • 2383454
  • Force:
  • Army
  • Battalion:
  • 1st Depot Battalion, Manitoba Regiment
  • Place of Birth:
  • Maybole, Ayrshire
  • Next of Kin:
  • Wife- Anne McKellar., Keewatin P.O. Ontario, Canada.
  • Date of Birth:
  • May 18, 1893
  • Survived War:
  • Yes
  • Branch:
  • Canadian Infantry
  • Country:
  • Scotland
  • Address at Enlistment:
  • Keewatin P.O. Ontario, Canada.
  • Trade or Calling:
  • Teamster
  • Marital Status:
  • Married
  • Place of Enlistment:
  • Port Arthur, Ontario
  • Date of Enlistment:
  • January 10, 1918
  • Age at Enlistment:
  • 24
  • Religion:
  • Presbyterian
  • Enlisted or Conscripted:
  • Conscripted
  • Saw Service In:
  • Unknown
  • Date of Death:
  • December 27, 1981
  • Age at Death:
  • 88
  • Buried at:
  • Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario
  • Plot:
  • Rge 1E, Lot 30, grave 3
  • Prisoner of War:
  • No
  • McKellar, David Gibson

  • Photo Gallery
Back to Top