The People

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

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  • Komatich, Nick Image
  • Komatich, Nick

  • Private Nick (Nicholas) Komatich was born in St. Anthony, Stearns County, Minnesota on 4 February 1881. He grew up in Stearns County and by the time he was 14 he was working away from home as a farm labourer. He immigrated to Canada in 1911, at age 30, and settled in the town of Kenora in northwestern Ontario. He was taken on by the Canadian Pacific Railway and he worked for them for 35 years.

    The U.S. entered the war in April 1917 and Nick returned to Minnesota a year later to enlist. He signed up in Duluth on 23 March 1918 and served with the 322nd Field Artillery regiment. The 322nd was in the 83rd Infantry Division and the recruits trained at Camp Sherman in Ohio. The regiment embarked for France in June 1918 on the SS Canopic and took part in the Meuse Argonne offensive in the last six weeks of the war. After the Armistice the 322nd was transferred to the 32nd Division and the troops were kept in Germany until April 1919, as part of the Army of Occupation. They returned to the U.S. that spring and Nick was discharged on 27 May 1919 in Des Moines, Iowa.

    After the war Nick returned to Kenora and went back to his job with the CPR. He was married around 1921, probably in the U.S. His wife Rose Watercott was born in 1884 in Wisconsin, the daughter of Herman and Josephine Watercott. Her parents were farmers and her family moved to Stearns County, Minnesota when she was a child. Nick and Rose settled in Winnipeg and their only son, Thomas Frank, was born there in 1923. Nick became a Canadian citizen in the early 1930s and he was a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and the Brotherhood of Firemen and Enginemen.

    Nick moved back to Kenora in late 1942 and he joined the local branch of the Canadian Legion. During the Second World War his son Thomas enlisted in the U.S. army and served overseas with the U.S. Corps of Engineers. Nick retired from the CPR in 1947, after a 35-year career. He was honoured at a CPR banquet in Kenora on 21 March 1947, along with sixteen other employees who had retired over the previous five years.

    Nick and his wife lived in Winnipeg after his retirement. He passed away in Misericordia Hospital on 10 April 1951, at age 70, and he’s buried in Assumption Roman Catholic Cemetery in Winnipeg. Rose died in April 1961, at age 77, and their son Thomas passed away in 2006.

    By Becky Johnson

    Komatich-Nick-90 Komatich-Nick-91 Komatich-Nick-92 Komatich-Nick-93 Komatich-Nick-94

  • Regimental Number:
  • 472503
  • Service Record:
  • Survived War:
  • Yes
  • Force:
  • American Expeditionary Force
  • Branch:
  • 83rd Infantry Division
  • Battalion:
  • 322nd Field Artillery
  • Place of Birth:
  • St. Anthony, Stearns County, Minnesota
  • Country:
  • U.S.A.
  • Next of Kin:
  • Address at Enlistment:
  • Kenora, Ontario
  • Date of Birth:
  • February 4, 1881
  • Trade or Calling:
  • Railroader
  • Marital Status:
  • Single
  • Place of Enlistment:
  • Duluth, Minnesota
  • Date of Enlistment:
  • March 23, 1918
  • Age at Enlistment:
  • 37
  • Religion:
  • Enlisted or Conscripted:
  • Enlisted
  • Saw Service In:
  • Europe
  • Date of Death:
  • April 10, 1951
  • Age at Death:
  • 70
  • Buried at:
  • Assumption Cemetery, Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Plot:
  • Lot 322, Grave 7
  • Prisoner of War:
  • No
  • Private Nick (Nicholas) Komatich was born in St. Anthony, Stearns County, Minnesota on 4 February 1881. He grew up in Stearns County and by the time he was 14 he was working away from home as a farm labourer. He immigrated to Canada in 1911, at age 30, and settled in the town of Kenora in northwestern Ontario. He was taken on by the Canadian Pacific Railway and he worked for them for 35 years.

    The U.S. entered the war in April 1917 and Nick returned to Minnesota a year later to enlist. He signed up in Duluth on 23 March 1918 and served with the 322nd Field Artillery regiment. The 322nd was in the 83rd Infantry Division and the recruits trained at Camp Sherman in Ohio. The regiment embarked for France in June 1918 on the SS Canopic and took part in the Meuse Argonne offensive in the last six weeks of the war. After the Armistice the 322nd was transferred to the 32nd Division and the troops were kept in Germany until April 1919, as part of the Army of Occupation. They returned to the U.S. that spring and Nick was discharged on 27 May 1919 in Des Moines, Iowa.

    After the war Nick returned to Kenora and went back to his job with the CPR. He was married around 1921, probably in the U.S. His wife Rose Watercott was born in 1884 in Wisconsin, the daughter of Herman and Josephine Watercott. Her parents were farmers and her family moved to Stearns County, Minnesota when she was a child. Nick and Rose settled in Winnipeg and their only son, Thomas Frank, was born there in 1923. Nick became a Canadian citizen in the early 1930s and he was a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and the Brotherhood of Firemen and Enginemen.

    Nick moved back to Kenora in late 1942 and he joined the local branch of the Canadian Legion. During the Second World War his son Thomas enlisted in the U.S. army and served overseas with the U.S. Corps of Engineers. Nick retired from the CPR in 1947, after a 35-year career. He was honoured at a CPR banquet in Kenora on 21 March 1947, along with sixteen other employees who had retired over the previous five years.

    Nick and his wife lived in Winnipeg after his retirement. He passed away in Misericordia Hospital on 10 April 1951, at age 70, and he’s buried in Assumption Roman Catholic Cemetery in Winnipeg. Rose died in April 1961, at age 77, and their son Thomas passed away in 2006.

    By Becky Johnson

    Komatich-Nick-90 Komatich-Nick-91 Komatich-Nick-92 Komatich-Nick-93 Komatich-Nick-94

  • « Return to all stories
  • Komatich, Nick Image
  • Regimental Number:
  • 472503
  • Force:
  • American Expeditionary Force
  • Battalion:
  • 322nd Field Artillery
  • Place of Birth:
  • St. Anthony, Stearns County, Minnesota
  • Next of Kin:
  • Date of Birth:
  • February 4, 1881
  • Survived War:
  • Yes
  • Branch:
  • 83rd Infantry Division
  • Country:
  • U.S.A.
  • Address at Enlistment:
  • Kenora, Ontario
  • Trade or Calling:
  • Railroader
  • Marital Status:
  • Single
  • Place of Enlistment:
  • Duluth, Minnesota
  • Date of Enlistment:
  • March 23, 1918
  • Age at Enlistment:
  • 37
  • Religion:
  • Enlisted or Conscripted:
  • Enlisted
  • Saw Service In:
  • Europe
  • Date of Death:
  • April 10, 1951
  • Age at Death:
  • 70
  • Buried at:
  • Assumption Cemetery, Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Plot:
  • Lot 322, Grave 7
  • Prisoner of War:
  • No
  • Komatich, Nick

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