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Soldiers of the Great War

My local community newspaper, the Kinmount Gazette, runs a feature in every issue entitled "Soldiers of the Great War".  This feature profiles a serviceman from the area who served Canada during the First World War.

I have collected as many of these articles as possible, and will feature them on this page in memory of our soldiers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for Canada during The Great War.

Soldiers of the Great War: J. McGann
December 2014, Vol. 7: Issue 2

Joseph Patrick McGann was born in Downieville in 1886 to John and Maryann McGann.  Sometime in the 1890s, the McGann family moved to Kinmount, and settled on Lot 36, Concession A, Galway Township.   The farm was formerly owned by the Gilmour family, and was located on the Bobcaygeon Road, just north of Dutch Line.

Joseph McGann listed his profession as lumberman on the census, for like many Kinmount lads, the lumber industry was a means of employment.  The McGann family stayed on the farm for several generations, and then moved to Burnt River.  In 1913, he married Agnes MacDonald from Haliburton, and the couple were residing in Lindsay when the Great War broke out in 1914.  Joseph McGann joined the 109th Battalion in December, 1915.   But he enlisted in the Lindsay (A) company, not the Kinmount (C) company.

Overseas, when the 109th Battalion was broken up and its men assigned to other existing battalions as replacements, Joseph McGann ended up with the 44th Battalion.  He was promoted to Lance Corporal sometime in 1917.  On September 9, 1917, Joseph McGann was officially reported dead from injuries while a Prisoner of War.  It was speculated he had been captured during the battle of Passchendale, and died (from wounds?) while in a POW camp at Tournai, France.  He was buried in Grave #548 at Tournai cemetery.

Despite the fact Joseph McGann was not part of the Kinmount recruits, he was considered a "Kinmount boy" and his sacrifice was honoured by a place on the Kinmount cenotaph.

Soldiers of the Great War: The Hardakers
January 2015, Volume 7: Issue 3

The Hardakers were a very patriotic family.  Both father (Edward) and son (Thomas) joined the CEF (Canadian Expeditionary Force - editor) during World War I.  Having father and son in the army at the same time was a rarity.

Thomas enlisted first, joining the 80th Battalion in October, 1915. He was 23 years old, born in England and lists his next of kin as his mother Eva.  Sometime during the war, Thomas was transferred to the 21st Battalion, where he found his father Edward.  On January 21, 1918 Tom Hardaker was listed as Killed in Action.  He was buried in Aux Riety Military Cemetery near Arras, France.

Edward Hardaker enlisted in the 109th Battalion in April, 1916 at the ripe old age of 47 years old! This was considered "too old" for most enlistments, so why he was accepted stirs the imagination.  Even during conscription that began in 1918, 40 was considered the maximum.  But volunteers were desperately needed by 1916 and Edward Hardaker was a volunteer.  His attestation papers claimed Edward had served 3 years in the Prince of Wales Rifles.

He was born at Barldon's Green, Yorkshire, England, in 1869.  He listed his profession as machinist, even though the census lists him as a farmer, and was likely employed in one of the saw mills in the town.  The Hardaker family lived on a farm (Lot 9, Concession 1, Snowdon) along the Monck Road east of town near Conway's Siding, on the IB&O (The Irondale, Bancroft and Ottawa Railway - editor ) line. His next of kin was his wife Eva.  The Hardakers had been married in England in 1891 and later moved to Canada, around 1909.

Edward returned from the war and moved the family to Northfield, Vermont, in July 1919.  Thomas' medals and next of kin notification were sent to his mother Eva, in Vermont, U.S.A. Thomas' name remains etched on the Kinmount cenotaph.



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