According to his attestation papers, Percy Roy McIvor was born on 21 July 1889 in Odessa, Ontario. He was the first born child of Henry and Minerva (née Walker) McIvor who farmed in/near the village of Cataraqui on the outskirts of Kingston, about 15 kilometres from Odessa. Other known children born to the family were Harold, Ernest, Russell, Clarence, Delbert, Ruby, Melrose, Winnifred, Viola, and Anna.
By the time Percy signed his attestation papers on 22 December 1914 he had moved to Brandon, Manitoba to work for the Canadian Pacific Railway. With occupation given as locomotive fireman and his father Henry back in Cataraqui as next of kin, after training in the Brandon area Private Percy McIvor embarked from Montreal with the 2nd Reinforcing Draft of the 45th Battalion on 4 September 1915 aboard the Missanabie. Once in England he was transferred to the 32nd Reserve Battalion and then on to the 18th Battalion, joining the unit in France/Belgium on 2 March 1916. The 18th Battalion had disembarked in France on 15 September 1915, where it fought as part of the 4th Infantry Brigade, 2nd Canadian Division in France and Flanders until the end of the war.
On 2 October 1916 Percy sustained a gunshot/shrapnel wound to his left arm. First admitted to the No 4 General Hospital in Camiers, he was evacuated to England on the 10th and admitted to the London War Hospital, Epsom. In December he was transferred to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital Woodcote Park, discharged in February of 1917. However a piece of shrapnel was still in his arm and he was admitted to the Canadian Military Hospital, Hastings in mid May, discharged in late June. Percy rejoined the 18th Battalion in the field in late October of 1918, returning to England in January 1919. He arrived back in Canada in March, disembarking the Lapland on the 1st in Halifax. Percy was discharged from service on 14 April 1919 in Winnipeg.
Percy’s brother Russell enlisted in Parry Sound in April of 1916, going overseas with the 162nd Battalion. He served in France with the 4th Labour Battalion and 11th Battalion, Canadian Railway Troops, returning to Canada in March of 1919. Percy’s father Henry and his brother Clarence enlisted in Kingston in May of 1917, going overseas with the Kingston Forestry Reinforcement Draft. Henry served in Great Britain with the No 3, 54, and 53 districts CFC, returning to Canada in January of 1919 and discharged from service in March as medically unfit. Clarence, promoted to Corporal, served in District 77 CFC in France, returning to Canada in late March of 1919. Percy’s brother Harold signed recruitment papers with the 1st Depot Battalion Eastern Ontario Regiment at Barriefield Camp in May of 1918 but suffering from tuberculosis he was discharged as medically unfit. His brother Ernest, working as a lineman and living in Buffalo, New York, signed his US WW1 Draft Registration card on 2 June 1917. He returned to Canada, signing his recruitment papers on 18 December 1917 in Kingston. It appears that he was discharged from service with the 1st Depot Battalion Eastern Ontario Regiment in January of 1918.
Percy remained in Brandon until transferring with the CPR to Kenora in northwestern Ontario in 1924. Known as ‘Mac’, Percy was a locomotive engineer. He was a member of the Gold Hill Lodge and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen of Brandon.
Although living in Kenora at the time, Percy died suddenly in Winnipeg on 20 August 1941. At the time he was survived by three brothers and three sisters in eastern Canada. Percy’s remains were shipped to Kingston for interment, cemetery unknown.
By Judy Stockham