Friday, November 8, 2013

30 Days of Remembrance- Day 11- Kilner

Credit: Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1983-28-826

I decided to do a more personal post today and research soldiers of the First World War with my surname of Kilner. I already knew that none of my direct ancestors fought in the Great War but some family members did. I started by doing a search by last name only in the records of  Soldiers of the First World War and came up with 6 names

Name Date of Birth Rank   Regimental number(s) Reference
1. KILNER, ARTHUR COLIN 18/05/1894 154590 RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 5150 - 12
2. KILNER, CLARENCE CARROLL 23/06/1892 LT RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 5150 - 13
3. KILNER, DAVID JAMES 07/01/1898 678135 RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 5150 - 14
4. KILNER, JAMES ARTHUR 30/12/1875 446973 RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 5150 - 15
5. KILNER, JOSHUA 25/11/1879 LCP 808470 RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 5150 - 16
6. KILNER, THOMAS ROSS 10/05/1883 LCP 769974 RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 5150 - 17

 I am related to at least two of the soldiers on this list: Clarence Carroll Kilner, and Thomas Ross Kilner were both first cousins of my great grandfather William Kilner. Their respective fathers William,  Edward, and Thomas Bamforth were brothers, born in England who each emigrated to Canada in the late 1800`s. My gg- grandfather was the eldest of the 3 cousins and the only one who was not born in Canada. By the time England, and by extension Canada, joined the war, William was in his mid 30`s with a wife and 3 small children. It must have been a difficult decision to make - to stand by and watch others go off to fight, or to leave his young family perhaps never to return.

Clarence Carroll Kilner on the other hand was already an officer and a member of the 109th Regiment when he signed up to the Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Forces in 1916 at the age of 24.

I found no records to indicate where he spent the war years or whether he received any injuries but he did survive to return home to Canada in August of 1919. He married Vera Wright in 1922, had a son John in 1924 and lived in Toronto until his death in 1963, at the age of 70.
Clarence Carroll Kilner, courtesy of

Thomas Ross Kilner was born in Morrison, ON in 1883 but grew up in Toronto. He joined the Canadian forces there in January of 1916. One interesting thing I discovered upon reading his medical assessment was that he had webbed toes on his left foot- some current members of my paternal line also carry this trait, which I thankfully did not inherit!
Like Clarence, I have no records of Thomas R Kilner's time during the war but he also survived and returned home to Canada in June of 1919. He married Kate White in 1925 but had no children. I have not found a date of death for him.

Of the six men named Kilner from the above list who fought in WWI, not a single one was killed in battle. None the less, they all served their country and likely came back much different than they left. They deserved to be remembered and honoured for their sacrifice as well.

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