Private Robert Christopher Montgomery

Robert Christopher Montgomery was born on December 13, 1898 at Ice Lake on Manitoulin Island, Ontario to Christopher Montgomery and Barbara Ann Patton. He was the youngest of six sons born to the couple and lost his mother the day following his birth due to complications of childbirth. His father remarried about two years following the death of his first wife. Robert was raised on the family farm which was located near the town of Gore Bay.

On the 18th of February 1917 Robert enlisted in the 227th Battalion with the Regimental Number 1004215. On April 10th he sailed aboard the S.S. Carpathia and disembarked at Liverpool, England on the 22nd of April, at which point he was transferred into the 8th Reserve Battalion. His service in England was done at a base in Shorncliffe. There he completed more training and was transferred to the 102nd Battalion (North British Columbians) upon his arrival in France on 22 August.

On January 24th, 1918 Robert received gun shot wounds to both hands and spent several days in the hospital returning to duty on February 9th. At some time during his period at the front line he was also a victim of poison gas but the date is not shown on his military record.

An interesting sidelight occurred on June 13th, 1918 when Robert was forfeited one days pay for losing government property.

He returned to England for the final time on May 3, 1919 and set sail aboard the H.M.T.S. Mauritania on the 31st. He was discharged from the military on June 8th, 1919 at Toronto, Ontario.

Following the war Robert's health was very poor and he spent the winter of 1919-20 at the home of his uncle in the Toronto area. During that time he fell in love with his cousin, Lavina Elizabeth, and they were married on 31 August, 1920 and set up a dairy farm in the Stayner area. Two girls were born to them; Lavina passed away on April 12, 1927. On June 21, 1928 Robert married Ethel Maude Ashton who lived nearby and three boys were born to this marriage before the family moved to the Monteith-Iroquois Falls area. One more boy was born to the couple after the move north.

During the Second World War Robert was a member of the Ontario Provincial Police but remained in poor health. On April 28th, 1946 he died and is buried in the Kelso Goldlands Cemetery which is near Porquis Jct., Ontario.

This account was submitted by Robert's son, Ray Montgomery.

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