Monday, 9 November 2009

Lance Cpl. William Grant

Signaller, then Lance Corporal William Grant, Canadian European Forces. Son of Joseph and Williamina Grant, born February 18, 1889, Gower Street, Brora, Clyne.  In 1906, he left Brora to join his older brother D J Grant in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. There they established a new homestead for their parents and siblings, who would join them in 1910.

William worked as a locomotive fireman for the Canadian National Railway, where he stoked coal furnaces in the early days of steam engines. By all accounts, William was the darling of the Grant family. He was fun loving and gentle, close to his sisters and brothers, and he loved to entertain family and friends alike around the piano. He was an accomplished fiddler, and his late nephew Grant McLaren of Edmonton, Alberta, inherited William's fiddle, in its original wooden case. It was left behind when William went overseas at the beginning of World War I with the 90th Winnipeg Rifles "Little Black Devils". William would never return to collect his beloved instrument, he was pronounced missing and presumed dead following the 2nd Battle of Ypres at the end of April 1915. He died unmarried, at the age of 26, and his name appears on the War Memorial in Brora and on the Menin Gate Memorial in West Flanders, Belgium.

Information and photograph from Karen Grant, Ontario.

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