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July 24, 2014

Remembering WW1 Soldier Douglas McNabb

Remembering WW1 Soldier Douglas McNabb
Private Douglas McNabb's framed WW1 photograph hangs on our wall. We don't know Douglas and we are not related. But he is one of several CEF (Canadian Expeditionary Force) soldiers who we honour. 

His framed photo was probably taken before he left to go overseas. This was a common thing for young soldiers to do before departing. Eaton's Department Store and other places offered a lovely military background for these soldiers' photos. Sometimes framed photos were not ordered until a soldier had been killed. A mother would take her boy's photo and order the backdrop and frame to memorialize him.

Douglas' framed inscription reads

Pte. Douglas McNabb

177th Battalion CEF

Enlisted at Victoria Harbour Ontario Feb. 13, 1916

Simcoe Foresters

Research on found more details about Douglas and his service. His Attestation Papers reveal that he was born 14 Apr 1896 in Victoria Harbour (which co-incidentally is about 5 minutes from my home), his mother was Agnes and his full name was Douglas Burns McNabb. One of the witnesses to his papers was a Wallace Burns - possibly a relative.

20 year Douglas was listed as having a ruddy complexion, brown hair and brown eyes and tall - 5' 10" in height. He was assigned to the 177th Battalion. 

Birth records on reveal  his father as Alexander McNabb and his mother was Agnes Burns.  I was happy to see that young Douglas survived the war and is found on the 1921 census for Victoria Harbour with his parents and a younger brother John. Douglas' occupation is given as fireman. I also found him in the 1945 Voter's Lists for Victoria Harbour, still working as a fireman. There is no wife listed with him so perhaps he was a life-long bachelor. In any case he will be remembered in our home for his service.

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