Kelowna vet­eran re­mem­bered 100 years af­ter death

The Daily Courier - - OKANAGAN - — Daily Courier Staff

An Amer­i­can who came to Kelowna and joined the Cana­dian Ex­pe­di­tionary Force is be­ing re­mem­bered to­day in Eng­land.

Harry John Wil­liams, a father of four and an en­gi­neer, died 100 years ago to­day in Seaford, East Sus­sex.

Re­searchers at the small, all-vol­un­teer Seaford Mu­seum have an on­go­ing pro­gram to com­pile a bi­o­graph­i­cal sketch of peo­ple buried at the town ceme­tery and dis­sem­i­nate the in­for­ma­tion on the an­niver­saries of their death.

Mu­seum chron­i­cler Kevin Gor­don de­ter­mined that Wil­liams was born in 1867 in Fair Haven, Ver­mont, grad­u­ated as an en­gi­neer from the Univer­sity of Michi­gan and mar­ried a woman from Que­bec.

The cou­ple had four chil­dren, and the fam­ily came to Kelowna in 1904. Wil­liams en­listed in 1915. He lied about his age, say­ing he was 44 in­stead of 48, ap­par­ently in hopes of see­ing ac­tion at the front in France.

“He went over with the rest of the Kelowna boys last fall, but ow­ing to his con­tin­ued ill­health has never been able to get to the front,” the Kelowna Record re­ported in an item on Wil­liams’ death, pub­lished April 26, 1917.

“He was un­for­tu­nate enough to con­tract measles, which was epi­demic amongst the men for a time, and suf­fered se­verely.

“He was a son-in-law of Mr. J.C. Stock­well, and leaves a wife and four young chil­dren,” the news­pa­per re­ported.

A to­tal of 133 men from Kelowna died dur­ing the First World War.

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