David Withenshaw

David Withenshaw was born on 9th May 1889 at Newton-by Daresbury, the son of David Lewis Withenshaw (born Norley) and his wife Margaret Ellen (nee Harrison) who was born in Whitley.
In 1891, David was living with his parents in a house near Grimsditch Mill on Whitley Road in Whitley Inferior. His father was a wheelwright. David had siblings William (11), Joseph (10), Margaret A. (8), Alfred (6) and George (2). His maternal grandmother, Margaret Harrison, a 70-year old widow, also lived with them. Another daughter, Agnes, had died in March 1887 at the age of 2 months. She was buried in Daresbury churchyard.

Ten years later they had moved to Warrington and were living at 38, Elaine Street in the Fairfield Ward of St. Elphins Parish. Joseph had left home by now and their family now also had Frank (7). The father was employed as a master wheelwright.

In the England Census of 1911, which was compiled in the April of that year, the family unit was still in Warrington, but David was lodging at a house in Darlington in County Durham. His occupation was described as a hosier for “gentleman’s hosiery”. However by the time of the 1911 Census of Canada in the June, he was with his parents and his older brother Joseph (and Joseph’s American wife) in Gillies Township, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. David was employed as a labourer. Joseph had emigrated previously and his parents had emigrated that year.

On March 25th 1913, David emigrated to Canada and arrived at Montreal on board the “Corsican”, having been back in England and staying with his older brother Alfred in Howley Lane in Warrington. He gave his occupation as a salesman.

David joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force in the Great War. On his attestation papers it said that he was a fitter. He was 5’7’’tall, with a fair complexion, blue eyes and brown hair. He was “taken on strength” at Valcartier, Quebec on 23rd September 1914 in D Company of the 13th Battalion, known as The Royal Highlanders of Canada. It was a Montreal battalion. Valcartier was a training camp which was established very quickly from a wilderness area in Quebec. He was given the service number 24542. The battalion sailed for England on September 25th 1914 on RMS Alaunia, the first Cunard ship to transport Canadian troops. It reached Devonport, England on 13th October.

After the Great War, in 1919, David married Millicent Stoner (born Cowfold in Sussex) in Steyning, Sussex, whom he must have met whilst training in England. They went to live in Montreal and had two daughters: May Stoner Withenshaw (born April 1924) and Courine Stoner Withenshaw (born November 1932). He did return to visit relatives in England, as in 1926, when he came with his wife and elder daughter to Warrington and returned on the “Regina” from Liverpool to Montreal. At the time he was employed as a mechanic.

His mother, Margaret Ellen Withenshaw, died in Montreal in October 1928 and his father, David Lewis Withenshaw, died there also in January 1941.

In 1946 David was living at 144, Gordon Avenue, Verdun, Quebec. His daughter May, now 22 years old and working as a stenographer, travelled to Detroit in the U.S.A. to live permanently.

David Withenshaw died in 1981 in Montreal, three years after Millicent passed away. They are both buried in Mount Royal Cemetery in Montreal.