The 1901 Census tells us that the family were living in Ontario, Canada. The household consisted of Head, Peter Albany, 37 years of age, he was a Native American Indian from the Algonquin Tribe.
(Algonquin) (or Algonkin) Indians, North American Indian Tribe. Among the first with whom the French made an alliance, they were driven out of their territory along the St. Lawrence and Ottawa rivers by the Iroquois in the 17th and 18th centuries. Some united with the Ottawa Indians; a few remain in Ontario and Quebec. Originally the name “Algonquin” was applied only to the Weskarini of the Gatineau valley, but its application was widened to include other closely related tribes such as the Nipissing and Abitibi. The father was born on 27/12/1863 and was a Hunter/Trapper by trade.
His wife Philomena former (Wabanicenabe) was 25 years of age was also Native American Indian from the Chipewa Tribe, she was born on 15/3/1876.
The Chippewas are one of the largest American Indian groups in North America. There are nearly 150 different bands of Chippewa Indians living throughout their original homeland in the northern United States (especially Wisconson, Minesota and Michigan) and southern Canada (especially Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan).
Their five children were William 7 yrs, Bernard 6yrs, Annie 3yrs, Archie 1yr and Jennie 1month.
Ten years on, the family were still in Ontario and the address looks to be Firsbrooke & Barr or Bass Tps. There had been some additions to the family, Alexander aged 8yrs and Peter born in 1911.
William Albany now 16 years of age was still living with the family and although the census image is blurred it looks like his trade was Labourer and Odd Jobs.
William Albany’s Attestation Paper, Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionery Force, shows that he enlisted on 13th December 1916 at New Liskeard, Ontario. He gave his address as 10 Latchford, New Liskeard, Ontario, D.O.B. 3rd August 1894, Next of Kin Peter Albany, Father and Trade as Labourer. He could not write his name and marked a cross on his Attestation Papers. There are comments written on this document to the effect that the declaration and oath had been explained to him prior to signing.
After basic training in Canada, William embarked for England on the S.S. Missanbie and arrived in England on 7th April 1917.
William enlisted into the 256th Battalion of the Canadian Railway Troops, which were organised in January 1917 under the command of Lieutenant Colonel W.A.McConnel. Re-designated as the 10th Battalion on 30th May 1917, they arrived in France on 19th June 1917.
Movements of the 10th Battalion, Canadian Railway Troops.
The following information was sourced from The History of the Corps of Royal Canadian Engineers 1749-1939, Volume 1. A.J.Kerry & Mc Dill.
France and Flanders
Arrived in France. Redesignated the 10thBattalion, Canadian Railway Troops. Battalion commanded by Lieutenant Colonel W.A. McConnell
19 Jun 1917
Jun – Jul 1917
3 Jul 1917
At La Panne near Dunkirk
10 Jul 1917
Working on the railway line from Dunkirk-Ypres-Roulers-Courtrai-Brussels
Jul 1917 – Aug 1918
Started work connecting Allied light railway lines to German light railway lines. Making repairs behind the Allied forces advancing from the Ypres salient.
23 Sep 1918
Constructing railway bridges at Roubaix
23 Oct 1918
30 Oct 1918
At the Canadian General Base Depot, Etaple
Return to Canada via England
This is a copy of the last entry in the War Diary for 10th Bn. Canadian Railway Troops It is dated 27th to 31st January 1919 and shows that the Battalion left France for Weymouth, England and then on to Knotty Ash Camp, in Liverpool.
William was taken ill with Influenza on 7th December 1918 and was transferred to hospital in Boulogne where he received treatment but was then deemed to be seriously ill and transferred back to England and arrived at Bordon camp on 16th December and then transferred again to Kinmel camp in Rhyl where he was admitted to Number 9 General Hospital on 6th February 1919.
Unfortunately, William developed Bronchial Pneumonia and died at 3.40 hrs on 10th February 1919.
There is a Public Members Family Tree of William’s family on Ancestry.co.uk
William was buried at St. Margaret’s Church Cemetery, Bodelwyddan, North Wales. May he rest in peace.
William is also commemorated on the Canadian Virtual War memorial.