Albany William

The 1901 Census shows that the Albany 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. He was a Hunter/Trapper by trade.

(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. 

Peter’s wife, Philomena former (Wabanicenabe) was 25 years of age was also a Native American Indian from the Chipewa Tribe, she was born on the 15th March 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 1 month.

Ten years on, the family was 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 then 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.

Sapper 1007062 William Albany, Attestation Paper, Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionery Force, from The Library of Canada, 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, Labourer. He could not write at that time so 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

C.O.R.C.C. (Canadian Overseas Railway Construction Corps)

Arrived in France. Redesignated the 10thBattalion, Canadian Railway Troops. Battalion commanded by Lieutenant Colonel W.A. McConnell

19 Jun 1917


Bapaume-Peronne area

Jun – Jul 1917


At Furnes

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

Dec 1918

Home Service


Return to Canada via England

Jan 1919



Feb 1919

The  last entry in the War Diary for 10th Bn. Canadian Railway Troops was  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 Army Camp on 16th December 1918. Shortly after arrival at Bordon, William was transferred again to Kinmel Army 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

William was buried in St. Margaret’s Church Cemetery, Bodelwyddan, North Wales. May he rest in peace.

William is also commemorated on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.

Learn more about the other soldiers on the Bodelwyddan Memorial

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