Edward Gordon McMahon was born on 12th April 1885 in Montreal.
The 1901 Census for Canada on Ancestry.co.uk shows that the McMahon family was living in the city of Ottowa. Head of the household William Campbell McMahon was a Printer by trade. He was aged 44 and had been born on the 9th May 1856 in Wales. He emigrated to Canada in 1860. His wife Elizabeth was 42, and she was born in Quebec on the 21st March 1854. They had four children at home for the census. Edward Gordon, was 15 and had been born on the 12th April 1885. Melissa 14 was born on the 21st November 1886. William F 10 was born on the 17th September 1891. and Grace was 8 and was born on the 24th July 1892.
Ten years on in 1911 the family was living at 10 Seymour, St. Antoine, Quebec. William McMahon appears to have changed his trade but unfortunately it is difficult to decipher. All four children were recorded at home. Edward Gordon aged 26 was a Student, Melissa was 22. William F, was 20 and worked as a Clerk. Grace was 16.
Edward attended The McGill University in Montreal. He enlisted into the 4th University Company of the Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry on 9th October 1915 in Montreal. His army records tell us that he was a Journalist. He named as his next of kin his father William Campbell McMahon of 983 Dorchester St. W. Montreal. There were instructions that his sister Miss Grace McMahon should be notified as well. Her address being 5917, Chestnut St. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. After basic training, the 4th University Company removed to Halifax and embarked for England on 27th November 1915 aboard the S.S. Lapland, and on arrival was posted to Shorncliffe Army Camp to complete training.
Edward was posted to France on 15th March 1916 and remained in the “Field” suffering from Influenza in June 1916 and Gingivitus in December 1916. On 2nd October 1918 he was wounded (Gun shot wound to the neck) and admitted to 3rd Canadian General Hospital in Boulogne and then to 2nd East General Hospital, Brighton and recuperated at Bexhill-on-Sea before being discharged to rejoin his company at Witley Army Camp on 10th January 1919. As hostilities had ceased, Edward was transferred to Kinmel Camp, Rhyl, to await repatriation to Canada.
Tragically he contracted Influenza and died at the 9th Canadian General Hospital on 29th January 1919.
(From Library and Archives of Canada)
Kinmel Park Camp was a segregation camp used to house Canadian Soldiers awaiting repatriation to Canada after the end of WW1. Unfortunately the conditions at that time were extremely harsh with a lack of every kind of commodity, the camp was overcrowded and the services were poor, there were shortages of clothing, food and blankets. As a result of this situation, a vast number of servicemen and women became ill and many succumbed to the Influenza Epidemic or complications associated with this infection.
Edward Gordon McMahon is buried in St. Margaret’s Cemetery, Bodelwyddan.
To read about Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry from formation, please follow the link http://ww1.canada.com/battlefront/the-storied-princess-patricias-regiment-born-during-deadly-conflict-with-video
To read a personal account and view letters written by Lieutenant Clifford Almon Wells, 4th University Company P.P.C.L.I. please follow the link. https://archive.org/details/frommontrealtov00wallgoog
Edward’s brother William F. McMahon regimental number 487379 attested in December 1915 into the Canadian Expeditionery Force.
He embarked for England aboard the S.S. Olympic and joined the 5th Universities Company of P.P.C.L.I. in the field on 6th June 1916. He suffered bouts of Lumbago during his posting and received a Gun Shot Wound to the right knee at Cambrai on 28th September 1918 and as a result of this injury was invalided to Canada on 10th June 1919.