matthew mcfarlane




By Gerald Belanger

At the beginning of World War 1, Canada's population was 7,704,000. Over 619,600 young men enrolled in the Army between the years1914-1918 of which 424,589 proceeded to go overseas with the Canadian Expeditionary Force (C.E.F). Close to 52,000 were killed in Action (K.I.A.) or died by 1922 of wounds related to the war.
From a local scene, Marmora's population was 900 at the beginning of the war. Over 120 men from Marmora and over 36 from Deloro enlisted for overseas duty. Of these totals, 28 Veterans from Marmora and 9 from Deloro would be buried in foreign soil.
From a singular,randomly selected household, we would like to profile the effects that World War 1 had on the McFarlane family of Marmora.

Matthew McFarlane (McFarlin) was born on January 6 ,1839 at Welshtown, County Lough, Ireland. He emigrated to New York State in September 6 ,1855. While in New York State, he enlisted on August 30 ,1862 at Scotsville,  Monroe County for a three year term. Matthew served with the l40th Regiment of the N. Y. Volunteer Infantry, Comp G.
The 140th Regiment was originally organized at Rochester, New York, on September 13, 1862. The regiment was mustered out of service on June 3, 1865 in accordance with orders from the United States War Department. Veterans and recruits were then transferred to the 5th New York Veteran Infantry.
On July 2, 1863, during the Battle of Gettysburg at Little Round Top, Colonel Patrick O'Rorke, a recent graduate of WestPoint, led a bayonet charge down the hill on the Confederates. On that day Col. O'Rorke of the l40th Regiment was killed in action and Corporal Matthew McFarlane was wounded in the left hip.

Matthew was later transferred to Catton Factory Hospital in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where he received medical aid for his wounds, from September 14, 1863 until February, 1864. On April 3, 1864, he was transferred to the Invalid Corps, (later called the Veteran's Reserve Corps). As a result of his long recovery from his wounds, Matthew lost his Corporal's rank on January 10, 1864.
He was released from the U.S Army on August 31, 1864 and a few years later he moved to Marmora, Ontario. While in Marmora, Matthew married Elizabeth Revoy, daughter of Francis Revoy and Minerva Clarke on June 18, 1876 at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Madoc, Ontario.
For a number of years the family lived in a wooden farm house located at the north end of the village. Here Matthew and Elizabeth raised six sons and six daughters. Matthew died on November 1, 1917 and Elizabeth died on January 25, 1925. Matthew, Elizabeth, Joseph and Francis are all buried at the McFarlane family plot at Sacred Heart Cemetery, Marmora.

Researched by Gerald Belanger, May 2000

Due to the efforts of the "Sons of Union Veterans of the American Civil War"  and the Ontario Government's Veteran's Affairs "Last Post Fund",  two previously unmarked military grave sites belonging to Matthew McFarlane and his son, Joseph· Henry McFarlane now have military markers installed.  This took place at the family plot atSacred Heart Cemetery, Marmora,  in 2001

G.A.R.- Grand Army of the Republic was a fraternal organization composed of veterans of the Union Army (United States Army), Union Navy (U.S. Navy), Marines and the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service who served in the American Civil War for the Northern/Federal forces.  It was succeeded by the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW), composed of male descendants of Union Army and Union Navy veterans. (Wikipedia)


Four of Matthew and Elizabeth McFarlane's sons would serve in the Canadian Army during World War One; Michael Ignatius~ Alexander Mitchel, Joseph Henry and James Adolphus.

Michael Ignatius McFarlane was born on July 31, 1892. He was one of the first ones to enlist in the First World War from Marmora. Michael went overseas with the First Canadian Contingent and landed at Plymouth Harbour, England in September, 1914. Michael served with the 2nd Battalion of the C.E.F. He was seriously wounded on October 21, 1915 and lost his eyesight as a result. While in England he married Helen Lamond and they stayed there until 1946. Michael later worked as a Physiotherapist at the Christie Street Hospital and Euclid Hall in Toronto. Michael died on October 7, 1962 and is buried at the Marmora Protestant Cemetery in the Legion Veteran's plots. Prior to losing his eyesight, Michael wrote letters home to his parents that were printed in the Marmora Herald. .In his first letter, Michael tells about his voyage overseas after landing at Valcartier, Quebec on August 23, 1914. He writes

 " I think that the food we got, must have been stored in the ship about four years ago,  and the stewarts forgot to use it until the Canadian Troops came aboard. The Atlantic was very smooth most of the way over. We were 23 days on the water. All are eager to get to the Front to help the rest of our brave soldiers, who are fighting so gallantly for a noble cause".

In his second letter that appeared in the Dec. 3, 1914, Marmora Herald, Michael wrote:

" The great German shells tear holes in the ground as big as a house, for you must remember they weigh 1500 pounds. They do not killvery many for they sink into the ground too far, but the noise of the explosion deafens the soldiers and some are found dead from concussions of the brain after the explosions of a " Jack Johnston " as they are called. Well I must close far this time. Give my love to all "

Alexander Mitchell McFarlane was born on September21, 1894.   He enlisted with the 21st Battalian of the C.E.Fandwas killed in actionon November 12, 1917 at the Battle af Passchendaele, Belgium. During that battle 2,982 canadian soldiers were killed. Alexander's name is inscribed on Panel 26 along with over 56,000 other names of men who have no known grave at the Menin-Gate War Memorial, Iper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Alexander wrote his father a letter from Seafard, Sussex, England and it appeared in the Marmora Herald, dated December 20, 1917. He wrote 

" Well dad, we all had a box from the Marmora Women's Institute and you may be sure we were all very pleased to get them. I guess the Marmora ladies haven't forgotten us as we were the last Battalion to leave Canada "

Joseph Henry McFarlane was born on May 16, 1896.Baptized at Sacred Heart Church, Marmora on June 21, 1896.  He enlisted on November 13, 1914 and served as a Gunner with the 39th Reserve of the 21st Battalion of the C.E.F.  Joseph was seriously wounded on June 13, 1916 at Hill 60 during the Battle of Sanctuary Wood and Hodge near Ypres. It was Marmora's Percy Gray (Sr) who carried Joseph to safety after he was wounded in the trenches to the Granville CanadianSpecial Field Hospital.  While in the hospitals overseas at Boulogne and Yorkshire, he had over 140 pieces of shrapnel removed from his left arm, thigh and left leg. Joseph married Olive Myrtle Turcotte on Sept. 9, 1923 at North Bay, Ontario. Joseph died by himself in his small trailer located at Crowe Lake on July 8, 1949 and is buried at Sacred Heart Cemetery, Marmora
On February 20 ,1919, the Marmora Herald wrote the following account:

" Mr. Joseph McFarlane was home over the week-end. On his return to Toronto he expected to undergo another operation for the removal of shrapnel, which has been lodged in his body ever since he was wounded in action at the Front a couple of years ago",


Jame Adolphus McFarlane   was born on July 26, 1890. Although hampered with a club foot, it did not prevent him from serving his country duringWorld War 1. He servedas a cook rising to the rank of Sergeant. James died on February 24, 1946 and is buried at the Marmora Protestant Cemetery. James never married.  On February 25, 1915, the Marmora Herald wrote;

" Matthew McFarlane is in Kingston this week visiting his son, and attending the big Military carnival which is being held previous to the departure the 2nd Contingent for England. He is a veteran of the American Civil War and the soldier spirit appears to have been inherited by his sons. Marmora and Deloro Patriotic Society took the opportunity of giving Mr McFarlane this trip as a token of appreciation of the loyalty and sacrifices of he and his family, and all will feel that it was richly deserved".

On December13, 1917 theMarmora Herald wrote the following:

" Pte. Alex McFarlane, son of Mrs.  McFarlane, has been reported killed in action. Two brothers had previously been seriously injured, Michael losing his sight and Joseph being discharged as unfit for service owing to wounds in his arm and leq , The bereaved family have the sympathy of the community in their sorrow. "

Due to the efforts of the "Sons of Union Veterans of the American Civil War" and the Ontario Government's Veteran's Affairs "Last Post Fund", two previously unmarked military grave sites belonging to Matthew McFarlane and his son, Joseph Henry McFarlane will now have military markers installed during the summer of 2001.

Researched byGerald Belanger25 MAY, 2000  


MARY JANE (MINNIE)  - born 3 September, 1877 - baptized 28 October, 1877 at Sacred Heart of Mary Catholic Church, Madoc, Ontario - died20 May, 1961 at Belleville General Hospital - buried at Marmora Protestant Cemetery - married Benjamin Revoy - on 29 July, 1897 - Benjamin born 23 April, 1876 - parents; Benjamin Revoy & Cynthia Griffin - Benjamin died 22 July, 1963 at Belleville General Hospital - buried at Marmora Protestant Cemetery, Section G.

ELIZABETH MCFARLANE - born 2 March, 1880 - baptized 25 June, 1880 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Madoc, Ontario - died 1955 - buried at Mount Carmel Catholic Cemetery, Havelock, Ontario - married Jacob Reid (REED) - Jacob born 1874 - Jacob died May, 1940 - Jacob buried at Mount Carmel Cemetery, Havelock, Ontario

JOHN McFARLANE- born 11 August, 1883 - died 17 March, 1953 at Ontario Hospital, Kingston, Ontario - buried at Marmora Protestant Cemetery, Section L -  married Effie E. Cole - Effie born 1882 - Effie died 1961 Effie buried at Marmora Protestant Cemetery, Section L.

CATHERINE MCFARLAND - born 25 April, 1884 - died 10 September, 1916, Toronto - married Harry Linney

FRANCES McFARLANE - born 7 March, 1898 - baptized 3 April, 1898 at Sacred Heart Church, Marmora, Ontario - died 1968 - married Fred Jennings of Toronto

AGNES ADELAIDE (ADA) - born 17 March..: 1902 - baptized 7 May, 1902 at Sacred Heart Church, Marmora, Ontario - died 17 February, 1968 at Northwestern Hospital, Toronto - buried at Marmora Protestant Cemetery - married George Kennedy - George born 1 March, 1885

MATTHEW (Jr) - born 29 June, 1886 - lived in Santa Clara, California, U.S.A - died 20 August, 1925

BRIDGET ANN McFARLANE - born 11 July, 1888 - died 31 October, 1955, Toronto - buried at ,Pine Hills Cemetery, Scarborough - married Charles Dobson - Charles died 1953