Friday, March 6, 2009

Joseph William Shipman (1877-1969) Family

Joseph William (1877-1969) married 1. Annie Hillard, born in Bridgewater, England, daughter of Charles Hillard and Mary French on November 2, 1898, in Toronto;  m. 2. Selina Johnson.

In the 1901 Census we find Joseph and his wife Annie with a son Clinton born in 1899 living just down the street from his father's house in Toronto. He lists his occupation as Hatmaker with an annual salary of $500. Annie his wife indicated that she emigrated to Canada from England in 1885.

The 1911 Census we find him living at 18 Minto Street in Toronto. They have one additional child, Florence, born in 1903. He lists his occupation as Packer at a pork packing firm with an annual salary of $575. He also indicates that he had $800 worth of life insurance at a cost of $26 per year.

Joseph joined the Queens Rangers militia on October 8, 1909 at the age of 32. During World War I, he enlisted in the 3rd (Toronto) Battalion shortly after hostilities broke out. According to his attestation papers, dated September 22, 1914, signed in Valcartier, Quebec, he was a widower, meaning that Annie must have died sometime between 1911 and 1914. He is described as follows: 38 years old, 5 ft. 3 ins with a fair complexion, brown eyes and light hair. He had a vaccination scar on his left arm and a 2" scar on his left temple. He lists his brother Stephen Shipman of 108 Eaton Avenue, Toronto as his next of kin. He is assigned the regimental No. 9376.

His attestation papers can be found on the Library and Archives Canada website.  From his military records I have the following information:
He sailed to England on October 3, 1914.

On December 2, 1914 he was made a cook.  He landed in St. Nazaire, France on February 11, 1915.  On April 4, 1915 he was promoted to Lance Corpl. (unpaid).  On April 22, 1915 Joseph's battalion was involved in the Second Battle of Ypres. This was the first time that the Germans used poision gas. The gas blew into the ranks of French colonial troops who sufferred massive casualties creating a gap in the front into which the Germans advanced. It was the Canadians who stepped into the breech and closed the gap in the front lines. 
On May 30, 1915 he was promoted to Corpl. On July 27, 1915 he suffered from influenza and was put in the care of the 3rd Canadian Field Ambulance. He returned to duty on August 18, 1915.  He was granted leave from September 29, 1915 to October 21, 1915.  On August 23, 1916 he suffered from a strained heart and was put in the care of the 2nd Canadian Field Ambulance. He returned to duty on August 26, 1916.  On September 20, 1916 he was transferred to the 12th Battalion for discharge. He was discharged for "cessation of working pay". On November 12, 1915 he is ordered home "under authority of Divisional Order No. 3734, dated 23/11/15 (Cessation of Working Pay) Auth. K.R.& O. O.Para.392 Subsection (XXV)".  On November 25, 1916 he was "Struck off Strength - proceeding to Canada for discharge". 

He sailed from Liverpool for Canada on November 23, 1916 on board the Corinthian arriving in Quebec on December 16, 1916 and was discharged. His military papers indicated that he had a "good" military character and a "good" character in accordance with the King's Regulations. At the time of his discharge he indicated that he was living at 78 Stafford Street, Toronto. This would have been just north of the Toronto Municipal Abbatoir where he worked.

His first wife Annie Hillard died around this time though I cannot find a death registration for her.  He remarried to Selena Johnson sometime before 1921 as they both appear in the 1921 Canadian census as borders in the home of Frederick White at 44 Brookfield Street, Toronto.

By 1921 his son Clinton Shipman was married and living at 25 Dafoe Street and working in a shoe factory.  Clinton would move the US in the late 1920s, marry his second wife Edna Unthank in Utah in 1928, and die in Pioche, Nevada in 1949.

His daughter Florence was married on William Charles Prout in Toronto in 1926.  She does not appear with her father in the 1921 census.  I am not sure where she was in 1921.  

Joseph and Selina do not appear in the  Toronto City Directories until 1923 when he is found living in rooms at 60 Humbert Street, in the west end of Toronto, near Queen Street West and Dovercourt. This would have been a short streetcar ride to the Toronto Municipal Abattoir on Niagara Street where he worked.  In 1926 he is listed as living at 158 Lisgar.  By 1929 they were living at 68 Humbert Street as they had a baby daughter on July 9th there that only lived 5 minutes.   In 1930 they are still listed as living at 68 Humbert St.  In 1932 his occupation is finally listed – employee Municipal Abattoir. The abattoir was opened in 1914 and was closed a few years ago.  It was located just north of Fort York though the City of Toronto sold it in 1960.

Toronto Municipal Abattoir
courtesy City of Toronto Archives

In 1933 he is listed as living at 134 Argyle Street (the half of the semi detached house with the dormer).  In 1942 he is listed as a foreman at the Toronto Municipal Abattoir.  In 1950 his occupation is listed as "commissionaires". Commissionaires were security staff for public buildings. The employees were generally made up of ex-military men.  In 1953 he is listed as living at 29 Bank St.

He died on September 19, 1969. His obituary in the Toronto Star indicates that he was the husband of the late Selina Shipman (his second wife) and the father of Fred, Raymond, Dorothy (Mrs. Frank Leganza), and the late Clinton Shipman with 8 grandchildren. He was buried in Highland Memory Gardens in Toronto.