~ St. Catharines' Wartime Neighbourhoods

The McArthurs

3 Sandown St.

Sam Arthur McArthur was born in Greenoch, Scotland January 2, 1905.  His family immigrated to Collingwood, Ontario in 1906.  He married Allison Spiers and lived in St. Catharines, where their seven children were born and raised.

This photo of Sam and Allison was taken just before they left on the trip to Scotland. The first for Allison since she came to Canada at age 17.

Sam was around 35 when war broke out.  He joined the Lincoln and Welland Regiment at the beginning of the war and went overseas with them. While overseas, he transferred to the Princess Louise Dragoon Guards and fought in the Italian campaign.  He was wounded on the Gothic line. When Sam finally came home from the war he was 40 years old.

During the war Sam wrote and recited poems to entertain his buddies.  They were well received and often based on actual incidents.  These poems are funny, touching and provide a  glimpse into life during and after the war

Once Sam returned, he had to fight for his home at 3 Sandown St.  According to his family, it had been assigned to a veteran who never served overseas and they believe did not serve as many years as their Dad.

Sam’s first job after the war was at a recycling plant called Victory Bags where they recycled paper and other materials.  It was about that time that he wrote the poem  Rehabilitation 1946

Read Sam McArthur’s Poems

He also worked for a time as a guard for Ontario Hydro and on the Welland Canal.  While working on the canal, his job was to tie up ships as they went through the locks, a worker aboard one of the ships fell into the canal and Sam jumped in to try and save him.  He wasn’t able to find him but, as his daughter Janet said, ” it was a very heroic act for someone his age.”