Kenneth William Junor MC was born in Toronto, Ontario, son of William and Alice Junor. On July 24, 1915, he joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) and when in France on the Western front was first attached to the 56th Battalion, Machine Gun Corps.
By the summer of 1915, the war on the Western Front had stalemated into one of attrition. After the second Battle of Ypres there followed sporadic frontal attacks on both sides without any result other than the slaughter of tens of thousands of men. Conditions were appalling. The troops lived in the squalor and dankness of the trenches, sometimes knee deep in water and mud.
From July 1, 1916, to December 30, 1916, Canadians along with the French and other Allies were involved in the "Slaughter of the Somme", also called the Battle of the Somme. For a pitiable gain of only six miles, 836,000 soldiers were killed, including Germans and 24,029 Canadians.
By the beginning of 1917, the Canadian Corps (four divisions), had moved north from the Somme, to the Artois Plain entrenching itself on a line running from Ecurie to Souchez. A brief respite ensued while plans were laid for an Allied seizure of the formidable German fortification of Vimy Ridge.
At 5:00 in the morning on April 9, 1917, Canadian forces, in driving snow and sleet and under a barrage of artillery fire, began their assault on Vimy Ridge. An hour later they had taken the first line of enemy trenches and by mid afternoon had captured the crest of Vimy Ridge except for two positions which fell three days later. More than 4,000 prisoners were taken, some of them found chained to their machine guns.
The outcome of the war was still in doubt when at 5:00 a.m. on March 21st, 1918, through a blanket of heavy white fog, 64 German divisions attacked the Allied line on a 54 mile front between St. Quentin and Arras. As part of a three pronged drive, it aimed at splitting the British and French armies and gaining a quick victory before the American presence on the Western Front could be felt. It succeeded in advancing to within 10 miles of Amiens and reaching the Marne River 40 miles from Paris, but by the beginning of June the drive had petered out and the Allies were counterattacking all along the front.
On July 28, 1917, about four months after the successful capture of Vimy Ridge, Lieut. Junor transferred to the No. 56th Squadron, Royal Flying Corps, but it was likely during this "last ditch" effort by the Germans, in 1918, that Junor won the Miltary Cross (MC), effective May 15, 1918 according to the London Gazette.
His citation reads as follows:
"For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in aerial fighting. He destroyed two enemy machines and drove down two others out of control, which crashed on landing. He always showed the greatest courage, skill and resourcefulness."
His attestation file shows that a "Cross of Sacrifice" was sent to his mother on April 12, 1920. Hence it appears that he was fatally injured some time during 1918 or 1919.