|Date of Birth||November 24, 1876|
|Place of Birth||Montreal, Quebec|
|Next of Kin||Mrs. Ernest Leslie Carter (sister), Kenora, Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||Commercial Traveller and farmer|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Regimental Number||187358 and 147424|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Battalion||11th Reserve Battalion|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Place of Enlistment||Winnipeg, Manitoba|
|Address at Enlistment||Kenora, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||April 15, 1916|
|Age at Enlistment||39|
|Theatre of Service||Great Britain|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||February 13, 1935|
|Age at Death||58|
|Buried At||Mountain View Cemetery, Vancouver, British Columbia|
Private Theodore Josias Roy, also known as Edward Roy, enlisted twice and served overseas for four months. He was invalided back to Canada due to illness.
Theodore was the son of Reverend Jesse Josias Roy and his first wife Rebecca Le Gallais. Josias, an Anglican clergyman, was born in 1849 in Sabrevois, Quebec. When he was still in his teens he went overseas to study at universities in France and Germany. After graduating he travelled to Jersey in the Channel Islands for a holiday at a friend’s home. He was married in Jersey in 1874 to his friend’s sister, Rebecca Le Gallais. Rebecca was born in Jersey in 1843 and she had two brothers and an older sister Noemi (born in 1840). Josias returned to Quebec with his wife in 1874 or early 1875. Their first child, Henri Le Gallais, was born in May 1875 and baptized in Sabrevois. Theodore was born on 24 November 1876 in Montreal, where his father was serving at St. Jude’s Church.
Josias and Rebecca had three more children: Jessie Rebecca (1880), Horace Gavin (1882) and Oswald Caleb (1883). Rebecca died in March 1886, when Theodore was nine years old. Josias was the incumbent in St. Hyacinth at the time and his wife was buried in the parish cemetery there. Shortly after being widowed Josias moved his family to Winnipeg, Manitoba. A new St. George’s Anglican Church had just been built at the corner of Isabel and Bannatyne and he became the first Rector there. He suffered another loss in 1886 when his youngest son Oswald died in Winnipeg in December, at age three.
Rebecca’s sister Noemi had emigrated from Jersey to Montreal around 1883. Josias married Noemi on 28 April 1887 at St. John’s Church in Port Arthur, Ontario. Josias and Noemi lived in Winnipeg and he continued to serve as the Rector at St. George’s Church . He also lectured in French and German at St. John’s College. Sadly, he lost another son in 1900 when Horace died at age 18. His oldest son Henri became a clergyman and his daughter Jessie married and moved to Kenora, Ontario. When the 1921 census was taken Josias and Noemi were staying in Kenora with Jessie and her husband Ernest Carter.
In the years before the war Theodore worked as both a farmer and a dry goods salesman/commercial traveller. When the war started he was 38 years old and he enlisted the following summer, signing up in Winnipeg on 2 July 1915 with the 78th Overseas Battalion. Theodore was discharged on 25 November 1915, while his battalion was still training in Canada. The reason given was that he was not likely to become an efficient soldier. He enlisted a second time on 15 April 1916 in Winnipeg, this time using the name Edward Roy. He joined the 90th Battalion and he was assigned a new regimental number. He said his address was Kenora, Ontario and next of kin was his sister Mrs. Jessie Carter . Six weeks later he was on his way overseas with his unit. They embarked from Halifax on the SS Olympic on 31 May and arrived in England on 8 June. Less than a month later, on 3 July, Theodore was admitted to Moore Barracks Hospital due to renal system problems. He also had severe back pain from damaged or deformed vertebrae in his lower back, making training very difficult. He received treatment at the hospital for six weeks and during that time he was transferred to the 11th Reserve Battalion.
Theodore was released from the hospital on 21 August but he was permanently unfit for service. A week later he was attached to the Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre to await his return to Canada. He arrived in Halifax on 5 October on the SS Olympic and after a medical exam in Quebec he was sent to Winnipeg. Over the next year he was a patient at Deer Lodge Hospital, the Manitoba Military Convalescent Hospital and St. Boniface Hospital. He re-attested on 4 February 1918, joining ‘G’ unit of the Manitoba Military Convalescent Hospital, in order to receive further medical treatment. He was officially discharged from the army on 31 August 1918 in Winnipeg, due to being medically unfit for war service. His character was described as very good.
Around 1919 Theodore moved to Vancouver where he lived for the next sixteen years. He passed away at Vancouver General Hospital on 13 February 1935, at age 58. He was survived by one brother, Reverend Canon Henri Roy of Neepawa, Manitoba, and his sister Mrs. Jessie Carter in Kenora.
Theodore is buried in Mountain View Cemetery in Vancouver. His brother Henri also moved to Vancouver and he died there in 1953. Their sister Jessie passed away in London, Ontario in 1973, at age 92.
Link to his second service record is here.
By Becky Johnson
Family photos courtesy of Roy family tree on ancestry.com.
Grave marker photo courtesy of Lorraine Speers on findagrave.com.