Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthMay 14, 1879
Place of BirthListowel, Perty County, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinDavid G. Roy, c/o Imperial Bank, Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingTrained nurse
Service Details
Regimental NumberN/A
Service RecordLink to Service Record
Battalion16th Canadian General Hospital
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Army Medical Corps
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentLondon, Ontario
Address at EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentFebruary 8, 1918
Age at Enlistment38
Theatre of ServiceGreat Britain
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details

Roy, Margaret Allison

Birth, Family and Early Years: Margaret Allison Roy was born May 14, 1879, in Listowel, Perth County, Ontario. She was the only daughter of David Roy, who had been born Scotland, and his wife, Agnes (maiden name Fortune). David and Agnes married in Listowel in 1877 and began their family a year later. James Elgin, born 1878; Margaret; and David Gladstone, born in May 1881, just after the 1881 census was taken.

In the 1881 Census, David Senior is a Banker and the family is living in Listowel. They are of the Presbyterian faith. The 1891 Census has the family of five continuing to live in Listowel. David is now recorded as a Merchant. At age 70, he is much older than Agnes, who is recorded as being 39.

By the 1901 Census, James has moved out of the house and son, David, works as a Bank Clerk. David, the father is retired. His birth year was given as 1821 and it was noted he arrived in Canada in 1857. Neither “Maggie”, at age 21, nor her mother, are employed.

In the 1911 Census, James, at age 33, has become an Electrician and is living again with his parents and siblings. Margaret, age 31, is not employed. David, age 29, is also living with his parents. He is a Bank Manager and married Florence Robertson in Listowel on June 11th. A few months after the Census taking, David Senior, died. Agnes died three years later in 1914. Both are buried in Fairview Cemetery in Listowel.

Margaret’s brother, David, moved to Kenora as Manager of the Imperial Bank and was there at least by 1915. James moved to Winnipeg by early 1916. It is not known where Margaret lived following the death of her parents, nor where she took her Nurse’s Training; however, it is known she was living in Kenora in early 1917. She states, in her application for War service, that she was a trained nurse. Only recently had Nurse Training Schools started up in Canada, in particular, southern Ontario. Thus, it is possible she took her training in one of these early educational settings.

War Experience: Margaret served in two different capacities during the Great War.She first served with the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Nursing Service (QAIMNS) in England. QAIMNS was established by Royal Warrant in 1902 and was named after Queen Alexandra, who also became its President. Staff Nurse Roy was accepted on a one-year contract beginning February 6, 1917, while she was still in Canada.

Upon her arrival in England on February 20, 1917, Margaret remained in London until being taken on Strength with the 2nd Birmingham War Hospital, Northfield, England, on March 3rd.  The uniform Staff Nurse Roy would have worn was known for its grey and scarlet colours.The colour of the cuff denoted rank; a Matron was recognized by her full scarlet cuffs; a Sister’s cuffs had scarlet stripes; and, a Staff Nurse had plain white cuffs. Upon completion of her contract on February 6, 1918, Margaret received the following reference from the Matron:

Staff Nurse M.A. Roy Q.A.I.M.N.S. Reserve has worked in this hospital under me
since March 3-1917. Her general professional ability is the average standard of her
rank. She has power of initiative, is self reliant, and possesses judgment and
common sense. She has never acted in a higher rank than she recently holds.
She leaves today on resignation & completion of contract.
February 7, 1918, Matron:  A.F. Byers

Margaret then immediately enlisted in London, on February 8th, with the Canadian Army Medical Corps (CAMC). In her Attestation Papers, Margaret gives her birth year as 1881, rather than 1879, and lists her place of residence as Kenora, Ontario.  Margaret had a “Robust” physique and was described as hazel eyed, 5 feet 6 inches in height and weighing 150 pounds. Her next of kin was her brother David, who was still living and working in Kenora, at the time. She had her pay assigned to herself in a bank in London, England.

On February 25, 1918, Margaret was Taken on Strength at the CAMC Depot, Shorncliffe then a few days later assigned to the 16th Canadian General Hospital. She took 17 days leave in August 1918 and remained healthy. On June 12, 1919 she was Taken on Strength at the 15th Canadian General Hospital.

Margaret was discharged of her duties and embarked on the SS Empress of Britain in Liverpool on July 3, 1919, arriving in Quebec, July 10th. Prior to leaving England, Margaret changed her banking from the Trafalgar Square Bank, London, to the Imperial Bank in Listowel, her intended destination once back in Canada. Margaret was officially Struck off Strength due to Demobilization, July 14, 1919.

Siblings Who also Served: Margaret’s brother, James, who had moved to Winnipeg and become an accountant, enlisted in Winnipeg, March 11, 1916 with the 221st Battalion. A few months later, on October 23rd, he married Mary McNabb Burgess of Winnipeg. Like Margaret, he listed his brother, David, as next of kin.

Life After the War: As of this writing, the last record located for Margaret is on an April 24, 1921 border crossing Manifest at Detroit. She was planning on a 6 month stay in Danville, Illinois, where she would be  visiting a friend, Miss  Anderson, who was in Lakeview Hospital. Margaret cites herself as a Trained Nurse and that her permanent residence is in Toronto. She lists her brother David, also living in Toronto, as her nearest relative in Canada. The 1921 Canadian Census began on June 1st; however, Margaret was away at this time; so this is likely the reason she is not registered in the census for this year.

Further research into Margaret’s life has not been successful. Some of the additional research carried out included contacts with people researching Margaret and her family; death records; Canadian Voters Lists; US census and death records; passenger lists after 1919; Find-a-grave; and obituaries for Margaret and both her brothers.

Margaret’s brother, David, his wife, Florence, and three children were living in Bathurst, Ontario according to the 1921 Census. He continued to be a Bank Manager, likely with the Imperial Bank. Their son, David, who was born in Kenora in 1915, later became a Doctor and moved to Michigan.

Brother James and his wife moved to the United States in 1923. Later, he became a Naturalized American citizen and, at the age of 60, registered with the United States Military. He died in 1964 and is buried in California, where he and Mary had lived for almost 40 years.

Date of Death and Burial Location: At this time, it is not known when Margaret died, nor where she is buried.

Prepared by Susan [Hillman] Brazeau

Sources Births, Deaths, Marriages, Canadian Census, Canadian Voter’s Lists, Family Trees, American Census, Passenger Lists, American Military Records WW2, American Naturalization Papers (All five family members researched); border crossings

Library and Archives Canada: First World War Personnel Records for both Margaret and her brother, James. Nurses in the Great War (Canadian Medical Army Corps).

National Archives, London, England. Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Sisters Records.  Obituaries

Practical Resource for Nurses Magazine:

Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Medical Nursing Sisters: History.

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