Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthNovember 5, 1896
Place of BirthKenora, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMrs. Frances Welfley (mother), Chesley, Ontario
Trade / CallingStudent
Service Details
Regimental Number200201
Service RecordLink to Service Record
BattalionLord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians)
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Cavalry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentCamp Hughes, Manitoba
Address at EnlistmentDepot Squadron, Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians)
Date of EnlistmentOctober 1, 1916
Age at Enlistment19
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathSeptember 20, 1976
Age at Death79
Buried AtSt. John's Anglican Cathedral Cemetery, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Welfley, Cecil Roy

Private Cecil Roy Welfley enlisted with Lord Strathcona’s Horse in 1916 and served for three years in Canada, the UK and France.

Cecil Roy was born in Rat Portage (Kenora), Ontario on 5 November 1896. Usually known as Roy, he was the only son of Frederick Henry Welfley and Frances (Fanny) Dodsworth. His father was of German ancestry and their surname was originally Woelfle. By the time Roy was born Frederick had changed the spelling to Welfley. Sometime after Roy’s birth the family moved to Winnipeg and Frederick was listed as a contractor there in the 1901 census.

The war started in August 1914 and Roy and his father both enlisted in 1916. Roy signed up on 1 October 1916 at Camp Hughes, which was located near Brandon, Manitoba. He had been serving with the Permanent Force since 6 March and his address was the Depot Squadron of Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians). He was 19 years old, a student, and next of kin was his mother in Chesley, Ontario. Shortly after enlisting he was on his way overseas with the 5th reinforcing draft of Lord Strathcona’s Horse. He embarked on 18 October on the SS Metagama and arrived in England about ten days later.

Roy was transferred to the Lord Strathcona’s Horse Reserve Regiment and he trained with them for four months. On 6 March 1917 he was assigned to the Canadian Reserve Cavalry Regiment and in November he was sent to France as a reinforcement for Lord Strathcona’s Horse. He joined his unit in the field in early December. The Canadian cavalry units were valuable during the 1918 German Spring Offensive, due to their speed and mobility and their usefulness for scouting and reconnaisance. At the end March Lord Strathcona’s Horse took part in a cavalry charge at the Battle of Moreuil Wood. The German offensive ended in early June and Roy attended the Canadian Corps Equitation School from 22 June to 4 August. Afterwards he had two weeks leave in the UK and he rejoined Lord Strathcona’s Horse in September.

The Armistice ended hostilities on the Western Front in November and Cecil returned to England on 17 April 1919. He sailed for Canada a month later, embarking from Liverpool on 21 May on the SS Carmania. He arrived in Halifax eight days later and he was discharged on 2 June in Winnipeg. His father Frederick Henry Welfley had enlisted in June 1916 and he served overseas with the Canadian Medical Corps. He returned to Canada about a month after Roy.

After the war Roy lived in Winnipeg with his parents, working as a clerk and salesman. He was married in Winnipeg on 21 January 1923. His wife, Kathleen (Kay) Redmond, was born in Nova Scotia around 1889, the daughter of Nicholas and Catherine Redmond. Kay had married Willard Stanley Salter in 1910 in Halifax and they had a son, John Willard, who was born later the same year. Kay’s marriage apparently ended and John was raised by her parents. Nicholas died in Halifax in 1913 and not long after that Kay’s family moved to Winnipeg. Her brother John Redmond enlisted in June 1915 and served overseas for more than three years with the Canadian Field Artillery.

Roy and Kay had one son, Brian Redmond (Buck), who was born in Winnipeg in 1926. Around 1930 they moved to Kamsack, Saskatchewan where they spent about ten years before returning to Winnipeg. Roy enlisted again during the Second World War and became a Flight Lieutenant with the Royal Canadian Air Force. He was stationed in Alberta and served as station adjutant. After the war he was employed as a civil servant until his retirement in the early 1960s.

Roy passed away at St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg on 20 September 1976, at age 79. Kay followed on 23 March 1981. They are both buried in St. John’s Anglican Cathedral Cemetery. Roy’s mother had died in 1931 and she’s also interred there. His son Brian passed away in Winnipeg in 2008.

By Becky Johnson

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