Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthMay 21, 1894
Place of BirthRat Portage (Kenora), Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinAC Boyce, father, Sault Sainte Marie, Ontario
Trade / CallingSteel Plant Chemist
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental NumberNA
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion19th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Date of EnlistmentNovember 13, 1914
Age at Enlistment20
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJuly 31, 1973
Age at Death79

Boyce, Cyril Delamere

Cyril Delamere Boyce was born on 21 May 1894 in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora), Ontario. His father Arthur Cyril Boyce was born in Wakefield, Yorkshire, England and after graduating from Osgoode Hall in Toronto, practiced law in Port Arthur, Ontario before moving to Rat Portage. He married Victoria May Louisa Machin on 14 October 1891 in Rat Portage. Victoria was born in Racine, Wisconsin and her younger brother Harold would become a lawyer, later setting up practice in Rat Portage and also serving during the war. Arthur and Victoria gave birth to daughter Emma in 1892 but sadly she died the next year. Son Geoffrey, born in 1895, died in 1899. Other children born to the family in Rat Portage were Victoria Muriel (1898) and Sybil Fulford (1900). In 1903 the family moved to Sault Sainte Marie where daughter Daphne Borden was born in 1906. Arthur served as the Conservative Member of Parliament for Algoma West from 1904-1917.

Cyril signed his attestation papers on 13 November 1914 in Toronto. His occupation was given as steel plant chemist and his father AC Boyce in Sault Sainte Marie as next of kin. As a Lieutenant with the 19th Battalion, Cyril embarked from Montreal aboard the Scandinavian on 15 May 1915. Upon arrival in England Cyril was attached to the 17th Battalion for a two week course on bayonet fighting.

Before leaving for France, Cyril married Marguerite Whisson (Daisy) Hobbs during the 3rd quarter of 1915 in the registration district of Elham in Kent. Born in 1893 in the registration district of Newbury in Berkshire, Daisy was the daughter of Joseph William and Elizabeth Jane (née Morgan) Hobbs. Along with her parents and siblings she had immigrated to Canada in 1900, arriving on 31 August on the Tunisian. By the next year the family was living in Sault Sainte Marie. Daisy had arrived in England aboard the Metagama on 17 July 1915.

Cyril disembarked in Boulogne on 14 September 1915 with the 19th Battalion to serve with the 2nd Canadian Division, 4th Infantry Brigade. In late January of 1916 he was granted a two week leave to the UK. Shortly after his return, on 20 February at Vierstraat, Cyril was wounded in the nose by a splinter of a shell casing from a rifle grenade. The top part of the nasal septum was fractured and the metal passed out the other side of his nose. On the 22nd he was admitted to the Duchess of Westminster Hospital, Le Tourquet. Evacuated to England on the Jan Breydel, a hospital ship, Cyril was admitted to Mrs Arnold’s Hospital, 47 Roland Gardens SW, discharged on 11 March. Upon discharge Cyril was found unfit for service for one month, extended for another month. In May it was decided that Cyril be returned to Canada to serve on the permanent staff of the Canadian Milita.

Cyril and Daisy returned to Canada aboard the Metagama, arriving in Quebec on 20 May 1916 on their way to Sault Sainte Marie. Going before a review board at Camp Borden that September, it was found that Cyril, although thought to be recovering, was suffering from the results of shell shock. Cyril was eventually discharged from service as medically unfit on 31 January 1918 in Toronto.

The 1920 US census found Cyril, Daisy, and 3 year old Cyril Jr living in Bartlesville, Oklahoma where Cyril was working as a roustabout in the oil fields. By 1925 the family had moved to Toronto, giving birth to son Edward Morgan Boyce the next year. It appears that the marriage failed, with Cyril marrying Elizabeth Alphonsine Waller on 9 August 1935 in Whatcom, Washington. Born in 1912 in Winnipeg, Elizabeth was the daughter of Hollander Jan Lodewiyk Waller and Clara Bull who had married in 1904 in Winnipeg. At the time of the marriage Cyril was living in Montreal and Elizabeth in Vancouver. The marriage short lived, it is likely that the couple divorced in 1939 in Ottawa. Elizabeth later married Howard Watson and died on 25 January 2011, interred with Howard in the Dresden Cemetery, Dresden, Ontario. Although unable to confirm, an online family tree suggests that Daisy died in 1975 in Bala, Muskoka, Ontario.

A 1940’s Voter’s list had Cyril, single, living in Ottawa and working as a salesman. At some point he married widow Irene Octavia MacKenzie. Born in 1882 in Toronto, Irene was the daughter of George Albert and Maria Louisa (née Quinn) Smith. She had married Martin Joseph MacKenzie in 1904 in Toronto, giving birth to two daughters, Louise and Lillian. Martin had died in 1908. As evidenced by a number of Voters lists, Cyril and Irene made Toronto their home, with Cyril’s occupation listed as civil servant. Irene died on 31 December 1958 in the Toronto General Hospital and is interred in the Park Lawn Cemetery.

Cyril died on 31 July 1973 in St Catharines, Ontario. He was predeceased by his mother Victoria in 1936 and his father Arthur in 1942, both interred in the Beechwood Cemetery in Ottawa. At the time of his death he was survived by sons Cyril of Brighton, Ontario and Edward (died in 1983 in Denton, Maryland) and sisters Muriel (Eric) Hanna of Ottawa, Sybil (Ewart) Britton of Windsor, and Daphne (Norman) Anderson of Toronto.

By Judy Stockham

courtesy of Islington on

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