Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthNovember 17, 1885
Place of BirthFolkestone, Kent
Marital StatusMarried
Next of KinMrs Nora Henfrey, wife, 335 Sidney Avenue, East Kildonan, Manitoba
Trade / CallingPainter
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number147474
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion78th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Date of EnlistmentJuly 3, 1915
Age at Enlistment29
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJuly 21, 1949
Age at Death63
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

Henfrey, Harry

Harry Henfrey was born on 17 November 1885 in Folkstone, Kent, England. His father Nelson Orson Henfrey, painter and decorator, was from Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire while his mother Elizabeth Taylor was from Willenhall, Staffordshire. The couple married during the 1st quarter of 1885 in the registration district of Nottingham, Nottinghamshire. Harry was their firstborn child, followed by Arthur (1887-1928), Claude (1889), and Percy (1892-1971). By the time of the 1901 census the family had moved to Kirkby in Ashfield, East Kirkby in Nottinghamshire.

During the third quarter of 1909 in the registration district of Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, Harry married Norah Whetton. The daughter of Charles and Sarah Ann (née Pearce) Whetton, Norah was born on 16 May 1886 in Sutton in Ashfield in the district of Mansfield. The next year Harry and Norah gave birth to daughter Olive. The 1911 census found Olive living with her paternal grandparents in Kirkby in Ashfield.

Harry and Norah immigrated to Canada in 1911, arriving in Halifax aboard the Canada on April 10. They were to first make Winnipeg their home where son Norman was born in March of 1912 and then nearby East Kildonan, now a part of Winnipeg, where son Harry was born in September of 1914.

Harry signed his attestation papers on 3 July 1915 in Winnipeg. His occupation was given as painter and his wife Norah in East Kildonan as next of kin. As a Corporal with the 78th Battalion he embarked from Halifax aboard the Empress of Britain on 20 May 1916. By August the 78th Battalion had arrived in France.

Harry attended a bayonet course that September and was appointed Lance Sergeant in October. In late December he attended a three week general course, rejoining the unit on 26 January 1917. He was confirmed in the rank of Sergeant on 1 March. In May Harry proceeded to England with a view of being granted a commission. In September he was appointed as Temporary Lieutenant and by mid October was back with the 78th Battalion.

During a frontline attack operation at Zonnebeke Trench at Passchendaele that had begun in the early morning hours of October 29th and lasted until the late evening of November 2nd, on 30 October 1917 Harry was dangerously wounded, suffering gunshot/shrapnel wounds to the chest and shoulder. He was admitted to the No 3 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station on November 1 and then transferred to the No 9 Canadian Red Cross Hospital in Calais on the 8th. Later that month he was invalided to the Kitchener Military Hospital in Brighton. A piece of shrapnel had penetrated his left lung that was later removed. Due to the nature of his injuries, recovery was slow and difficult and Harry was invalided to Canada aboard the Chislehurst in February of 1918.

Once back in Canada Harry was admitted to the Manitoba Military Convalescent Hospital in Winnipeg, discharged in April to the Winnipeg General Hospital to have his tonsils and adenoids removed. In late June he was transferred to Deer Lodge Hospital in Winnipeg, his condition reported as poor with a 30 pound weight loss. He also had limited use of his arm, with his injured shoulder lower that the other one and curved into his body. Harry was discharged from service as medically unfit on 30 August 1918.

Harry’s brother Percy served during the war, enlisting as a Sapper with the Royal Engineers. Occupation given as plumber on the 1911 census, he served as a skilled plumber with the Labour Corps, later discharged as a Corporal.

Harry, Norah, and the children lived in Ninette, Manitoba after the war, giving birth to son Jack in November of 1919. In July of 1920 Norah and the children travelled to England, arriving in London aboard the Tunisian on the 23rd. They returned to Canada aboard the Carmania, arriving in Halifax on 5 April 1921 on their way to Ninette. By 1923 the family was living in Virden, Manitoba where daughter Frances was born. Harry was a professional photographer and owned and operated a photography business in Virden and then later in Brandon, Manitoba. In September of 1934 Harry, Norah, Jack and Frances returned to England aboard the Duchess of Bedford, arriving back in Canada aboard the Empress of Britain in September of 1935. Intended residence upon arrival was given as the St Regis Hotel in Winnipeg.

By the next year Harry, Norah and the family were living in Kenora, Ontario where along with his sons Norman and Harry, Harry opened Lakewood Studio. Portraits, albums, enlargements, greeting cards, framed views and calendar views of Lake of the Woods, as well as cameras and accessories were available from their studio. Although Harry Sr retired in 1938, for 55 years the business had a presence in Kenora, recording the people, events and scenes of the area. When Norman passed away in 1979 Harry Jr continued on his own until his retirement in 1985. Lakewood Studio continued under the ownership of Bill and Shirley Trodd. In 1988, Bob McMillin purchased it and ran it until its amalgamation with Kenora 1/2 Hour Photo in 1991.

Harry died on 21 July 1949 in Deer Lodge Hospital in Winnipeg. His Veteran Death card listed his wife Norah Henfrey of 709 4th Avenue South of Kenora as next of kin. Harry was predeceased by his brother Arthur in 1928, his mother Elizabeth in 1929, and his father Nelson in 1930, all back in England. He was also predeceased by his son Jack in 1944. At the time of his death Harry was survived by his wife Norah, daughter Olive Handley of Kirkby in Ashfield in England, sons Harry and Norman of Kenora, and daughter Frances (Parry) Power of Winnipeg. Norah, age 103, died in Winnipeg on 5 June 1989. Harry, Norah, Harry Jr (d 1990), and Norman are all interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora. Olive died in 1994 in England and Frances in 2007 in Winnipeg.

Harry and Norah’s son Jack, a Flight Sergeant with the Royal Canadian Air Force, was killed while on active service overseas on 2 January 1944. In Wellington bomber BK387 which crashed into a hillside at Tewitt Hall Wood, Oakworth, near Keighley, West Yorkshire, he was on a training flight which resulted in the loss of all her crew. They were training at Number 82 OTU based at RAF Ossington in Nottinghamshire. The crew were N Crawford, E Glass, J Dalling, J Henfrey, J McHenry, and E Savage. Along with the rest of the crew, Jack is interred in the Stonefall Cemetery in Harrogate, Yorkshire.

by Judy Stockham

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