|Date of Birth||December 25, 1893|
|Place of Birth||Rat Portage (Kenora), Ontario|
|Next of Kin||William Huggins, father, Imperial, Saskatchewan|
|Trade / Calling||Farmer and Engineer|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Battalion||1st Depot Battalion Saskatchewan Regiment|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Conscripted|
|Place of Enlistment||Regina, Saskatchewan|
|Address at Enlistment||Imperial, Saskatchewan|
|Date of Enlistment||August 27, 1918|
|Age at Enlistment||24|
|Theatre of Service||Canada|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||December 8, 1978|
|Age at Death||85|
|Buried At||Regina Memorial Gardens, Regina, Saskatchewan|
|Plot||Garden of the Last Supper 207-C1|
Cyril Clifford Huggins was born on 25 December 1893 in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora), Ontario. Both of his parents, William Caro Huggins and Eliza Harriet Betsworth, were born in England. William immigrated to Canada as a young child with his parents and siblings and along with his brother James first came to the Lake of the Woods area around 1877 as they travelled to Beausejour, Manitoba to take up homesteading. Drawn by the beauty of the lake, William returned to the Keewatin/Rat Portage area in 1880, eventually becoming a steamboat captain on Lake of the Woods. On 23 November 1889, in Winnipeg, William married Eliza, an opera singer from the Shoreditch area of London. They first made Keewatin their home where son William Clarence was born on 19 November 1890 but by the time of their next son Ralph’s birth on 17 September 1892 they had moved to nearby Rat Portage. Other known children born to the family, all in Rat Portage/Kenora, were Cyril Clifford, Irene Mona (5 July 1895), Frederick Edwin (Ted) (10 November 1897), Alberta Louise (16 January 1900), George (8 November 1901), and Vincent Caro (12 September 1905).
According to the family history as published in the book The Imperial Review, William Sr owned and operated several steamboats on the Lake of the Woods and became Captain of the SS Keenora in 1897, carrying freight and passengers between Rat Portage and Rainy River. Along with his wife he operated stopping places at Oak Island, Dog Island, and Yellow Girl on the lake. With the opening of the railway and the slowing down of the steamboat travel on Lake of the Woods, the family moved to Winnipeg around 1906 and from there to Imperial, Saskatchewan. William Sr and Cyril worked the Qu’Appelle on Last Mountain Lake that had runs from Port Hymen to Watertown. The family farmed in the area and ran a summer resort on Imperial Beach.
With occupation given as farmer and engineer and his father William in Imperial as next of kin, Cyril signed his recruitment papers with the 1st Depot Battalion Saskatchewan Regiment on 27 August 1918 in Regina, Saskatchewan. He gave his date of birth as 30 November 1893. He was discharged from service on 24 January 1919 due to demobilization. It appears that he had been on a harvest leave. Cyril’s brothers William and Ralph also served during the war.
Cyril was to make Regina his home, work listed as engineer on Voters lists. At some point he married Violet Louisa Avery. Born in 1895 in Ashford, Middlesex, England, Violet was the daughter of William Avery and widow Matilda (née Seeney) White, the couple marrying in 1893 in Ashford. By the time of the 1921 Canada census Matilda had married William Baldwin and was living in Piapot, Saskatchewan, Violet also listed in the household for the census. Both Cyril and Violet died in 1978, Violet on 9 February and Cyril on 8 December. Cyril was predeceased by his sister Alberta in 1922 in Winnipeg, his father William in 1937 and mother Eliza in 1947, both interred in the Imperial Cemetery, brother George in 1959 in Los Angeles, and brother William in 1964 in Regina. At the time of his death he was survived by his brothers Frederick in Kenora, Ralph in Saskatoon, Vincent in Imperial, and sister Irene in White Rock, BC. Cyril and Violet are interred in the Regina Memorial Gardens Cemetery.
by Judy Stockham
Relevant pages of The Imperial Review including the photograph of Cyril’s parents provided by Elsie Henry, Saskatoon.
Grave marker photograph courtesy of Terri H on findagrave.com.