|Date of Birth||April 12, 1898|
|Place of Birth||Kenora, Ontario|
|Next of Kin||Elvina Cardinal, mother, 5 Avoca Apartments, Winnipeg, Manitoba|
|Trade / Calling||Miscellaneous, aviator cadet, engineer|
|Regimental Number||Can 172840|
|Service Record||see images below|
|Battalion||Royal Air Force (Canada)|
|Branch||Royal Air Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Address at Enlistment||5 Avoca Apartments, Winnipeg, Manitoba|
|Date of Enlistment||May 16, 1918|
|Age at Enlistment||20|
|Theatre of Service||Canada|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||May 8, 1969|
|Age at Death||71|
|Buried At||Saint Marys Catholic Cemetery, Twin Sisters, Blanco County, Texas|
Elphege Louis Cardinal was born on 12 April 1898 in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) in northwestern Ontario. His father Louis Cardinal was from Montebello, Quebec and moved to the area around 1894. His mother Evelina Roy was from Point Gatineau, Quebec and had relocated to nearby Keewatin with her parents and siblings sometime before the 1891 Canada census. The couple married on 20 July 1897 in Keewatin. Louis was a well known hotel man in Western Canada, operating the Club Hotel and later the Ottawa Hotel in Rat Portage for a number of years before moving to Winnipeg and Wolseley in Manitoba in the early 1900’s. The family returned to the area around 1906 when Louis became the proprietor of the Empire Hotel in Keewatin. It appears that Elphege was their only child. Sadly, Louis died in late December of 1914 of quinsey, infection of the throat. By 1916 Evelina and Elphege had moved to Winnipeg where Evelina ran an apartment house on Sargent Avenue and Elphege apprenticed in the railway shops.
Elphege signed his attestation papers with the Royal Air Force on 16 May 1918 in Winnipeg. His forename was given as Eldrege on his service record and his next of kin as his mother Evelina at 5 Avoca Apartments in Winnipeg. By the 20th of May Elphege was in Toronto to begin training as a 3rd Air Mechanic. On 26 October 1918 he was appointed Flight Cadet Pilot and then discharged in consequences of being surplus to RAF requirements on the 29th of December. That September another lad who had lived at one point in Keewatin, Gerald Bailey, was killed in a flying accident at Armour Heights Airfield. With the funeral held in Keewatin on September 6, Elphege returned to Keewatin to attend.
After discharge Elphege returned to Winnipeg, found on the 1921 census living with his mother in the French speaking Norwood area of St Boniface in Winnipeg and working as a machinist. After obtaining a delayed birth registration in Ottawa in early August of 1928, Elphege and his mother moved to Chicago, Illinois later that month. By the 1930 US census Elphege was managing an automobile service station and lodging with the Fulton family. His mother Evelina died on 4 October 1939 in Chicago, with her remains returned to Kenora to be interred with Louis in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery. On 9 August 1943, as registered in Cook County, Illinois, Elphege married Mary Wintonick. It appears that the marriage did not last and Mary later married Donald Severs.
Elphege died on 8 May 1969 in Blanco, Blanco County, Texas. He is interred in the Saint Mary Cemetery in Twin Sisters, Blanco County, a small community about 11 kilometres south of Blanco. On his grave marker his forename is recorded as Eldege.
by Judy Stockham
Elphege’s grave marker photo: KPerry on findagrave.com