Wednesday, 25 April 2018

A - Z Challenge 2018 - V

The Blogging from A to Z Challenge is to post everyday (except Sunday) in the month of April 2016 starting with the letter A and going all the way to Z. The theme I chose is...
My Family Tree Places.


Victoria is on the craggy southern tip of Vancouver Island, off the pacific coast of Canada. Starting as a Hudson's Bay Company post in 1843, the settlement was renamed Fort Victoria, after Queen Victoria. When news of the discovery of gold on the BC mainland reached San Francisco, Victoria became a supply base for miners heading to the Fraser Canyon. Later with the Klondike Gold rush many ships went back and forth from Victoria with supplies and miners. When BC joined the Canadian Confederation in 1871, Victoria became capital of British Columbia. 

My 2x great uncle James Mavor was born in 1874 in Waterville, Compton, Quebec. In 1901 at the age of 27 he is living in Montreal living with his brother Frank and working as a stenographer. I don't know what happened since then, but in 1913 James is in Victoria, living on Oxford Street and working for the government in the public lands department. James also joined the Canadian Militia list before the war, and is on the 1916 Militia List as a Lieutenant with the 50th Gordon Highlanders. When war broke out he was transferred to the 143rd BC Bantams.

James was wounded at Vimy Ridge and again at Passchendaele where he earned the Military Cross. (The newspaper clipping mistakenly said it was for the wound at Vimy Ridge, and his military records say his left forearm had to be amputated). 

With a badly smashed hand he was able to take command and lead his company forward to hold their position.

When James returned to Victoria he stayed at the Soldiers Settlement at the James Bay Inn. He was soon back to work for the BC government.  

On 2 March 1927 James married Kate Ethelyn Adair and James worked for the government until 1934. They had no children. When James retired he and Kate moved into a house in Saanich. James died in 1961 at the age of 87. 

Victoria was home to Canada's famous artist Emily Carr
During the Second World War the James Bay Inn was purchased by a religious order and operated as St. Mary's Priory.  Emily Carr was a patient at the Priory in her final illness and died there 2 march 1945. After the war it became an Inn again.

James Bay Inn


  1. That is a powerful description of what he did that earned him the Military Cross. I am sure I would fail miserably if I were ever put to such a test.

    1. We never know what we will do, it is often an automatic reaction. I often read heroes say they didn't think, just acted and may not have done it if they took a moment to think about it.

  2. Victoria is somewhere I have never been but I'll be in Vancouver in June and thinking of going there before Seattle. Thanks for the story of James.


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