649465 Pte. Roy John Urquhart was born in Gravenhurst, Ontario, July 5th, 1895. Our grandmother's brother and the eldest child of Elias and Maria Urquhart.

Roy never married, but had 2 brothers and 3 sisters, and is remembered with pride by all of their descendants as well. Our branch of the Urquhart family has a long history and traces their ancestry back to Ferintosh near Loch Ness, Scotland. The ruins of Urquhart Castle is one of Loch Ness' most prominent landmarks.

Roy worked as a logger, along with his father. According to his enlistment papers, Roy had lost two toes off his right foot, perhaps in some kind of logging accident, although the details are lost. A family joke says that his father had done it so that he would not be accepted for military service.

This image shows Roy (centre), with his family during his last leave at home.

At the time of his enlistment, Roy lived in the tiny hamlet of Sellwood Junction, Ontario; at that time the termination point of the Canadian Northern Railway. Sellwood Junction was re-named Milnet in 1916 and has since been abandoned. The town of Sellwood is still on the map, but the area where the small community once stood is an open-pit mine, part of the enormous nickel mining area of Sudbury.

Prior to enlistment, Roy was an active member of the 97th Militia Regt and when the call came he attested at North Bay, Ontario, on June 20th, 1916, and was assigned to the 159th Battalion and posted to Camp Borden for training. He sailed for England on the S.S. Empress of Britain, on October 31st, 1916, and disembarked November 11th, 1916, at Seaford, England. Roy was assigned to the #2 Canadian Labor Battalion, Seaford, for further training.

Roy was transferred to the 3rd Canadian Division's 4th CMR on August 16th, 1917, and embarked for France, arriving on the 17th. He then proceeded to the front and is listed as arrived on August 29th, 1917.

He was killed in action on October 26th, 1917, at the Battle of Passchendaele. The particulars of his death are unknown.

The Menin Gate Memorial, in Ieper, Belgium, commemorates 54,896 Commonwealth soldiers who are "missing without a trace". Roy's name is listed as, "Urquhart R. J.", on the fifth column, Tablet M, Panel 32 on the Memorial's south ramparts.

Roy's name is also listed on page 342 in the Canadian Book of Remembrance, which is kept on display in the Peace Tower, Ottawa, Canada. Page 342 is open for public viewing every May 25th.

Roy Urquhart is represented by:

Bruce Whaley, Calmar AB

Jim Whaley, Whitecourt AB

Janet Dowdall, Franktown, Ont.

The above details and photograph credit are with thanks to Jim, Bruce and Janet.

Menin Gate Tablet M, Panel 32 image supplied by 4cmr.com