Memorable Manitobans: William Starkey “Billy” Drewry (1884-1947)
Born at Winnipeg on 4 July 1884, son of Edward Lancaster Drewry and Eliza Lile Starkey (1852-1922), he was educated at St. John’s College, University of Toronto, and McGill University. He worked as superintendent and chemist at Drewry’s Limited for nineteen years, resigning to open up business for himself at Kenora, Ontario in July 1923. For the last ten years of his life, he was Secretary for Regal Investments Limited.
During the First World War, he joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force in 1914 as Lieutenant with the Fort Garry Horse. He transferred to the 61st Battalion as a Captain and served in France with the 10th Battalion. He saw service on the Somme and was invalided to Canada in 1917. He was appointed Officer Commanding, British Canadian Recruiting Mission, Minneapolis; served there until September 1918. He reported back to Military District No. 10, and went on Corps of Reserves.
He was married twice, first on 21 April 1908 to Georgina Mary Locke (1885-1934, daughter of Corbet Locke) and they had two sons: Corbet Lancaster Drewry (1909-1965) and William Edward “Ted” Drewry (1911-1988). His second wife was Gertrude Tetrault (1908-1965). He was a member of the Anglican Church, Rotary Club, and Knights of Pythias.
He died at his St. Boniface residence, 457 Rue Jeanne D'Arc, on 9 July 1947 and was buried in the St. John's Cathedral Cemetery.
Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.
Death registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
“William S. Drewry dies here at 63,” Winnipeg Tribune, 10 July 1947, page 13.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
We thank Pat Benham Norrena and Jack Patriarche for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 6 September 2021