Memorable Manitobans: Henry George Mayes (1880-1928)
Business executive, athlete.
Born at Northampton, England on 14 February 1880, son of Thomas Percy and Rosa Mayes, he was educated at Northampton Grammar School. In 1900, he joined the Cape Mounted Rifles as a trooper, serving through Boer War and earning the King’s and Queen’s medals and five-clasps, and retiring after his marriage. He came to Winnipeg in 1909 and opened a tannery with H. A. Mullins, known as Mullins Tanning and Manufacturing Company, reorganized the following year as the Winnipeg Tanning Company with E. A. James as President and himself Managing Director and Vice-President.
During the First World War, he went overseas as a founding member of the Fort Garry Horse, going to France in 1914 as a Captain and returning to Canada in 1916 as a Major. He set up Bayonet Fighting Schools, was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel, and was appointed head of physical training to the Canadian Air Force. He was sent to London in 1917 to do a similar job for the RAF, being awarded an MBE in January 1918.
In 1908, he married Frances Hazard (?-?), daughter of Herbert Hazard, of New York and Newport, Rhode Island. He was a member of the Garry Club, Adanac Club, Winnipeg Golf Club, Winnipeg Tennis Club, Winnipeg Racquet Club, Conservative party, and Anglican church. In 1911, he lived at the Moxam Court, Winnipeg. A keen tennis player, he held championships won in England and South Africa and, later, was tennis champion in Manitoba (1910). After the First World War, he became a regular on the international tennis circuit, playing in his last Wimbledon Singles in 1927. He was also a prominent polo player.
He died from blood poisoning at London, England, at the home of friends Sir and Lady Crosfield, on 5 December 1928. He was admitted to the Canadian Tennis Hall of Fame in 2008.
Who’s Who in Western Canada: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Men and Women of Western Canada, Volume 1, edited by C. W. Parker, Vancouver: Canadian Press Association, 1911.
“Mayes, tennis star, is dead in London,” New York Times, 6 December 1928.
We thank Tony Mayes and Daniel Doyon for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 29 February 2020