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Memorable Manitobans: Christopher Patrick John O’Kelly (1895-1922)

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Christopher Patrick John O'Kelly
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War hero.

Born at Winnipeg on 18 November 1895, son of Mary Cecilia Morion, he attended local schools and was an undergraduate at St. John’s College when he volunteered for the 144th Battalion. He was later transferred to the 52nd Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force and was awarded the Victoria Cross at Passchendale in October 1917. Subsequently, he was promoted to Captain. O’Kelly was among the first soldiers to return to Winnipeg and was welcomed at a reception at Columbus Hall on 14 April 1918. Rejoining the Winnipeg Rifles in 1921 with the rank of Major, he died in a boating accident at Lac Seul, Ontario while prospecting for mining sites with a companion. He is commemorated by a monument at Camp Morton on Lake Winnipeg.


Birth registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

Attestation papers, Canadian Expeditionary Force, Library and Archives Canada.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 1 July 2018

Memorable Manitobans

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