Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Herbert James “Tibbie” Tomkins (1886-1940)


Born at Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, England on 11 October 1886, son of S. J. Tomkins, he immigrated to Canada in 1905, earned degrees from the University of Manitoba (Arts) and St. John’s College (Theology), and was the Student-In-Charge (1914) of St. Mary Magdalene Church in St. Vital. With the onset of the First World War, he enlisted in February 1916 and was a Lance Corporal with the 11th Field Ambulance, later earning the rank of Lieutenant. Returning from overseas duties, he was ordained in 1919 and entered the Anglican priesthood in 1920. On 27 July 1921, he married Kathleen Mary Matheson (1894-1927) at Winnipeg. The couple had two daughters: Mary Edith Tomkins (wife of William Garnett Lobb) and Margaret Anne Tomkins (wife of Roy A. McDonald).

He was the Curate of St. John’s Cathedral (1919-1926) after which he spent brief tenures at Wolverhampton, England and Cochrane, Ontario, the latter where he was Rector of the Holy Trinity Pro-Cathedral. In 1927, he was posted back to Manitoba as Rector (1927-1929) of a Virden congregation before returning to Winnipeg in January 1929 as Rector of Christ Church (1929-1931). Prior to his August 1931 resignation, he established and oversaw the Christ Church Social Service Trust for two years until the unemployment relief organization was taken over by the provincial government. Additionally, he was Chaplain of Chafyn Grove and a founder of the Sir Hugh John Macdonald Memorial Hostel. He then became the Rector (1931-1939) of St. Andrew’s-on-the-Red Anglican Church and was the Warden of the Rupert’s Land Readers Association.

He died at the Brandon General Hospital on 1 July 1940 and was buried in St. John’s Cathedral Cemetery.


Birth, marriage, and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

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

1921 Canada census, Ancestry.

“Anglicans of St. Vital pass 6th milestone,” Winnipeg Tribune, 31 October 1931, page 11.

“Christ Church to mark 59th anniversary,” Winnipeg Tribune, 15 December 1934, page 14.

“To conduct service,” Winnipeg Tribune, 14 July 1934, page 6.

Death notice, Winnipeg Tribune, 1 July 1940, page 13.

“Rev H. J. Tomkins,” Winnipeg Free Press, 2 July 1940, page 7.

“Rev. H. J. Tomkins, an appreciation,” Winnipeg Tribune, 6 July 1940, page 14.

“St. Andrew's has served 92 years,” Winnipeg Tribune, 18 October 1941, page 18.

“Mary Edith Tomkins given in marriage by grandfather,” Winnipeg Free Press, 11 June 1947, page 10.

Engagement notices [Tomkins - McDonald], Winnipeg Free Press, 14 May 1949, page 16.

Obituary [William Lobb], Winnipeg Free Press, 19 July 2006, page 22.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 18 March 2017

Memorable Manitobans

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