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Friday, December 18, 2009



We returned home last night after visiting my daughter Beverly and her family in England for the past 12 days. My son-in-law, Greg Hunter, is a proud member of the Royal Air Force and is currently stationed at RAF Northwood, northwest London, next door to former WWII fighter base RAF Northolt. In fact their house is almost under Northolt's main runway. 32 (Royal) Squadron is stationed at Northolt so my guess is that the Queen was flying over our head on a number of occasions. We managed to tour Windsor Castle. Here I saw several King's Colours and Regimental Colours of Canadian Regiments but could not get close enough to identify them. Surprised to see that King George V and his bride are buried in St. George's Chapel at the Castle. My grandfather felt that meeting the King during October, 1915 on the Battlefields of Belgium was one event he would cherish forever. He was one of 50 men from the 3rd (Toronto) Battalion chosen to meet the King. Shortly afterwards he was captured and spent the next three years in German Prison Camps.
I was determined to visit the British National Archives in Kew Gardens while on vacation and my wish was granted. What a place! In a nutshell, very modern, pretty, everyone on staff very helpful and I obtained much of the information I was looking for (but not all). In future days I will tell the story of another Sergeant from my grandfather's photograph from the 3rd Battalion, Sergeant Alan Reeve #9485 (later to become 2nd/Lt. Alan Reeve, R.F.C.) Santa also brought me a present a bit early - copy of the 246th (Nova Scotia) Nominal Roll and Reinforcement Draft. Hopefully this can be added to the on-line collection early in the New Year. Later!

Friday, December 4, 2009



The surname, Tuffrey, was my paternal Grandmother's maiden name. Alice Tuffrey met and married my Grandfather, John Cody, in London during the War. Alice came from a tiny village in Oxfordshire called Bletchingdon (or Bletchington). When she was born in 1889, there were no less than three large Tuffrey families in Bletchingdon and several more in close-by Weston-on-the-Green. All were related. To this day we do not know if Grandmother Tuffrey knew that two of her Tuffrey cousins had emigrated to Canada before the War. None of my cousins, my father or my aunts remembered her talking about them. However, two of her first cousins, Leonard Tuffrey and Herbert John Tuffrey came to Canada. Leonard settled in Toronto and Herbert headed out West to Saskatchewan, presumably looking for employment. Grandmother Tuffrey and her cousins were basically the same age and all lived in row cottages on The Row, Townend, Grandmother at number 5. Leonard married - wife's name was Annie Lavina. and they resided at 192 Gladstone Avenue, Toronto, later moving to 208 Dovercourt. At the time of Leonard's Attestation April 19, 1917 into the C.E.F., they had one daughter, Winifred Barbara, 7 months. Leonard's eyesight was not good therefore a medical board had to declare him fit to join the 70th Toronto Battery. When the unit reached Camp Niagara for training two things were found: first Leonard had no eyesight in the right eye; two, he was very sick with enlarged tonsils. It is not good to shoot large guns with poor eyesight therefore Private Tuffrey was transferred to the Canadian Army Medical Corps in No.2 District Toronto for the balance of the war. He rose quickly through the ranks ending as being appointed Sergeant June 1, 1918, spending most of the time at Camp Niagara. His damaged eye was found to be burned as a result of errant fireworks received in Bletchingdon, as a child. Leonard was discharged as "Medically Unfit" July 31, 1918 at the age of 30. He and Annie continued there new life in Toronto raising a family. His son, Leonard, Jr. recently (2009) died in Pickering, Ont. Brother Herbert John was not so lucky. After joining the Canadian Army, he was Killed in Action near Cambrai, France on September 2,1918 while fighting in the 46th (Suicide) Battalion. More on him in a later blog.