As mentioned in previous posts, my mother remarried when I was 2 years old, after my father passed away. Although I knew that my step-father and his sister were born in Lachine, Quebec and that my step-grandmother was born in England, I didn’t really know too much about the Kay family, other than the fact that my step-father’s sister, Helen was married to my father’s brother, Forbes Farrell, making my blood cousins my step-cousins! (I’ll post more on that in a future post).
Last weekend my sister Judy brought out a box of medals that belonged to my step-great uncle, James Kay that I hadn’t seen in years. She wanted me to take them as she knows that I am working on the family history and thought I would be interested in them.
James Kay was a name that we had heard about but whom we knew virtually nothing. All we knew was that he was my step-grandfather’s brother and that he was killed during WWI. I don’t even remember ever seeing a picture of him. My step-father didn’t know anything about him and my step-grandfather died when I was little so we couldn’t ask him. James Kay was just a name from the past.
While looking through the box of medals, we found a picture of him. Now we had a face to a name and James became a real person! This picture was the front of a post card that James sent to his mother dated January 1916.
We also found two tiny pictures, one of which was of his grave and temporary cross, with a hand drawn map on the back showing the cemetery where he is buried, but no name of the cemetery (although I could tell from the map that it was in France).
With the medals we also found his dog tag, which mentioned his Unit name. I told my sister that with this little bit of information, I would try to see if I could find James’ military information. The next couple of days were spent researching (after which my elbow gave me grief) and did I hit a gold mine! Not only did I find James's military information, I also found some information on my step-grandfather that I knew nothing about.
Stay tuned to see what I found.