Someone’s Military Ancestor – The Jay Brothers

Day 4 of the 11-day Military Challenge

A tattered old newspaper clipping, tucked in amoung a stack of papers that are the remanents of my grandparent’s lives. Carefully unfolding the yellowed paper to see what will be revealed, three brothers off fighting for Canada in WWI, sons of Minnie Jay of 863 Cadieux Street in Montreal.

Minnie their mother tells the newspaper that all three of her boys are wounded –

Jay boys in Khaki

The clipping saved by my grandfather

 Mrs. Jay, of 863 Cadieux street, has given her three sons to the Empire’s service, all of whom have appeared in the casualty lists. Reading from left to right they are: Pte George Arthur Jay of the 3rd Canadian Divisional Signalling Company, who has just been admitted to hospital suffering from gas poisoning; Pte. John Jay, of the R.H.A. now in hospital at Bonscombe and Segt. William A. Jay, who went over with the First Contingent, now the convalescent hospital at Epson, England. The latter has been wounded four times since going to the front.

With no obvious connection to my family, I sit down to research the Jays of Montreal. William James Jay and his wife Minnie had more children than the three sons in the clipping, besides George Arthur, John and William A, they also had Edward, Mildred, Elizabeth, Minnie, and Sally.

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1921 Canadian Census Reference Number: RG 31; Folder Number: 117; Census Place: St Louis Ward, Montreal, Georges-Étienne Cartier, Quebec; Page Number: 14

I found the service files for all three of the Jay men on the Library and Archives website (which is in the process of digitizing all the service files for WWI soldiers). I am happy to report that all three recovered from their wounds and returned to Canada.

The connection to my family is still a question but I believe that one of the Jay brothers was likely a friend of my grandfather, John M. Dever. John was not only a fellow soldier but also hailed from Montreal, maybe they knew each other before serving or perhaps they were in the same Signaling unit.

I may never know how my grandfather knew the Jay men but I thought it fitting that I remember their service.

#someonesmilitaryancestor knew #mymilitaryancestor

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