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Les soldats de la Grande Guerre : Projet de biographies historiques sur les soldats de Fredericton

Les textes explicatifs, les descriptions archivistiques, les commentaires, les en têtes de champs de données et les messages d’assistance à la navigation dans le site Web des Archives provinciales du Nouveau Brunswick sont en anglais et en français. Lorsqu’un élément est extrait d’un document pour être inséré dans une base de données ou présenté comme fac similé, il apparaît dans la langue du document d’origine.

Kelly, Lloyd Robert

Private 817492
140th Battalion, New Brunswick
26th Battalion, New Brunswick

Background

Private Lloyd Robert Kelly was born September 3, 1896 in Kingsclear, New Brunswick to Benjamin Kelly and Annie Elizabeth Poore. According to marriage records, Benjamin and Annie were married in July of 1888 and together they would have four sons, Gerald, Leslie, Whitman, and Lloyd, as well as two daughters, May and Hilda. Lloyd was the second youngest in the family. His father, Benjamin, was born in New Brunswick, on October 14, 1856 as was Bessie, born on June 26, 1866. Growing up just outside Fredericton in Kingsclear Lloyd and his family would have been familiar with most families in the area either through work, church, or school. And so, when Lloyd and Eva Ella Milton married one another on November 29, 1915, as the war in Europe continued, it is not surprising that she also was living in the same area as his family, although she had been born in Norfolk, England. Lloyd also had made the decision to enlist.

While little is known about how they met, both Lloyd and Eva came from Methodist families and both were quite young when they married, as documents suggest Lloyd was 19 and Eva 18. However, records found elsewhere suggest that Eva might have been 16 years old rather than what was indicated on her marriage certificate. According to his attestation papers, Lloyd would enlist with 140th Battalion December 3, 1915 in Sussex, New Brunswick. He had no prior experience in the military, but his skills as a farmer would be useful in Europe. Lloyd stood five feet five inches tall and had a medium complexion, with blue eyes, and dark brown hair. They both likely knew at the time of his enlistment that Eva was pregnant and that she would have the baby while he was away. She would give birth to a little boy one year later in the fall of 1916. Eva would name the boy, Lloyd, after his father. While it is likely that they would have a chance to spend time together before he left in 1916, Lloyd would never return home from Europe.

Wartime Experience

Private Lloyd Robert Kelly would train with his unit in Canada before leaving from Halifax, Nova Scotia for England September 25, 1916 aboard the S.S Corsican. The 140th would arrive at Liverpool, England on October 6 and given very little time for training before joining the 26th Battalion, New Brunswick as it left for France October 29. Lloyd would finalize his will on October 27 naming his wife Eva Ellen Kelly. Unlike so many others who had come through before him, Lloyd would not have the benefit of extended training in England and would have to learn quickly while in the field. Private Kelly likely considered himself lucky that his first test would not have to come during the battle of the Somme. He would be arriving to the front in late November just as things would go quiet for a few months over the winter of 1916-1917. The break would not last too long as Canadians began the task of preparing for their April attack at Vimy Ridge.

While fighting with the 2nd Division, 5th Brigade during the April 9 attack at Vimy, Private Kelly and the 26th Battalion made good progress achieving their objectives as they worked behind the barrage of Canadian artillery. Units would follow in behind and push forward as the 26th dug-in to keep ground that had been won. Despite substantial losses, Private Kelly and the Canadians would keep moving forward down the slopes of Vimy by May and would be active with the 26th in the area of Neuville-St.-Vaast, according to battalion diaries. While there would be reports of enemy shelling and counter-attacks, what exactly happened to Lloyd on May 2, 1917 is still largely unknown. His circumstances of death records simply reveal that he would die as a result of wounds received after receiving medical attention at No. 6 Casualty Clearing Station. Private Kelly was 21 years old, leaving behind his wife, Eva, and a son he would never meet. Eva Kelly would eventually marry a gentleman from Fredericton, Christopher Patrick Sullivan, in the fall of 1918.

Lest We Forget

Private Lloyd Robert Kelly is buried with honour at Barlin Communal Cemetery Extension located in Barlin, France. The cemetery is norther of Arras and south-west of Noex-les-Mines, France.

*This biography was researched and written by Diana Kopp & Majestic MacMillan, Grade 8 students (2015-2016) at George Street Middle School located in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.

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