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Family: Wellington Keffer/Ellen Priscilla Warren (F130)

m. 9 Apr 1890


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  • Father | Male
    Wellington Keffer

    Born  16 Jan 1862  Vaughan, York, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location
    Died  17 Mar 1940  Hespeler, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location
    Buried    New Hope Cemetery, Cambridge, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location
    Married  9 Apr 1890  Hespeler, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location
    Other Spouse  Leah Jane Hertz | F129 
    Married     
    Father  Solomon Keffer | F127 Group Sheet 
    Mother  Elizabeth Mager | F127 Group Sheet 

    Mother | Female
    Ellen Priscilla Warren

    Born  1869  Brantford, Brant, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location
    Died  1961  Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location
    Buried    New Hope Cemetery, Cambridge, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location
    Father  John Warren | F236 Group Sheet 
    Mother  Rachel Unsworth | F236 Group Sheet 

    Ernest Ralph KefferChild 1 | Male
    Ernest Ralph Keffer

    Born  29 Jul 1886  Hespeler, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location
    Died  19 Sep 1916  Courcelette, Somme, Picardie, France Find all individuals with events at this location
    Buried    Canadian National Vimy Memorial, Vimy, Calais, Nord Pas de Calais, France Find all individuals with events at this location

    Child 2 | Female
    Leah Helen Keffer

    Born  30 Apr 1888  Vaughan, York, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location
    Died  1890  Vaughan, York, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location
    Buried     

    Child 3 | Male
    + John Warren Keffer

    Born  30 Jan 1891  Vaughan, York, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location
    Died  10 Dec 1965   
    Buried     
    Spouse  Betsy Trotwood Kribs | F131 
    Married  10 Sep 1913  York, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location

    Child 4 | Female
    Alice Ethel Keffer

    Born  17 Mar 1892  Vaughan, York, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location
    Died     
    Buried     
    Spouse  William John Simpson | F317 
    Married  12 Dec 1915  York, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location

    Franklin Mager KefferChild 5 | Male
    Franklin Mager Keffer

    Born  17 Oct 1893  Vaughan, York, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location
    Died  2 Jun 1916  Maple Copse, Ypres, West Flanders, Belgium Find all individuals with events at this location
    Buried    Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Ypres, West Flanders, Belgium Find all individuals with events at this location

    Child 6 | Male
    Frederick Russell Keffer

    Born  2 Feb 1899  Vaughan, York, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location
    Died     
    Buried     
    Spouse  Ernette Vanbauer | F324 
    Married     

    Child 7 | Female
    Mary Elizabeth Keffer

    Born  13 Aug 1901  Vaughan, York, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location
    Died  22 Apr 2002  Waterloo, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location
    Buried    New Hope Cemetery, Cambridge, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location
    Spouse  Harold Kimberly Stager | F237 
    Married     

    Child 8 | Male
    James Wellington Keffer

    Born  7 Mar 1905  Vaughan, York, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location
    Died     
    Buried     
    Spouse  Helen M Fennell | F283 
    Married     

  • Marriage
    1890Marriage-EllenWarren-WellingtonKeffer.jpg
    1890Marriage-EllenWarren-WellingtonKeffer.jpg
    1890 Marriage record for Ellen Warren and Wellington Keffer.

  • Notes 
    • Excerpts from the original article: "'A crazy, crazy time' as Berlin becomes Kitchener", Written by Jeff Outhit. Published 8 May 2016.
      https://www.therecord.com/news-story/6543194--a-crazy-crazy-time-as-berlin-becomes-kitchener/

      Pte. Frank Keffer is learning the hard way how to fight on the Western Front.

      "I have been under shell and rifle fire, and in the trenches, off and on the whole time, and am quite used to it now; but no one ever gets used to the shelling," he writes to an uncle in January 1916. "They always make us take the nearest shelter, and then we trust to luck that they don't make a direct hit."

      Keffer, 22, is from Hespeler. He's a smart man, recruited out of university after graduating from Galt Collegiate, where he ran and played rugby.

      On June 2, 1916, he's helping to hold the Allied front line at a place called Mount Sorrel in Belgium. Muddy trenches are still strewn with rotting corpses of earlier battles.

      The Germans attack with a plan: Break through the Canadian lines to capture the high ground beyond, attacking with rested, well-trained troops.

      First they launch a five-hour artillery barrage that flattens Canadian trenches. The enemy detonates mines planted beneath trenches, sending mud and human remains into the air.

      Grey-coated enemy soldiers follow, advancing in four waves about 75 metres apart, bayonets fixed, carrying hand grenades, wire cutters, entrenching tools and sandbags.

      Canadian trenches are overrun. Keffer is killed at Maple Copse, a wooded area where combat uproots trees, showering the battlefield with deadly slivers and stakes.

      Television director John Keffer respects his great uncle's sacrifice, but struggles to understand the meaning of his death.

      "I just can't imagine a young man being thrust into something like that," Keffer said. "People were very nave. They were going over there to fight the Hun and it was going to be over by Christmas. They had no idea what they were getting into."

      -

      June 1916 becomes the bloodiest month that Waterloo County (the Region today) has endured in the First World War. It holds that distinction until September 1916, when 31 local soldiers are killed as Canada joins the slaughter at the Somme battlefield in France.

      Among September's dead is Pte. Ernest Keffer, 20, a weaver from Hespeler. He's the younger brother of Frank.

      On Sept. 19, Keffer is resting alone in a shell hole, exhausted. He awakens early and rises up. Comrades in shell holes nearby yell a warning, but can't prevent calamity.

      A German sniper targets Keffer. Shot through the body, he pitches forward onto a railway track. His comrades manage to pull him into a larger hole but they know right away it's too late. Keffer dies within 30 minutes.

      Wellington and Nellie Keffer have now lost two sons, four months apart. The father poured his fears into a letter to his sister in 1915.

      "It goes without saying that Nellie and I can't help but be anxious, and it is hard to part with the boys and have them exposed to constant danger, and it may be that while we are writing our fond letters to them that they may be lying still in death, and we may see their faces no more," he wrote.

      "And yet we would not have them back until the war is over; and feel we are one of many more thousands who have made the sacrifice and that they are fighting to uphold the right.

      "And another thing that gives us great comfort is the fact that the boys have never given us any trouble, and are highly respected and loved by all that knew them, and if it should be that they will not return to us any more, we know that they are both prepared to go, and trusting Him who cares for us all, and doeth all things well."

      Kitchener's Betsy Ackford is comforted to know that her uncles volunteered for a cause they believed in. "They were very brave to do that," she said.
      Her mother Mary lived to 100 and never forgot her beloved brothers.