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Wellington Keffer

Male 1862 - 1940  (78 years)


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  • Name Wellington Keffer 
    Born 16 Jan 1862  Vaughan, York, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    FindAGrave Memorial # 133047309 
    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 
    Person ID I438  The Keffer - Diceman Family Tree
    Last Modified 19 Jul 2014 

    Father Solomon Keffer,   b. 18 Feb 1830, Vaughan, York, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Apr 1905, Hespeler, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 75 years) 
    Mother Elizabeth Mager,   b. 16 Apr 1836, Hespeler, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Jun 1940, Hespeler, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 104 years) 
    Married 1853  Vaughan, York, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F127  Group Sheet

    Family 1 Leah Jane Hertz,   d. 16 Jul 1888, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. William Raymond Keffer,   b. 1890
     2. Alvin Wellington Keffer,   b. 1887,   d. 1888  (Age 1 years)
     3. Ellen Keffer,   b. 1888
    Last Modified 19 Jul 2014 
    Family ID F129  Group Sheet

    Family 2 Ellen Priscilla Warren,   b. 1869, Brantford, Brant, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1961, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 92 years) 
    Married 9 Apr 1890  Hespeler, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    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.
    Children 
     1. Ernest Ralph Keffer,   b. 29 Jul 1886, Hespeler, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Sep 1916, Courcelette, Somme, Picardie, France Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 30 years)
     2. Leah Helen Keffer,   b. 30 Apr 1888, Vaughan, York, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1890, Vaughan, York, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 1 years)
    +3. John Warren Keffer,   b. 30 Jan 1891, Vaughan, York, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Dec 1965  (Age 74 years)
     4. Alice Ethel Keffer,   b. 17 Mar 1892, Vaughan, York, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location
     5. Franklin Mager Keffer,   b. 17 Oct 1893, Vaughan, York, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Jun 1916, Maple Copse, Ypres, West Flanders, Belgium Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 22 years)
     6. Frederick Russell Keffer,   b. 2 Feb 1899, Vaughan, York, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location
     7. Mary Elizabeth Keffer,   b. 13 Aug 1901, Vaughan, York, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Apr 2002, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 100 years)
     8. James Wellington Keffer,   b. 7 Mar 1905, Vaughan, York, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location
    Marriage
    1890Marriage-EllenWarren-WellingtonKeffer.jpg
    1890Marriage-EllenWarren-WellingtonKeffer.jpg
    1890 Marriage record for Ellen Warren and Wellington Keffer.
    Last Modified 23 Oct 2017 
    Family ID F130  Group Sheet

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 16 Jan 1862 - Vaughan, York, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 9 Apr 1890 - Hespeler, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 17 Mar 1940 - Hespeler, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - New Hope Cemetery, Cambridge, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
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