Father’s Day: Major Sydney Charles Wilcox, Family Always in his Thoughts

by Shelby Smith

With Father’s Day tomorrow, we thought we would share with you the story of one father, Sydney Wilcox, and his loving letter to his 6 year old daughter while he was away overseas.

Black and white portrait of Sydney Wilcox with his two young daughters sitting on his lap.

From the Kenora Great War Project:

Major Sydney Charles Wilcox
1883 – 1969
Family Always in his Thoughts

Sydney’s military career had begun as early as 1901 back in his home town of Windsor, Nova Scotia where he was a Second Lieutenant with the 68th Regiment.

With his bride, the former Constance Whitman, Sydney moved to Kenora in late 1910 or early 1911 where he found work with the Canadian Pacific Railway. By the time he signed his Officer’s Papers in Winnipeg on 4 January 1916, the couple had two small children, Gertrude and Charles.

Going overseas with the 100th Battalion, Sydney was to spend most of the war with the Canadian Railway Troops, achieving the rank of Major. He wrote home to Constance and the children, remembering their birthdays and sending small gifts such as the two silver rings which are in the Lake of the Woods Museum’s collection.


Major Sydney Charles Wlicox wrote a letter to his daughter Gertrude on the occasion of her 6th birthday.  You can listen to a performance of his letter below.

Did you know?

In 1870 the Wolseley Expedition went through this area on route to the Red River Valley. Major General Garnet Wolseley got impatient and set out to cross the lake in a storm.  He got lost on the Lake of the Woods for two whole days!

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