Blake, Gerald Edward

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Blake, Gerald Edward

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Gerald Edward Blake was born in Toronto on May 28, 1892, the eldest son of Edward Francis Blake and Ethel Mary Benson. His father, Edward Blake (1860-1905) was the son of the Hon. Edward Blake, former Chancellor of the University of Toronto, and partner in the law firm Blake, Lash & Cassels. His mother was the eldest daughter of Judge Thomas M. Benson of Port Hope, and step sister of Clara Benson (See B2003-0008). The Blake family was also related to the Wrong family through the marriage of Edward Blake’s sister Sophia Hume to George M. Wrong, professor of history at the University of Toronto. (See B2003-0005).

Gerald Blake’s early education was at Ridley College, St. Catherines from which he graduated in 1910. In the fall, he entered the University of Toronto with double scholarship in Classics and Mathematics and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1914. During his years at the University he was a member of Kappa Alpha Fraternity, along with his cousins, Hume Wrong and Harold V. Wrong. He was studying law at Osgoode Hall when war broke out in 1914. He left for England in June, 1915 to join the British Expeditionary Force. During his time overseas, he became engaged to Katherine Ogden Jones and spent his last leave with her and his aunt, Emily Morris, in England during the spring of 1916.

He was commissioned as 2nd Lieut. 4th Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry on July 22, 1915. He fought in France and Flanders from 31 October 1915 and was promoted to Lieutenant on April 1, 1916 and Captain on 13 July 1916. He was killed in action at Pozières during the Battle of the Somme on July 23, 1916. He was buried in Mash Valley, “1,250 yards due west of the centre of Pozières.” [1].

[1] The roll of honour. A biographical record of all members of His Majesty’s Naval and Military forces who have fallen in the War. Volume II. By The Marquis de Ruvigny (London: n.d.). Gerald Blake is recorded on page 31.


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