Harold Mayne Daly was born in Stratford, Perth, Ontario, Canada on the 23rd April 1880. He was the son of The Honourable Harold Mayne and Margaret Annabella Daly (née Jarvis), and his father was a prominent lawyer, and the Canadian Federal Minister of the Interior from 1892 until 1896. The family home was in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and later in Manitoba.
On completion of his education, Harold studied law in Manitoba and worked as a student-at-law for a period in his father’s legal firm in Rossland, British Columbia, and also worked in some of his father’s non-legal business interests.
In February 1900, Harold volunteered to serve in the South African War with Lord Strathcona’s Horse, and served against the Boers until March 1901, at which time he returned to Canada, continued his legal studies, and duly qualified as a barrister. It would appear that he didn’t have to sit any exams to qualify as British Columbia were granting such qualifications to young men, like Harold, in gratitude for their service in the Boer War!
From 1902 until 1905, he worked for a law firm in Vancouver, British Columbia, before he resigned his position and established his own stockbroker and real estate business in the city.
On the 31st August 1910, he married Grace Lowrey in a ceremony at the Banff Hotel, Banff, Alberta, and the couple established their home at 895. Chiles Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, which was the home of Grace’s family.
On the outbreak of World War I, Harold became involved in the war effort, particularly facilitating the Canadian troops serving in Europe in voting in the federal elections. Thus, in the spring of 1915, he had reason to cross the Atlantic to escort votes cast by Canadian troops in the federal election back to Canada, and as a consequence, booked as a saloon passenger on the
Lusitania sailing for 1st May 1915, c/o agents P. M. Buttler, of Ottawa. Leaving Ottawa at the end of April, he joined the liner at her berth at Pier 54 in New York harbour on the morning of 1st May.
Once he had boarded - with ticket number 8498, he was escorted to his accommodation, room D4, which he shared with Bostonian Richard R. Freeman Junior. The room was the personal responsibility of First Class Bedroom Steward William S. Fletcher who came from Wallasey on the opposite side of the River Mersey from Liverpool.
The liner’s sailing was delayed because she had to embark passengers, some crew and some cargo from the Anchor Liner
Cameronia which had been requisitioned by the British Admiralty and she finally slipped her moorings in the early afternoon and made her way into the north River and then the Atlantic Ocean.
Just six days later, in the early afternoon of 7th May, she was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine
U-20 when she was only twelve miles off the southern coast of Ireland and only 250 miles from her Liverpool destination.
Harold Daly was fortunate to survive the sinking - and this may have been because his accommodation was near the lifeboats - as was all the saloon accommodation. Nevertheless, having endured the sinking, he was rescued from the sea and landed at Queenstown from where he eventually reached his British destination. He was aged 35 years at the time of the sinking.
Bedroom Steward Fletcher who had looked after Harold Daly in room D4 also survived the sinking and eventually made it back to his Wallasey home, but fellow saloon passenger Richard Freeman perished.
Harold Daly obviously didn’t suffer any serious injury as a result of his ordeal as he departed from Liverpool at the end of May on the
Megantic, arriving in Ottawa on the 6th June.
On his return to Canada, Harold filed a claim with the Canadian Commission for the loss of his personal effects, which he valued at $487.85. His case was settled in November 1926, and he was awarded the full amount of his claim, with 5% interest from the date of the sinking to the settling of his claim.
Harold and his wife resided at 60. Delaware Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario, from 1915, however; sometime in the late 1920’s, it is likely they became estranged or separated, as it appears that Harold became involved with an American woman – Alline L. Fallon.
On the 25th July 1937, Grace Daly died in Montreal, and three days later, on the 28th July 1937, he married Alline L. Fallon in Manhattan, New York City, although it would appear they had previously married in New York on the 19th November 1930!
Harold Mayne Daly died at his home at 134. Fourth Avenue, Ottawa, on the 16th January 1969, aged 88 years, and his remains were cremated at Beechwood Cemetery in Ottawa after a private service. His ashes were interred at Pleasant Valley Cemetery, Dutchess County, New York.
Ontario Canada Births 1858 – 1913, Alberta Canada Marriages Index 1898 – 1942, New York Marriage License Indexes 1907 – 2018, Ottawa Canada Beechwood Cemetery Records 1873 – 1990, 1881 Census of Canada, 1891 Census of Canada, 1901 Census of Canada, 1911 Census of Canada, 1921 Census of Canada, Canadian Passenger Lists 1865 – 1935, UK Outward Passenger Lists 1890 – 1960, Cunard Records, Canadian Claims Case No. 835, The Province, Edmonton Journal, The Ottawa Journal, PRO 22/71, PRO BT 100/345, Graham Maddocks, Geoff Whitfield, Michael Poirier, Jim Kalafus, Cliff Barry, Paul Latimer, Norman Gray.
Copyright © Peter Kelly.