Christopher O'Kelly

Christopher Patrick John O'Kelly
Born (1895-11-18)18 November 1895
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Died 15 November 1922(1922-11-15) (aged 26)
Lac Seul, Ontario, Canada
Allegiance  Canada
Service/branch Canadian Expeditionary Force
Years of service 1915 - 1922
Rank Major
Unit 52nd (96th Lake Superior Regiment)Battalion
Battles/wars World War I

Christopher Patrick John O'Kelly VC MC (18 November 1895 15 November 1922) was a Canadian soldier and prospector. O'Kelly was a recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.


Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, O'Kelly joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force in October 1915.[1] He was 21 years old, and an acting captain in the 52nd (96th Lake Superior Regiment)Battalion, CEF, during the First World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.[2]

On 26 October 1917 at Passchendaele, Belgium, Captain O'Kelly led his company with extraordinary skill and determination. They captured six pill-boxes, with 100 prisoners and 10 machine-guns. Later his company repelled a strong counterattack, taking more prisoners, and subsequently during the night they captured a hostile raiding party consisting of one officer, 10 men and a machine-gun.[3]

He later achieved the rank of Major. After the war, O'Kelly became a prospector in Northwestern Ontario. He drowned in 1922 while canoeing on Lac Seul. His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, Canada.


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