Memorable Manitobans: William Walker Kennedy (1882-1963)
Born at Westport, Leeds County, Ontario in 1882, son of William Kennedy and Selina E. Wright, he was educated at Westport, Athens High School, and Queen’s University. He came to Manitoba in 1904, engaged in journalism for two years, then entered Manitoba University Law School from which he graduated with the degree of LLB. He was articled in law to A. J. Andrews and was called to the Manitoba Bar in June 1909.
He joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force in November 1915 , going to France with the 46th Battalion in May 1917. He saw service on the Lens front (Triangle), Hill 70, and Passchendaele, and was wounded on 26 October 1917. He was in the Last Hundred Days; Amiens, Arras, Canal du Nord, Bourlon Wood, Cambrai, Valenciennes; awarded Military Cross (Passchendaele); Bar (Valenciennes); promoted captain in the field; major, in the field; discharged, June 1919 after which he resumed his law practice. He was made a King’s Counsel in 1931.
In 1910, he married Maude Elaine Wiltse (?-1957). He had a daughter, Beth Elaine Kennedy. He was elected to the House of Commons for Winnipeg South Centre in 1925, defeated in 1926, re-elected in 1930, defeated in 1935 and 1940. He was also defeated in the 1936 provincial general election. He served as Chairman of the Royal Commission on Price Spreads and Mass Buying (October 1934 to February 1935).
He died at St. Boniface on 10 February 1963 and was buried in Elmwood Cemetery. His honorary pallbearers were Errick Willis, C. C. Miller, Price Montague, G. S. Thorvaldson, Campbell Haig, Leslie Bell, J. M. Dunwoody, Dr. Morley Elliott, Maurice Olivier, Stanley Harrison, R. C. B. Dickson, B. B. Dubienski, W. D. McGowan, G. L. Johanason, T. Mackay Long, Alexander Adams, and E. A. Pridham.
Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.
The Canadian Directory of Parliament, 1867-1967, edited by J. K. Johnson, Public Archives of Canada, Ottawa [Library and Archives Canada], 1968.
“Six Manitoba lawyers named King’s Counsel,” Winnipeg Free Press, 1 January 1931, page 1.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 12 February 1963, page 24.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 24 June 2017
Back to top of page