Memorable Manitobans: Henry Martindale Speechly (1866-1951)
Physician and surgeon, naturalist.
Born at Cochin, South West India on 1 November 1866, son of Bishop John Martindale Speechly and Mary Gray Grove, he was educated at Perse Grammar School (Cambridge, England), Monkton Combe School (England) and the London Hospital (London, England). He began medical practice in 1889, practised eleven years in England, then came to Manitoba and continued his practice at Pilot Mound, later moving to Winnipeg. During the First World War, he served overseas as a medical officer at the VAD Hospital (1916 to 1919). He also served as Coroner for Manitoba and Vice-President of the Manitoba Medical Association.
In 1895, he married Mary Barrett and they had three children: Margaret Mary Speechly, William Grove Speechly (1906-1982), and Leslie Barrett Speechly (1909-1997). He was Secretary of the Pilot Mound Board of Trade, President of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew in Canada (1922), President of the Winnipeg Boy Scouts Association, President of the Manitoba Museum (1933-1947), and a member of the Canadian Club of Winnipeg, Thistle Curling Club, and Assiniboine Lawn Bowling Club. He was a distinguished horticulturalist, the first President of the Manitoba Horticultural and Forestry Association (1911-1916). He helped found the Natural History Society of Manitoba in 1920. In 1943 he was given an honorary doctorate by the University of Manitoba.
He died at his Winnipeg home, 232 Home Street, on 17 March 1951 and was buried in the Brookside Cemetery.
Birth registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
1911 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
Who’s Who in Western Canada: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Men and Women of Western Canada, Volume 1, edited by C. W. Parker, Vancouver: Canadian Press Association, 1911.
“Dr. H. M. Speechly dies; long life of service ends,” Winnipeg Free Press, 17 March 1951, page 1. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B10]
Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.
Obituary [William Grove Speechly], Winnipeg Free Press, 15 July 1982, page 50.
Obituary [Leslie B. Speechly], Winnipeg Free Press, 16 May 1997, page 36.
Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.
We thank James Burns for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 13 March 2022