Fonds PR-285 - Owen Talbot Aspray fonds

H.M. The King at the Manoeuvres at Little Abington The Royal departure from Cowes Army Manoeuvres, scenes at Thetford Army Manoeuvres, scenes at Thetford [Royal Navy] ships Ship Sailors on motor boat "The Green Parrot", the steam barge of the Commander-in-Chief of Portsmouth Admiral Sir... The mighty "Orion" leaving Portsmouth HMS Cumberland (The College Cruiser)
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Owen Talbot Aspray fonds


  • 1912-1919 predominant (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

88 photographs.
3 notebooks.
1 book.
1 certificate of promotion.
1 cm of textual records.

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Owen Talbot Aspray was born in London, England on December 12th, 1880 to parents Thomas Neville and Emily Aspray. He immigrated to Canada in 1900. On November 1, 1910, Aspray married Matilda Collier in Victoria. They had three daughters: Emily Matilda (1911), Annette Ada Violet (1913), and Constance Owena May (1917). The Asprays are listed as living on Tolmie Avenue in the 1911 census. Aspray gave his occupation at this time as a teamster. At Willows Camp on December 11th, 1914, Owen Aspray enlisted in the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles, reg. #107066. He listed previous military experience in the Imperial Yeomanry for a duration of one year and 192 days. The address given for his wife was 10 Sims St, Maywood P.O. Private Aspray landed in France on September 22nd, 1915 and was promoted to Lance Corporal on March 6th, 1916. While serving in Ypres, he “caught a chill in the trenches”. Pain in his back and legs and increasing jaundice sent him to hospital in England. While his condition was initially quite grave, he eventually improved and was sent to a convalescent home in Woodcote Park, Epsom. The diagnosis was Infectious Jaundice (Hepatitis. Aspray returned to active duty on September 18th, 1916. Promotions followed: L. Sergeant on June 13th 1917, and Sergeant by July 14th of the same year. Sergeant Aspray is reported wounded in action twice, on September 15th 1917, and October 27th, 1917 at which time he received injuries to his hands and face. January of 1918 found him assigned to be an “Instructor to Canadian Corps School”. On August 7th, 1918, Aspray was “transferred to England with a view to being granted a commission”. He officially became Lieutenant Owen Talbot Aspray on November 23rd, 1918 and was assigned to the 1st Central Ontario Regiment. Aspray returned to Canada on board the Empress of Britain and received his discharge in Victoria on March 19th, 1919. On March 31st, 1948, Owen Talbot Aspray died at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Victoria. His death registration lists his occupation as “Returned Soldier”. His address was 68 Sims Avenue. He is buried in the Royal Oak Burial Park. Owen Talbot Aspray is commemorated on the Saanich WWI Honour Roll.


Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Donated in 2017 by descendant of Owen Talbot Aspray.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Fonds consists of records relating to the British Army Manoeuvres of 1912; WWI, and Owen Talbot Aspray's military service. Fonds includes photographs; postcards; a journal; notebooks; training materials; correspondence; news clippings; WWI service book and membership card; book; and reference material.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


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Conditions governing access

No restrictions.

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Accession no. 2017-026.

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