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Dr. Reginald H. ROY

ROY, Dr. Reginald H. CDII, PhD, FRHS December 11, 1922-January 22, 2013 The last sentence of the last chapter of Professor Roy's last book – his autobiography – has been written. The outline is as follows. Reginald H. Roy was born in New Glasgow, NS in 1922 – the youngest child of a former Canadian WWI RAF pilot and his English war bride. A childhood during the Great Depression left a lifelong impression on him. At the age of 16, he signed up with the Cape Breton Highlanders. When war was declared the next year, he was still too young for the rank of Private, so he began his military career as "Boy Roy" wearing a WWI kilt and kit. He was commissioned from the ranks in 1943 and saw service in Britain, Italy, France, Belgium, and Holland. In 1945, Lieut. Roy returned home, moved to BC, and married his Cape Breton sweetheart, Ardith. He also began his education in earnest, picking up where he left off – completing high school, attending Victoria College and then UBC, receiving his BA (50) and MA (51). After seven years of student living, Ardith put her foot down. A daughter, Franklyn Ann, resulted. Upon graduation, Reg was a call-out officer (1951-53) working with Col. CP Stacey at the Army Historical Section, Ottawa, helping to write the official history of the Canadian Army in WWII. From 1954-58, he worked as an archivist at the Public Archives of Canada (Ottawa) and the BC Provincial Archives (Victoria). In 1958, Reg joined the History Department at Royal Roads Military College and the next year he was delighted to be invited to become a member of the University of Victoria's History Dept. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Washington in 1965, and became Professor of Military and Strategic Studies at UVic in 1968. He retired in 1988 but continued to teach part-time for several years. Dr. Roy was the author of 12 books and dozens of articles on military and defence topics. He lectured across Canada, the United States, Australia, South Africa, and to his family at the dinner table. A lifelong military man, Reg remained connected with the Reserves since the end of the war and was delighted to conclude his military career as Honourary L/Col. of 241 (Victoria) Communications Squadron from 1988 to 2006. There was tea at 3, sherry at 5, and hot cocoa at 10pm. He cooked a tender steak, and bliss would be a lemon pie for dessert. He wore tailor-made tweed jackets, carried a large black umbrella, and made weekly trips to the barber. He was a wonderful raconteur, quick wit, loyal friend, and a gentle man. Ardith, his wife of 67 years, daughter Franklyn (Alan Thurston), granddaughter Miranda (Jason Bryden), and great grandboys Henry and Hart will miss him dearly. A celebration of life will take place on Thursday, February 14 at 2pm at the Interfaith Chapel, University of Victoria, followed by a reception at the University Club. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the R.H. Roy Military Scholarship or the Veterans Oral History Project at the University of Victoria, Development Office, PO Box 1700, Victoria, BC V8W 2Y2.
Published in Victoria Times-Colonist from Feb. 1 to Feb. 2, 2013
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