Delamere, Joseph Martin

Delamare J MColonel Joseph Martin Delamere was a native of Ireland, son of Dawson and Jane (Martin) Delamere, both natives of the Emerald Isle, the former born July 1, 1803, and the latter July 29, 1808. In Ireland Dawson Delamere was a civil engineer. He married Jane Martin in 1832, and on June 1, 1855, they settled in Toronto, where Mr. Delamere was connected with Her Majesty’s Customs until his death in 1876. His wife survived him ten years. Their children were as follows:

  1. John Henry Delamere, clerk of the Provisional County of Haliburton, at Minden (b Nov 1837-1916)
  2. Sarah M. Delamere, of Toronto
  3. Captain Thomas Dawson Delamere, KC, of Toronto
  4. Emily M. Delamere, wife of Venerable Archdeacon A. C. Hill, of St. Thomas
  5. Joseph Martin Delamere
  6. Margaret B. Delamere, widow of Davidson Black.

Colonel Joseph M. Delamere was born July 2, 1849, and was but six years of age when he came to Canada with his parents in 1855. He was educated at Upper Canada College, and while a student in that institution, joined the Queen’s Own Rifles as a Rifleman in 1865. His military service included

  • 1865 – Joined as a Rifleman (later corporal and sergeant)
  • 1866 – Service in the Fenian Raid, 1866, receiving a medal for his services
  • 1875 – Service in the Pilgrimage Riots
  • Jan 28, 1876 – Commissioned Lieutenant
  • 1877 – Service in the Belleville Riots
  • Mar 1, 1878 – Promoted Captain
  • Oct 27, 1882 – Appointed Adjutant
  • 1882-83 – Musketry Instructor to Brigade Camp, Niagara
  • 1885 – Service in the North-West Rebellion, as Adjutant of the Regiment, and was in operation against Chief Bear’s Band, during June and July, 1885, receiving a medal there also.
  • Mar 12, 1887 – Promoted Major
  • Mar 26, 1896 – Promoted Lieutenant Colonel and QOR Commanding Officer
  • Jun 1900 – Appointed command of Bisley Team
  • Received the Colonial Auxiliary Forces Officers’ Decoration
  • By 1907 – In command of the Third Infantry Brigade.

In May, 1868, Colonel Delamere was appointed an assistant clerk at the Provincial Legislature, and in 1871 became postmaster there.

On April 22, 1878, Colonel Delamere was united in marriage with Miss Elizabeth M. Denison, daughter of the late Col. George T. Denison, of “Rusholme,” Toronto. To this union the following children were born:

  1. Dawson George Delamere died at the age of seven years.
  2. Eva M. married H. C. Strange, of the Bank of Commerce, Berlin, Ont.
  3. Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Gillmor Delamere (1883-1945), president and financial agent of the Canada Poultry and Produce Company of Stratford, Ont; he married Miss Agnes Forbes Morison, of Winnipeg, Manitoba. He served in the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles in South Africa, and received a medal with four clasps. He served with the 1st Battalion, CEF during the First World War and after being wounded at the 2nd Battle of Ypres in April 1915, returned to Canada to raise the 110th Battalion and then served at No. 1 Military District . He commanded the Perth Regiment from 1926 to 1927 and died on 27 October 1945. (See Matthew K. Barrett’s article.) His children included another Queen’s Own Rifle’s Commanding Officer:
    • Allan Martin Dawson Delamere (1906-1967)
    • Thomas Denison Delamere (b.1908)
    • Colonel John Morison Delamere, MBE, ED, CD (b. 17 Nov 1909 in Stratford, Ontario; died 15 Jul 1967)
    • Agnes Delamere (b. c1912)
    • Esther E Delamere (b. c1914)
    • Peter Delamere
    • Elizabeth Delamere

The Colonel and his wife were members of the Church of England, and he was a member of the Toronto Club, the Canadian Military Institute (1898-1900), was on the executive committee of the Dominion and Provincial Rifle Association, and a member of many other organizations.

Delamere died 9 April 1928 and is buried in St James Cemetery, Toronto.

Reference: Commemorative Biographical Record of the County of York, Ontario Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens and Many of the Early Settled Families, 1907
Lieutenant Colonel J.M. Delamere – Seventh Commanding Officer, 1897-1901. The original 43.5″ x 31″ oil on canvass painting by celebrated Canadian portrait artist J. W. L. Forster, hangs in the Queen’s Own Rifles Officers’ Mess. Photo by Christopher Lawson, June 17, 2010.

9 thoughts on “Delamere, Joseph Martin”

  1. Peter has it right. Looking for more info on my uncle Col John Delamere
    I am the son of Esther Elizabeth Delamere. My interest has grown after being appointed honorary colonel of JAG.

    John Denison Villiers Hoyles


    1. hey I am related to you! your father was my great great grandmother’s second cousin’s great grandson. now that’s a mouthful. Your family (to me) are all heroes


    2. Hello John.

      I believe Colonel T.G. Delamere, wife Agnes and their children, (including your mother Esther Elizabeth and your uncle, Colonel John), lived for many years at what is now 480 William Street in Stratford, Ontario.

      It passed into my family circa 1934. (My understanding is that my grandparents were the second owners.). It has remained in my family since then.

      The six bedroom home was built circa 1910, as one of the first homes north of the river in that area of Stratford. At the time, and for a number of decades thereafter, it was surrounded by land that was largely pastoral and/or used for agricultural purposes; e.g., orchards, flower greenhouses, etc.

      While I recall being told from my youth that there was a chicken ranch of some sort associated with the house, that may simply be an indirect reference to Colonel T.G.’s business association Canada Poultry and Produce. Having said that, remnants of old walkways that previously led to long vanished agricultural outbuildings behind the house also survived into the sixties.

      In any event, there certainly was much more land associated with the home when it originally was built than the half acre property that remained when my grandparents took ownership. Over time, portions of the original property had been severed off for transfer to the city, (e.g., the area between the front yard of the house and the river which now forms part of the north shore park land along the river/lake), or for residential housing development. (The developers either included members of your family, or persons sensitive to the area/property history, as the street names reflect family history/names. In particular: Delamere is the name of the street running east-west a “block” to the north of the house, while the cul de sac leading north off William immediately to the west of the house is named Denison, the maiden name of Colonel T.G.’s mother, and the cul de sac further to the east leading south off Delamere is named Morison, the maiden name of Colonel T.G.’s wife.)

      You will know far better than I, but I believe your mother may very well have been born in the house. In particular, when I was attending the University of Toronto in the early eighties, with a friend named Anne L., we learned by pure coincidence that her great aunt (still alive at the time) had been born at 480 William, where I had just spent one of many frequent visits with my grandfather. Forty years later, I can’t recall the aunt’s name with certainty. In particular, I can’t recall if it was Agnes or Elizabeth, but it was one of the two.

      In any case, I’ll hope this was of some help to you.



  2. Thomas gilmor Delamere had five children not one child. They were Peter Delamere ,John Delamere,Agnes delamere,and Elizabeth Delamere in addition to Allan

    John Delamere became colonel of the queens own in the early sixties

    My name is John Hoyles and I am the son of Elizabeth Delamere


    1. Thanks John. I made some updates to the page however I also found the following 1921 Census Record:

      NAME AGE
      Thomas G Delamere 38
      Agnes F Delamere 42
      Allen M Delamere 14
      Thomas D Delamere 13
      John M Delamere 11
      Agnes M Delamere 8
      Esther E Delamere 6

      As you can see there is no mention of a Peter although I suppose he could have been born after 1921 but Agnes was 42 by this time, it seems a bit unlikely??

      Also would your mother’s first name be Esther?

      Lastly I wondered if you had any other biographical information about John – I don’t seem to be able to find much. Did he ever marry and have any children?

      If you’d prefer to communicate directly you can send further into to

      Mar (Ret’d) John Stephens, CD


      1. I hope this clarifies somewhat.

        Delamere/Thomas Gilmour

        Delamere/Allan Martin Dawson
        Delamere/Thomas Denison
        Delamere/John Morison
        Delamere/Joseph Webster
        Delamere/Agnes Mary
        Delamere/Esther Elizabeth

        Allan Martin Delamere has a son Peter Martin Delamere, this could be the “peter” referenced.


      2. There is one more child……Joseph Webster Delamere b. 1911 and d. 1913. He is made mention of on the same gravestone as Agnes Forbes Delamere (Morison) in the Avondale Cemetery, Stratford, Perth County, Ontario..


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