Fahey, William

Major William Fahey

Major William Fahey was born 29 March 1841 in Chatham, New Brunswick, son of William Fahey. On the 27 May 1868 he married Agnes Sophia Metcalfe and they had four sons and three daughters.

He was a chartered accountant and started the firm of Wm Fahey and Co. Chartered Accountants. He was a member of the Board of Trade, the Alpha Masonic Lodge and the Empire Club.

Partial List of Military Service

  • 1861 – Private in Captain Macdonald’s Company of the QOR.
  • 1862 – Corporal
  • 1865 – Colour Sergeant
  • June 1866 – Ensign with No. 1 Company during the Battle of Ridgeway where he was wounded in the knee (see below).
  • 1869 – Lieutenant
  • 1875 – Served as Quartermaster at Annual Summer Camp at Niagara.
  • By 1897 – Captain

His son, William M. Fahey appears on a pay list as a private in the QOR in 1890.

He died 4 April 1916 in Toronto at the age of 75 and was buried in St. James Cemetery.

Obituary of Major William Fahey
Obituary of Major William Fahey “The Toronto World” 6 april 1916  (courtesy of Marika Pirie)

Descriptions of his service in the Fenian Raids from “Troublous Times in Canada” by Capt. John A. Macdonald

"Ensign Wm. Fahey, of No. 1 Company, was about the last man struck, while assisting to cove the retreat. He was using the rifle of a fallen comrade on the firing line when he was struck in the knee. He was assisted to a neighboring house and was kindly treated by the Fenians when they took possession."

"As an evidence of the coolness and courage which was exemplified by many of our citizen soldiers, it is related by one of his men that Ensign Wm. Fahey, of No. 1 Company of the Queen's Own, when that company was advancing in skirmishing order in the face of a hot fire, kept continually encouraging his comrades in both words and action. When the bullets were flying around them he shouted, "Boys, keep a stiff upper lip!" and when a little later he was shot through the left knee and was being carried off the field, he again encouraged them by shouting, "No. 1, do your duty!" Such bravery under such circumstances will tend to show the sort of material of which our volunteers was composed."

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