Dr. Arthur McAmmond Blakely was born on the 9th of August, 1885 in Madoc Twp (Hastings County), Ontario. He was the 2nd of 3 children born to John Gowdie Blakely and the former Lavina Broad. His father was a carpenter and his siblings were; Harriett Marion “May” Blakely and Frederick Harold Blakely. Dr. Blakely was educated in a small rural country school and he attended the Madoc High School before his family moved to Chatham around 1905. Dr. Blakely finished his high school education at Chatham Collegiate Institute, prior to attending university.
Dr. Blakely graduated M.B. in 1916 from the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine. He was the class president in his fourth year of university. Dr. Blakely interned at the Hospital for Sick Children.
Dr. Blakely was a lieutenant in the 24th Kent Regiment. He enlisted in World War I in Chatham in May of 1916 and he was the Medical Officer for the 186th Battalion. He listed his next-of-kin as his father, John Blakely who was living in Chatham at 84 Centre Street. On his Medical History Sheet completed at Camp Borden on the 12th of July, 1916, he was described as 5′ 71/2″ tall and 135 pounds. Dr. Blakely served overseas during the war as a Captain with the Canadian Army Medical Corp. He was wounded on September 29th, 1918 at Bourlon in the Battle of Cambrai in France. He received gunshot wounds to his right leg and thigh, his left arm and his face and to his chest. Dr. Blakely was evacuated to the Horton War Hospital in Epsom, England for surgery and convalesced at the Canadian Convalescent Officers Hospital in Matlock Bath, Derbyshire, England. His unit was decommissioned and Dr. Blakely was discharged on the 24th of July, 1919.
He married Mabel Wallace Sandison in Chatham on the 8th of July, 1919. The wedding was held at the bride’s home, 103 Stanley Ave. Mrs. Blakely was born in Raleigh Twp (Chatham-Kent), on the 30th of January, 1887, the 7th of 8 children born to Samuel Sandison and the former Margaret Toll. Her parents were farmers and her siblings were; Cora Adelaide Sandison, Ida Gertrude Sandison (died on the 29th of December, 1875 at the age of 2), Grace Madeline Sandison (died on the 11th of February, 1878 at the age of 2), Francis James Sandison, Margaret Bernice Sandison, Ethel Florence Sandison and Adel Lorraine Sandison. It states on their marriage record that Mrs. Blakely was a teacher.
Dr. Blakely undertook postgraduate studies at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto from 1919-1920.
Dr. Blakely practiced medicine in Chatham for a short time, before moving to Windsor in 1920. According to the 1921 census, Dr. and Mrs. Blakely were residing at 34 Belle Isle Street in Windsor, Ontario. According to that same census, his parents were still residing at 84 Centre St., in Chatham. Dr. Blakely served as Chief of the Medical Staff of the Metropolitan Hospital in Windsor and he was a member of the Essex County Medical Society.
Dr. and Mrs. Blakely were the parents of one son named Arthur Wallace Blakely. In 1945 Dr. and Mrs. Blakely and their son resided at 286 Rossini Blvd in Windsor. In 1945 his son was serving with the Canadian Armed Forces.
By 1965 Dr. Blakely had retired.
Dr. Blakely died in Windsor on the 13th of September, 1969. Mrs. Blakely died at the Greater Niagara General Hospital (Niagara Falls, Ontario) on the 25th of June, 1984. Dr. and Mrs. Blakely are buried at Fairview Cemetery in Niagara Falls, Ontario.
*Dr. Blakely is also featured on the “Gathering Our Heroes” website.
Photo: Courtesy of the Chatham-Kent Museum