One of Canada's outstanding "Mounties" of his time, ex-Staff Sergeant Sydney G. Clay, R.C.M.P., died at his home in Grimsby Friday night in his 68th year, following a brief illness.
A veteran of the South African War, he was born at Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset, England, on September 9, 1880, coming to Canada 43 years ago to join the North West Mounted Police, which later became the Royal North West Mounted Police and then the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Posted to the Arctic Patrols of the famed Force, he had during his lengthy service, been stationed at nearly every one of the far-flung outposts. He opened the station at Herschel Island, then the farthest north post, and was at Fort McPherson, Great Slave Lake, Chesterfield Inlet, Coppermine River, Aklavik, and was on the Dawson patrol. Prior to his retirement in 1928, he was on Headquarters staff at Ottawa, for a time.
In younger life, in England, he took an active part in athletics and sports, being a member on two occasions of a team which won the water polo championship of England, and holding 100-yard and 440-year swimming championships.
Following his retirement, the lure of the North still called and he returned to Fort Smith, Yellowknife and Great Bear Lake with an exploration company in search of valuable minerals.
In 1915 at St. Alban's Church, Beamsville, he married Margaret Agnes Warner, whom he had known in England, and she returned to the north with him. She died at Chesterfield Inlet in September 1924, after being attached by husky dogs and in her memory a beautiful memorial was erected at the post by fellow members of the R.C.M.P.
Some years later, Staff-Sergeant Clay was married to Rosaline Warner, a sister of his first wife. He had resided in North Grimsby and Grimsby for the last 19 years.
He was a member of Patricia Lodge, A.F. and A.M. of Winnipeg, West Lincoln Branch No. 127, Canadian Legion, and St. Andrew's Anglican Church, Grimsby.
Surviving, besides his wife at Grimsby, are a brother and sister, Harry Clay and Miss Annie Clay, both in England.
Funeral services were held from his late home, Paton Street, on Monday afternoon to St. Andrew's church where services were conducted by Rev. E. Arnold Brooks, and were very largely attended by friends and acquaintances throughout the Peninsula and by many old members of the Mounted Police. Interment was in St. Andrew's churchyard.
Six active members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police were honorary pall bearers. Medal bearer was Wallace Warner.
The flag draped casket was carried by Kenneth, Norman and Samuel Warner, George Robertson, Jack Robertson and Albert Mason.