Esquimalt senior goes on annual pilgrimage of Remembrance

Jim Connor

Jim Connor brings a poppy in remembrance of his Aunt Cecilia Connor who has a permanent display at the CFB Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum. Photo provided.

CFB Esquimalt Naval & Military Museum

For Jim Connor of Esquimalt, B.C., honouring the memory of his late aunt Evelyn of the Canadian Women’s Army Corps (CWAC) is a family obligation and a vital duty.

Private Evelyn Connor (service #W/11688) of Esquimalt, B.C., is one of 25 CWACs who died while on active duty during the Second World War. In 2014, CFB Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum created a permanent display to commemorate and recognize her service and sacrifice.

Since 2014, Jim has made a special annual visit to the museum during Remembrance Week to add a poppy to the display that features his aunt. It is his way of keeping her memory alive.

“I think Evelyn has a home here,” says Jim, 87. “I feel close to her and happy to know she isn’t forgotten.”

Evelyn Cecilia Connor was one of seven children and lived with her parents, James and Elizabeth Connor, on Ellery Street in Esquimalt. She enlisted with the CWACs in Victoria, B.C., on June 15, 1942.

In July 1942, she was sent to Vermilion, Alta, for training. Evelyn returned to Victoria on Oct. 26, 1942, and was sent across the country to Ste. Anne de Bellevue near Montreal. She returned to Victoria again on Dec. 1, 1942, to 28 Company (Coy), and on March 12, 1943, was sent to Vancouver to No. 13 Coy and then to No. 111 Coy.

She went back to Macdonald College at Ste. Anne de Bellevue in 1943. Private Connor was sent overseas in July 1943 and posted to No. 1 Static Base Laundry. She was 24 when she was struck and killed by a bus at 2220 hours on Sept. 24, 1944, in Farnham, England, during a blackout. She had been overseas for just over a year.

Private Evelyn Connor is buried at Brookwood Military Cemetery in Surrey, England.

To learn more, visit

To see the display in honour of Private Connor, and learn more about Canada’s military history, visit the CFB Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum, open Mon–Sun from 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

Private Cecilia Connor

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