Western Mail

Recalling Bill Kelly, distinguis­hed Mountie


THE story of the Welshman from Maesteg who became a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (Western Mail, September 8) reminds me of another man who left Wales and joined the RCMP.

William Henry Kelly, the son of a Rhondda miner, was born in 1911.

He lived at 7, Pergwm Street, Trealaw, and attended Alaw School. After passing the scholarshi­p examinatio­n in 1923 he entered Porth Secondary School.

There he would have been just a few years ahead of Cliff Jones, the Welsh rugby star of the 1930s and later president of the WRU.

In 1928 the Kelly family left the Rhondda Valley and started a new life in New Brunswick, Canada.

Five years later the family returned to the Rhondda but without Bill.

He decided to join the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and moved up through the ranks, eventually becoming Deputy Commission­er.

His brother, George, told me that he believed that had Bill not been close to retirement when the post of Commission­er became vacant his brother would have become head of the RCMP.

The Rhondda Borough Council recognised his achievemen­t with an award in 1972.

His wife, Nora, was a journalist and author.

One of her books is My Mountie and Me, which described her life being married to a Mountie.

Bill Kelly died in Ottawa at the age of 97.

DV Thomas Porthcawl

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