Here is a brief biography of Brother Joseph Coupe Holford taken from local newspaper reports of his death and funeral:
“Holford – After a long illness, Mr. J.C. Holford, Cowichan Bay, passed away at Mount St. Mary’s Nursing Home, Victoria, on Sunday, in his 79th year. He had had an interesting career as an engineer in his earlier days.
Mr. Holford was a patient at Duncan Hospital for over a year, and was taken to the nursing home last fall.
He leaves his wife, Emily A. Holford, Cowichan Bay; a brother and a sister, Mr. Bernard Holford and Miss Bertha Holford, both of Prestatyn, Wales; and a niece, Mrs. Margaret Gladys Haslam, Seattle.
The funeral will take place at 3 p.m. to-morrow at St. Peter’s Church, Quamichan, under Masonic auspices. The Rev. Canon T.M. Hughes will officiate.
Joseph Coupe Holford was born at Hyde, Cheshire, England, January 13, 1868 and was educated at Owens College, Manchester. He served his apprenticeship in engineering at Hyde and then entered the cycle business there.
Later he was employed by the famous Fairfield Shipbuilding Co. on the Clyde. He was in their shops and then on trial runs of warships, such as Aboukir and Cressy (sunk in 1914). He had a narrow escape on a torpedo boat which broke her crankshaft on the measured mile. Her plates were only three-sixteenths of an inch thick.
As junior engineer he next joined the Allan Line and made several voyages Glasgow-New York. Then he returned to Liverpool and was with Vickers, Sons & Maxim, erecting engines and running trials on H.M.S. King Alfred, Hogue (sunk), Euralis [note: should be Euryalis] and the Japanese battleships, Togo and Mikasa. He spent several years with this well known firm, which built the first submarine.
Mr. Holford then spent several years on voyages all over the world, with ships of the White Star, Johnson, Moss, Bibby and Elder Dempster lines. He was third senior engineer on the Teutonic. He was associated with his brother in engineering works in Liverpool and then came to Canada in 1908.
Here he followed engineering at Winnipeg, at Prince Albert (where he ran boats on the Saskatchewan River), Fernie and Edmonton. In the last city he worked for various industrial plants and put in one summer on a stern wheel paddle boat.
In 1923 he came to Cowichan Bay and built a home on property there. He worked short periods with Hillcrest [note: a lumber company] and was working at Genoa Bay [note: a lumber mill] when the plant shut down.
Joseph Coupe Holford is buried in St. Peter’s Quamichan Anglican cemetery, North Cowichan.
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