Timeline

Below is a timeline of some significant events in George Whalley's life.


1915 Arthur George Cuthbert Whalley (GW) born July 25 in Kingston, Ontario; son of Reverend Arthur Frances Cecil Whalley and Dorothy (nee Quirk) Whalley
1919 the Whalley family moved to Brockville
1922 began attending St Alban's School, a boarding school for boys, in Brockville
1928 became junior athletic champion, librarian, and editor of The Albanian
1929 wrote successfully the junior matriculation exams for McGill University, including errorless papers in Algebra and Geometry
1930 graduated from St Alban's School
1932 began studies at Bishop's University in Classics
1932-1935 served in Canadian Officer Training Corps (COTC) and earned “B” Certificate (Army)
1933 read John Livingston Lowes' The Road to Xanadu: A Study in the Ways of Imagination (1927), the inspiration for his life-long interest in Samuel Taylor Coleridge
1934 played on Bishop's University Intermediate Rugby Team, the Quebec Intercollegiate Champions, and was a founding member of the university Humanities Club; served as president of the university Dramatic Society for two years and acted in at least 5 plays during that time; organist of the university chapel
1935 graduated from Bishop's University
1935-1936 served as schoolmaster, assistant house-master, organist, and choir-master at Rothesay College School in New Brunswick
1936 attended Oriel College, Oxford, as a Rhodes Scholar and read for a second bachelor's degree in Greats and Theology
1937-1938 Oriel College's Captain of Boats and rowed in Oriel's record-breaking coxwainless IV in the Henley rowing regatta of 1938, and made a walking tour of Germany during the summer
1939 received a B.A. from Oriel College, Oxford
1939-1940 returned to teach at Rothesay College School
1940 declined an invitation to join an expedition to the Antarctic with the Scott Polar Research Institute; instead, on July 1, enlisted in the Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve; from October 1940 to February 1941, served on HMS Cutty Sark as a Sub-Lieutenant
1941 served on HMS Tartar as a Sub-Lieutenant from March to July; participated in the hunt for and sinking of the German battleship Bismarck; the next day, saved a sailor from drowning when the HMS Mashona was sunk by German air attacks and, for his bravery, awarded a Royal Humane Society Bronze Medal for saving a life at sea; promoted to Lieutenant
1941-1943 served in Royal Navy Admiralty (Naval Intelligence Division or NID) from July 1941 to March 1943, with brief assignments on the HMS President, HMCS Stadacona, HMCS Niobe, and HMS Excellent II; as an intelligence officer, planned clandestine operations with naval and air support, landed and picked up agents and supplies in Holland and France, designed an acoustic beacon (the FH 830) used during the Sicily landing in 1943 and the Normandy landing in 1944, and secretly tested surfboats used to land Allied agents in Europe covertly in preparation for the invasion of Normandy in 1944
1942 his father, Reverend Arthur Frances Cecil Whalley, died June 24 in Nova Scotia
1943-1944 served on the staff of Admiral Ramsay in the Middle East (including time in Malta and Sicily) from April to August; sent to Washington in 1943 and 1944 to correlate surf-landing predictions with long-range weather forecasting; returned to the Admirality from August to April 1944 and did production work on wave-suppression gear in preparation for the Normandy landing
1944 served on HMS Ceres (as an Assistant to the Executive Officer) from April to September and participated in the Normandy landing; married Elizabeth Cecilia Muriel Watts on July 25, his 29th birthday, at Battersea Church, London, while on leave; promoted to Lieutenant Commander; returned to Canada on November 17
1945 served as the First Lieutenant on HMCS Chaudiére from April to June and on HMCS Saskatchewan from June to August; received an M.A. from Oriel College, Oxford; returned to Bishop's University and taught as Lecturer (1945-47) and Assistant Professor (1947-48)
1946 published Poems: 1939-1944; in May, received recognitions of his wartime service, including the 1939-45 Star, the Africa Star, the Italy Star, the France and Germany Star, and the Defence Medal
1947 daughter, Katharine Cecilia, born on January 11
1948 published a second book of poems entitled No Man an Island; received an M.A. in English Literature from Bishop's University: the thesis, “A Critique of Criticism,” laid the groundwork for Poetic Process; left Bishop's University and returned to London, England to begin Ph.D. studies
1949 son, Christopher Gilbert, born July 29
1950 received his Ph.D. from King's College, University of London: thesis, “S.T. Coleridge: Library Cormorant"; joined the faculty at Queen's University as Assistant Professor
1952-1956 served as commanding officer of the HMCS Cataraqui in Kingston and promoted to Commander in 1953
1953 daughter, Emily Elizabeth, born June 1; published Poetic Process; wrote “Death in the Barren Ground,” a radio play based on the diary of Edgar Christian, Unflinching (1937), which he read before World War II; promoted to Associate Professor
1955 published Coleridge and Sara Hutchinson and the Asra Poems.
1956 his mother, Dorothy, died in Nova Scotia; retired from Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve and awarded the Clasp to the Canadian Forces Decoration in April; edited Writing in Canada: Proceedings of the Canadian Writers' Conference, Queen's University, 28-31 July 1955; played the organ for a performance of Messiah in Kingston
1956-1957 held a Nuffield Travelling Fellowship; lived and worked in Cookham Dean, England
1958 narrated The Living Stone, an award-winning film produced by the National Film Board; gave a radio talk on Henri Bergson for the third series of “Architects of Modern Thought,” broadcast on the CBC; promoted to Professor
1958-1959 served as Chair of the Association of Canadian University Teachers of English
1959 elected to the Royal Society of Canada
1960 published the article “The Sinking of the Bismarck: An Eye-Witness Report” (based on a letter written on June 11, 1941) in the Atlantic Monthly
1962-1967 became the Head of the Department of English and James Cappon Chair of English Language and Literature (the latter appointment made in recognition of outstanding contributions to scholarship); member of the Canadian Service Colleges and Ontario Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee
1962 published The Legend of John Hornby, the result of over seven years of work, including trips to and flights over the Thelon River to see Hornby's camp; Visiting Professor at the University of Wisconsin - Madison
1963 became the President of the Kingston Symphony Association and continued in the position until 1970
1964 edited A Place of Liberty: Essays on the Government of Canadian Universities; read Archibald Lampman's “Morning on the Lievre” for a short film produced by the National Film Board
1967-1968 held a Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship; lived and worked in London; helped establish a Film Studies program at Queen's University
1973-1975 held a Killam Senior Research Scholarship; lived in London and worked in British Museum
1977-1980 served second term as Head of the Department of English and reappointed to the James Cappon Chair of English Language and Literature
1977 received a D.Litt. from Carleton University
1979 fought cancer during the spring and summer; received a D.Litt. from University of Saskatchewan and D.C.L. from Bishop's University
1979-1980 served as member of the board of directors for the Canadian Federation of the Humanities
1980 retired from Queen's University; celebrated 30 years of work on Samuel Taylor Coleridge with the publication of the first volume of Coleridge's Marginalia, part of The Collected Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge (volume two published in 1985 and volumes three to six completed by H.J. Jackson between 1992 and 2001); edited Death in the Barren Ground: The Diary of Edgar Christian
1983 died May 27 at home in Hartington, north of Kingston, Ontario; the funeral, with a full military escort, held at St. George's Cathedral in Kingston
1985 Studies in Literature and the Humanities: Innocence of Intent, a collection of GW's essays, edited by Brian Crick and John Ferns
1986 The Collected Poems of George Whalley edited by George Johnston
1989 George Whalley: Remembrances, a collection of reminiscences by friends, colleagues, former students, and family, as well as a few writings by GW, edited by Michael Moore
1997 Aristotle's Poetics, GW's translation of Aristotle's famous work, on which he worked for many years, edited by John Baxter and Patrick Atherton