Francis Clarence McGee, was an ice hockey player during the early days of hockey for the Ottawa Hockey Club, nicknamed the Silver Seven. Though blind in one eye, McGee was a player of his era. He once scored 14 goals in a Stanley Cup game and eight times scored five or more. Despite a brief senior career — only 45 games over four seasons — he led the Silver Seven in its reign as Stanley Cup champions during this time, during World War I, he enlisted in the Canadian Army and died in battle in France. When the Hockey Hall of Fame was founded in 1945, McGee was one of the original nine inductees, Frank McGee came from a prominent Canadian family. His late uncle, Thomas DArcy McGee, had been a Father of Confederation and his father, John Joseph McGee, was clerk of the Privy Council. Frank was one of nine born to John Joseph McGee. Frank had five brothers and three sisters, Thomas DArcy, Jim, John, Walter, Charles, Katharine, Mary and his brother Jim was also a noted athlete in football and ice hockey before dying in a horse-riding accident in May 1904. Charles, like Frank, also died in World War I, after his education in Ottawa, McGee worked for the Canadian government Department of Indian Affairs, but he had a passion for sports and played lacrosse and rugby and excelled at ice hockey. While playing half-back for his team, Ottawa City, he was a member of the team that won the Canadian championship in 1898. He played for the Ottawa Hockey Club from 1902 until 1906 and he enlisted in the military and fought in World War I for the 43rd Regiment as a lieutenant in the 21st Infantry Battalion, starting in May 1915. That December he suffered an injury, and was sent to England to recover. He was given the choice of a posting in Le Havre away from the action and he returned to the 21st Battalion in August 1916 for the Battle of the Somme and was killed in action on September 16,1916 near Courcelette, France. His brother Charles died in action in May 1915 and it is not known how McGee was allowed into the army with sight in only one eye. In his certificate of examination, the medical officer wrote that McGee could see the distance with either eye. According to McGees nephew, Frank Charles McGee, his uncle tricked the doctor, when he was asked to cover one eye and read the chart he covered his blind eye, and when required to cover the other eye he switched hands instead of eyes. His medical history only lists good for his vision, on March 21,1900, the young and promising McGee lost use of an eye during an amateur game for a local Canadian Pacific Railway team from a lifted puck. He retired from playing, becoming a referee, by 1903, he missed playing the sport so much that he joined the Ottawas despite the risk of permanent blindness
McGee in 1914
Reproduction of health form. Library and ArchivesCanada/Soldiers of the First World War/RG 150, Accession No.1992-93/166, box 6829-29. His age, height and weight are listed.
Frank McGee (standing, far right) as a member of the 1905 Ottawa Silver Seven