Son of Charles and Margaret Canavan née Smith. His father was a Metropolitan police Office. He lived Kilcavan, Tara Hill, Gorey with his uncle James Canavan. He was a Gaelic Leaguer and all Ireland Hornpipe champion in 1906 at the Wexford Feis and again the following year in Wicklow. Buried in the Guards Cemetery, Windy Corner, Cuinchy , France.