Edward Lionel Morley signature
Edward Lionel Morley died in Deseronto on this day in 1918 as the result of a flying accident in which he broke his back.

Edward Lionel Morley CIBC photograph

Courtesy of FindaGrave.com

Morley was born in London, Ontario, on October 1st, 1893, the son of Edward Morley and Sarah (née Swalwell). He worked for the Canadian Bank of Commerce from 1910 up until he joined the Royal Flying Corps in Winnipeg on November 22nd, 1917 and was officially appointed on November 26th in Toronto with the regimental number 152936. He was five feet four inches tall, with a fair complexion, brown eyes and brown hair.

In June 1918 he was given a temporary commission in the Corps and attended a course at the Special School of Flying to become an instructor with 82 Canadian Training Squadron, part of the Deseronto Wing of the Royal Air Force. He had passed his test as an instructor two days prior to his death. He was flying a Curtiss JN-4, number C.169 when he died, taking up Cadet Allardice for his first flight.

The Court of Inquiry held after the accident heard evidence from Lieutenant Brooks, of 90 C.T.S., who had spoken to two civilians:

Detail from file RG4-32/1612 at the Archives of Ontario

Detail from Attorney General 1918 file RG4-32/1612 at the Archives of Ontario

I questioned Joseph McCambridge of Deseronto (Civilian) who was the first on the scene of the accidents, and he told me the Cadet’s belt was fastened, whilst Lieut. Morley’s was not.

I also spoke to Mrs. Haggerty of Deseronto, who saw the accident happen. She described the machine as coming towards her house between three and four hundred feet up. It commenced spinning and she lost sight of it through the trees.

The court decided that the cause of the crash was:

Detail of file RG4-32/1612 at Archives of Ontario

Detail of Attorney General 1918 file RG4-32/1612 at Archives of Ontario

…that 2/Lt. Morley while taking Cadet Allardice for his first flight, got machine C.196 into a spin through some error of judgment unknown at a height of about 500 feet and was apparently just getting the machine out of the spin when he hit the ground.

Edward was buried in Woodland Cemetery, London.

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