war dead


Ernest Russell Brant signature

Ernest Russell Brant died on this day in 1918 of a wound that he received at the Battle of Amiens on August 9th.

Ernest Russell Brant circumstances of casualty

Canada War Graves Registry: circumstances of casualty for Ernest Russell Brant, courtesy of Library and Archives Canada

“Died of Wounds”

This soldier received a gunshot wound in the head, during the attack on ROSIERES on August 9th. He was attended and evacuated to No. 6 General Hospital, Rouen, where he succumbed to his wounds a few days later.

Ernest was buried in the St. Sever cemetery extension in Rouen, France. His brother, Arthur, had died almost exactly a year before.

Ernest is remembered on the Deseronto war memorial.

Deseronto memorial

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Lorne Oliver signature

On this day in 1918, Lorne Gould Oliver was killed shortly after the Battle of Amiens in France. He was serving with the 4th Field Ambulance at Warvillers. The war diary for his unit gives Oliver’s date of death as August 13th, but other casualty records state that he was killed on the 15th.

Here is the war diary entry for the 4th Field Ambulance for the day Lorne Oliver’s death was reported:

Lorne Oliver mentioned in war diary

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s report on the circumstances of Oliver’s death explains that he was returning from duty when he was killed by shellfire. The corresponding record for John McLachlan, the man he was with (and who was killed at the same time), explains that they were stretcher-bearers.

Lorne Gould Oliver casualty report

The diary entry for this day in 1918 for the same unit gives some idea of the scale of the Canadian losses in the Battle of Amiens (August 8th-12th), as well as an indication of the amount of work that stretcher-bearers like Oliver and McLachlan were undertaking:

Lorne Oliver's unit report of losses over four days in August 1918

ESTIMATE OF LOSSES

A general estimate places the losses in the Canadian Corps for the four days fighting at 8000, viz:-

2000 Dead

2000 Stretcher Cases

4000 Walking Cases

Oliver and McLachlan were buried beside each other in the Warvillers Churchyard Extension in France. Lorne is remembered on the cenotaph in Napanee.

Napanee cenotaph, east side

On this day in 1918 Thomas William Ellis was killed in the Battle of Amiens. He was named as a casualty in the 21st Battalion’s war diary entry for the battle.

Originally, Ellis was buried in Midway Cemetery, near Marcelcave, but his body was exhumed in 1920 and transferred to the Villers-Bretonneux cemetery.

Tom is remembered on the Deseronto memorial.
Deseronto memorial

Francis Russell Cook signature
On this day in 1918 Frank (Francis) Russell Cook died in a fall from an aircraft near Napanee, while in training with 81 C.T.S. at Camp Rathbun. The RAF report notes that the aircraft was a Curtiss JN-4, number C189. The Court of Inquiry took evidence from an eyewitness, R. H. McCreer of Napanee:

R. H. McCreer's evidence

Detail from Attorney General’s 1918 file RG4-32/1755 at the Archives of Ontario

1st Witness

R.H.McCreer, Farmer, R.R.No. 5 Napanee, states:-

I saw an aeroplane manoeuvering over my farm about 7.20 a.m. today. I saw a man fall out of the machine and the machine then flew level for about a mile with the engine stopped and then crashed.

The Court of Inquiry found that Cook’s seatbelt had become unfastened during the flight, causing him to fall while manoeuvering at a height of between 3,000 and 4,000 feet.

Cook was born on September 17th, 1898 in Clanwilliam, Manitoba, the son of Andrew Cook and Elizabeth (née Rowat). He had been working as a drug store clerk in Minnedosa, Manitoba when he joined the Royal Flying Corps in Winnipeg on January 3rd, 1918. Four days later he was officially appointed to the Corps in Toronto with the regimental number 153929. He was described as five feet eight and a half inches tall, with a fair complexion, light brown hair and blue eyes.

Frank was buried in Clanwilliam United Church Cemetery.

Harry Frank Allardice signature

Harry Frank Allardice died in Deseronto at 9pm on this day in 1918 as a result of the same accident which killed Lieutenant Edward Lionel Morley. Allardice had suffered a fractured skull in the crash and died 34 hours later, according to his death registration.

The Intelligencer, Belleville’s newspaper, reported the crash on the day that Allardice died:

Belleville Intelligencer report of Jul 27 1918 on Morley and Allardice's accident

Fatal Aeroplane Accident at Deseronto

DESERONTO, July 26.- Second Lieut. E. L. Morley was killed and Cadet H. F. Allardince was seriously injured in a flying accident at 11.30 a.m. to-day near Camp Rathbun. Second Lieut. Morley was a son of Edward Morley, 169 Ridout street south, London, Ont. Cadet Allardice was married, and his wife lives at 52 Gloucester street, Toronto.

Allardice was born in Fulham, London, England on May 24th, 1888, the son of Joseph Allardice and Emily (née Foster). He came to Canada on the SS Lake Champlain on June 30th, 1907, heading for Wadena, Saskatchewan. He worked as a superintendent for the Barnett McQueen Company in Fort William (Thunder Bay) from 1908 to 1912. He married Hilda Powell Chipman in Port Arthur on December 30th, 1912 and the couple then moved to Ottawa, where Allardice worked as manager of the Silicate Brick Company. They had two sons, Francis Joseph who died at the age of two in 1916 of a fractured skull and Donald Clair, who was born on May 3rd, 1917.

Harry signed up on January 3rd, 1918 in Toronto, with the regimental number 153797. He was five feet eight and a half inches tall. He gave his home address as 216 Waverly Street, Ottawa. The accident which killed him was his first flight with 82 Canadian Training Squadron.

Allardice was buried in Beechwood Cemetery, Ottawa, in the same plot as his son.

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.

Colin Goss Coleridge signature

Colin Goss Coleridge came to Canada from England on the SS Pomeranian in August 1911 at the age of 22. He joined the Royal North West Mounted Police and served with them in Saskatchewan and Manitoba before being discharged to join the Royal Flying Corps in Toronto on August 13th, 1917. He was awarded a temporary commission with the Corps on December 21st, 1917 and worked as a flying instructor at Fort Worth in Texas and then at Camp Mohawk near Deseronto.

While he was in Fort Worth, at Camp Taliaferro, Coleridge was involved in a flying accident on February 9th, 1918, when he was instructing Cadet Cecil Bradford Corbin. Corbin suffered a broken leg and nose in the crash, while Coleridge had broken ribs. Both men suffered burns but Coleridge managed to rescue Corbin from the aircraft and was given an MBE for this action.

Colin was killed in another flying accident near Deseronto on this day in 1918. He and Lieutenant Priestman were flying from Camp Mohawk to Camp Rathbun. The following is a description of the crash by Lieutenant Stevenson at the Court of Inquiry held the day after:

Lieutenant Stevenson's evidence re Coleridge crash

Detail from Court of Inquiry, Attorney General 1918 file RG4-32/1762 at the Archives of Ontario

2nd Witness.

Lieut. A.R. Stevenson, states:-

I was standing about 50 yards from the scene of accident. I saw machine C-226 making a right hand vertical bank just North of the Officers’ Quarters, the undercarriage and right hand Wings struck a tree and then the machine swung nose down to the ground. I saw the engine knocked back to the petrol tank and almost immediately the machine burst into flames.

I saw an Officer jump from the rear seat, and owing to the extensive heat I was unable to render any assistance to the passenger I saw in the front seat.

Coleridge suffered burns to 90% of his body in the crash and died five hours later in the Camp Rathbun hospital.

He was born in Ashton, Devon, England on December 8th, 1888, the son of John Coleridge and Ellen Anne (née Goss). They were living in Snettisham, Norfolk, when their son died. He was buried in Deseronto Cemetery, and this photograph is believed to be of his funeral:

Funeral of Colin Goss Coleridge

Headstone of Colin Goss Coleridge

Coleridge’s parents donated a table to St. Mark’s Anglican Church in Deseronto, with a plaque commemorating their son. The plaque and the table were donated to the National Air Force Museum of Canada in 2018.

Lt Coleridge plaque

TO THE GLORY OF GOD

AND IN LOVING MEMORY OF

Lt. Colin Goss Coleridge, R.A.F.

OBIT JULY 23rd A. D. 1918

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