1910s


Arlof David Hewson signature

Arlof David Hewson died in a flying accident while training with the Royal Air Force at Camp Mohawk near Deseronto. Hewson was born in Windsor, Ontario, on November 18th, 1898, the son of Frank Hewson and Eliza (née Tansley). He joined the Royal Flying Corps on January 15th, 1918 in Toronto with the regimental number 154244. He was five feet four inches tall.

There is a great deal of disagreement in the records as to the exact date of his death. The death registration by local physician Elgin Vandervoort gives May 23rd, but the RAF casualty record has May 20th and other sources have May 5th, May 22nd or 24th. The RAF Court of Inquiry report shows that the accident happened on May 22nd.

Arlof was attached to 81 Canadian Training Squadron of the Royal Air Force’s 42nd Wing in Deseronto. His accident is described in the RAF records as follows:

Date of Casualty: 20.5.18
Where occurred: Canada Camp Mohawk Deseronto
Type of Machine: Curtiss JN4
Nature and Cause of Accident: Fly[ing] acc[ident] failure to come out of accidental spin
Result of Accident: Killed 22.5.18* [*addition made 23/3/59]
Name of other Occupant of Machine: 2nd Lt C. A. [Cyril Arthur] Robotham injured

Lieutenant Robotham gave evidence at the Court of Inquiry held on May 23rd. He had suffered compound fractures of the bones in his left leg and shock.

Detail from Attorney General's 1918 file RG4-31/1276 at the Archives of Ontario

Detail from Attorney General’s 1918 file RG4-31/1267 at the Archives of Ontario

7th witness:– 2/Lieut. C.A.Robotham, No. 81 C.T.S., R.A.F., states:-

I was ordered on 22-5-18 to take 154244 Cadet Hewson,A.D. up in machine C-285 for a Medical Air Test. I had previously told the Cadet what he was to do when up in the air for the purposes of this test. We had been in the air five minutes and he had not done any of the tests that I had explained to him, so I turned back to the aerodrome for the purpose of landing and explaining the tests to him again. In turning into the aerodrome I put my nose down with the intention of closing the throttle and S-turning in, but the throttle jammed and I could not pull it back, the result being a spin.

The aircraft was examined after the accident and all controls were found to be intact. The court recommended that:

…all pilots be instructed not to make gliding turns with the engine “on”, and that in getting into a spin close to the ground, they switch off rather than close the throttle.

Arlof was buried in St. John’s Anglican Church Cemetery in Windsor.

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Roy Calvin Lewis signature

Roy Calvin Lewis was conscripted into the Canadian Expeditionary Force in Toronto on this day in 1918. He was born in Deseronto on October 8th, 1895, the son of John Caleb Lewis and Harriet (née Woodcock). By 1901 the family were living in Kennebec, Ontario and by the time Roy was drafted, they were in Kaladar, where he was working as a lineman.

Lewis joined the 1st Depot Battalion of the 1st Central Ontario Regiment with the regimental number 3039167. He was five feet eight inches tall, with blue eyes, a fair complexion and brown hair. His service record shows that he was transferred to the Engineer Depot in Brockville on June 6th. He was demobilized there on January 22nd, 1919. In 1921 he was lodging in Toronto, still working as a lineman.

Thomas Vincent Patrick signature

Thomas Vincent Patrick died in a flying accident at Camp Rathbun in Deseronto on this day in 1918. He was a cadet in 89 Canadian Training Squadron of the Royal Air Force’s 42nd Wing. The RAF casualty record notes:

Date of Casualty: 18.5.18
Where occurred: Canada Camp Rathbun
Type of Machine: Curtiss JN4
Nature and Cause of Accident: Machine was observed at approximately 2500ft coming down in nose dive & crash to earth.
Result of Accident: Killed

Thomas was born on January 26th, 1893 in Souris, Manitoba, the son of Thomas Hughes Patrick and Margaret (née Nicol). He enlisted in the Royal Flying Corps in Toronto on December 13th, 1917 and was officially appointed to the service on December 17th, with a regimental number of 153643. He had previously been working as a teacher. He was five feet five and a half inches tall, with a medium complexion, brown hair and brown eyes.

Thomas Vincent Patrick was buried in Glenwood Cemetery, Souris, Manitoba.

Clarence Dickey signature

On this day in 1918 Clarence Dickey, a lumberhand, was conscripted in Toronto. He was born in Deseronto on November 5th, 1896, the son of Adam Dickey and Eliza (née Luffman). The family were in Deseronto at the time of the 1901 census, but by 1911 they had moved to Midland, Ontario, where Adam, Clarence and his brother, Roy, were all working in the sawmill there.

Dickey joined the 1st Depot Battalion of the 1st Central Ontario Regiment with the regimental number 3038583. He was five feet five and three quarter inches tall, with a sallow complexion, grey eyes and brown hair. His service record shows that he arrived in England on June 21st, 1918 and joined the 12th Reserve Battalion there. He arrived in France on September 30th on the SS Cassandra and was taken on the strength of the 75th Battalion. He served in France until May 2nd, 1919 and departed England for Canada on May 31st on the troop ship Mauretania. He was demobilized in Toronto on June 8th, 1919.

Clarence married Viola Salmon in Hamilton on May 12th, 1920. A note on his service file states that he died on April 22nd, 1943.

George Frederick Mowbray signature

George Frederick Mowbray was drafted at Camp Barriefield in Kingston on this day in 1918. He was born in Tyendinaga township on September 7th, 1894, the son of William Albert Mowbray and Rebecca (née Anderson). Mowbray was working as a farmer when he was called up. He had married Myrtle Irene MacDonald in Belleville on December 5th, 1917. He joined the 1st Depot Battalion of the Eastern Ontario Regiment, with the regimental number 3059841. He was five feet eight and a half inches tall, with a dark complexion, hazel eyes and brown hair. His service record shows that he was demobilized in Belleville on January 11th, 1919.

It is not clear what happened to either of the Mowbrays after the war.

Arthur Joseph Marlow signature

On this day in 1918 Arthur Joseph Marlow was conscripted into the Canadian Expeditionary Force in Camp Barriefield, Kingston. He stated that he was born in Deseronto on June 24th, 1894. There is no record of his birth in the Deseronto registrations for that year, although there was a birth of a Gertrude Marlow in Deseronto in 1897. Her parents were Joseph Marlow and Elenora (née Furnier), and it is probable that these were Arthur’s parents, as there is a record of baptism in Loyalist Township, Lennox and Addington for Arthur, son of Joseph and Aldore on January 20th, 1895. An Eldora and a Gerty Marlow died in Deseronto in 1898, while Joseph Marlow died in the town in 1902. They all had tuberculosis.

When he was drafted, Arthur was living in Glenburnie, Ontario, where he was working as a farmer. He gave his next of kin as his friend, George Compton. Marlow was described as five feet six inches tall, with a dark complexion, brown eyes and black hair. He enlisted with the 1st Depot Battalion of the Eastern Ontario Regiment, with the regimental number 3059779. His service record shows that he arrived in England on July 22nd, 1918 on the SS Tunisian. He served with the 6th Reserve Battalion in England and returned to Canada on the SS Carmania in July 1919. He was demobilized in Kingston on July 15th.

Harry Franklin Miles Benn signature

On this day in 1918 bank clerk Harry Franklin Miles Benn was drafted under the Military Service Act. He was living in Merrickville, Ontario when he was conscripted and he gave his next of kin as his mother, Mary Benn. His younger brother Redginald had enlisted in October, 1915.

On his attestation form, Harry stated that he was born in Deseronto, but his birth was actually registered in Napanee on May 28th, 1896. His parents were Archibald Benn and Mary (née Morrison). By 1901 the family had moved to Merrickville.

When he was drafted, Harry was described as five feet ten and a half inches tall, with a medium dark complexion, brown eyes and dark brown hair. He joined the 2nd Depot Battalion of the Eastern Ontario Regiment with the regimental number 3322695. His service record shows that he was transferred to the 2nd Tank Battalion in September 1918 and that he left Canada for England on October 4th, 1918.

Harry was admitted to hospital on his arrival in England on October 18th, suffering from influenza. He remained in hospital in Bristol and then in Epsom until January 27th, 1919 and was then discharged to Seaford, Sussex, to serve in the Canadian Machine Gun Depot. He was admitted to the 14th Canadian General Hospital in Eastbourne on February 8th, 1919, again suffering from influenza and pneumonia. He spent the remainder of his time in England in hospital. As a result of his illness, his right arm became paralyzed.

Harry Benn medical report

Extract from Harry Franklin Benn’s service file

Obj[ective]. Patient under weight about 20 lbs. 1. Had pneumonia in Oct., 1918, and in Feb., 1919. Examination of chest negative. 2. had paralysis of right arm following pneumonia. Deltoid muscle is improving in strength but it is still wasted. Abduction of right arm is weak. Can raise arm above head with some effort. Other movements are normal.

Benn was invalided to Canada on the on the SS Royal George on July 21st, 1919. Benn was demobilized on August 16th as medically unfit for general service. He married Anne Elizabeth Wilson in Westboro, Ottawa, on April 26th, 1920.

Harry died on November 19th, 1952 and was buried in Merrickville.

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