With Remembrance Day taking place this week, it’s an appropriate time to look back at a bit of a mystery involving seven Old Boys who served in the First World War and Upper Canada College’s commemorative memorial plaque.
Four Old Boys listed on UCC’s First World War memorial plaque don’t have biographies in the school’s First World War memorial volume, The Roll of Service 1914-1919, which was published in 1923. Meanwhile, three Old Boys included in the Roll of Service aren’t included on the memorial plaque.
The newly launched UCC Remembers website provides some insight about these men. It’s a place to discover more stories and remember the lives of those UCC Old Boys who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the Great War.
Here’s what’s known about the four Old Boys listed on the plaque who are missing from the Roll of Service:
Sgt. Lewis Henry Brown 1899
Brown was a boarder who started at UCC in 1896. He was the son of Sherbrooke, Que. barrister H. Braithwaite Brown and Charlotte Mary Brown and was previously a student at Bishops College School in Lennoxville, Que. He was the husband of Margaret Mary Davis. He enlisted on Jan. 7, 1916 and served in the Central Ontario Regiment of the Canadian infantry. He was killed in action at age 36 on April 9, 1917 and is buried in Bois-Carre British Cemetery in Pas de Calais, France.
Lt. James Lindsay Burton 1914
Burton entered UCC in 1912 and enlisted in the army battalion (the Bantams) as his father, Lieut.-Col. F.L. Burton, at age 18. He served in the Canadian infantry and died in action on Aug. 8, 1918 after being in the trenches for two months. He’s buried in Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery in Somme, France.
The only UCC archival information on file for Hamilton comes from the Roll of Pupils, which says: “HAMILTON, W.; ‘B; ’82-’83; S. of W. Hamilton, Iron Merchant, Peterborough; Peterborough C.I.; Age 16-2.’” A card in the UCC archives with that same information on it states, in handwritten red pen and pencil, that he was killed in action in 1917.
“Acting-Sergt. Aubrey de Vere Arnold Turquand was killed on June 13th, 1916. He was the only son of Mrs. McAllum of Toronto, and was of Canadian descent on both sides for several generations.
“Sergt. Turquand was born Sept. 2nd, 1896, and entered the Preparatory in 1909, where he proved himself the best all-round athlete they possessed. In 1911 he went to Appleby College, Oakville, and there gained quite a reputation as a good, clean athlete before leaving at Christmas, 1914, to enlist. He had intended taking up law as his profession, but the war interfered.
“In January, 1915, he joined the 35th Battalion and went overseas with a draft as a Corporal on Aug. 16th, being promoted to Sergeant on reaching Shorncliffe. On Oct. 23rd be went to France with reinforcements for the 3rd (Toronto) Battalion, as bombardier in the 1st Brigade Grenade Company.
“He was wounded on April 16th slightly, but at Ypres, on June 13th, 1916, while going over a parapet, engaged in bombing work, he was struck by a shell and killed. He was buried in Ypres Churchyard, a cross being placed over his grave. He was not yet 20 years old.”
Here’s the available information on three Old Boys whose names are on the Roll of Service but aren’t included on the memorial plaque:
Lieutenant E. Henry Allen
Allen began at the College at the age of 10 in 1871. He was the son of stockbroker William Allen of Southgate, England and ward of Mr. (later Archbishop) Sweatman at UCC. His previous school was Hellmuth College in London, Ont. He enlisted with the 23rd Battalion, The Royal Fusiliers, as a private on Oct. 8, 1914. He was with 13th Battalion, The Royal Warwickshire Regiment as a temporary second lieutenant before being appointed to the West African Frontier Force with the temporary rank of lieutenant. He drowned in West Africa on April 24, 1917.
Capt. Melchoir McEwen Eberts
Eberts was from Little Rock, Ark. and came to UCC in 1905 from Peabody High School. He left the next year to attend St. Andrew’s College until 1908. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he had the nickname Ike, in June 1915. He was the first officer in the U.S. to be killed flying when he died in an exhibition flight accident at age 28 in Columbus, N.M. on May 15, 1917. He’s buried at West Point. Eberts Field in Lonoke, Ark. was named after him and the American Legion in Little Rock was named M.M. Eberts Post in his honour.
Capt. William Bruce Macculloch
Macculloch entered UCC at age 12 for the 1902-03 school year, his only one at the College. His earlier education was at St. Alban’s Cathedral School in Toronto. His parents were William Bruce Macculloch and Harriet Ethel Purcell VanKoughnet. He enlisted in England on Sept. 30, 1914 and it appears that he was attached to the 11th, 9th and 15th Battalion of the Highland Light Infantry. He was killed in action at the battle of Arras on April 11, 1917.
If you have any information relating to these Old Boys, please email College archivist Jill Spellman or call her at 416-488-1125, ext. 2372. It will be incorporated into UCC Remembers with your permission.