Story from a Photograph – Soldier 1 – Gordon Dewar
I find it always so sad, when photographs are auctioned off; no one to claim that family member as one of their ancestors. Probably treasured by those that lived and knew their stories, but unimportant to those that are left, because they do not know who they are and have no connection.
So, I bought these photographs at the estate auction of the late Kensington dentist Dr. Harold Clarance Stewart, with the intent of finding out who these young men were.
This purchase consisted of 3 black and white photographs, depicting 3 different soldiers. Only the largest frame (8″x 10″) had information on the back: “Gordon Dewar – killed in England”
The other 2 images have no identification marks, no names or dates, even after I disassembled the frame at home).
I want to know why this picture was in the possession of Dr. Stewart and his estate.
I found the obituary of Dr. Stewart and the obituary of his wife Margaret Stewart (McLure) online
From his obituary I learned, that his father’s name was Carl Stewart and his mother was Florence Stewart and her maiden name was “Dewar”
Find out about a soldier named Gordon Dewar, by researching Island Newspapers.
Gordon Dewar’s parents are Mr. and Mrs. William Dewar of Brudenell.
Gordon’s rank: Gunner
There are some similarities between my photograph and the image from the newspaper. To say it is him,
I can not be sure.
The information I do glean from this obituary:
– he was killed in action Aug. 8th, 1944 in France
– four brothers: Kenneth, Athol, Stewart, James
– one sister: Margaret
What is the connection between Florence Stewart (Dewar) – Harold Stewart’s mother – and Gordon Albert Dewar?
The Obituary of Gordon’s father, William Weston Dewar, makes a clear connection.
William Weston Dewar, a veteran of WW1, was married to Florence Mathilde Dewar (Gordon).
one daughter: Margaret MacKinnon
Kenneth, Athol, Stewart, James. There was another brother named Elvin who predeceased him in 1952.
He also leaves 3 sisters: Lillian, Jessie, and Florence Dewar (Mrs. Carl Stewart)
This, to me is proof why this picture was found in the estate of Harold Stewart.
Gordon Albert Dewar and Harold Stewart were first cousins.
Gunner Gordon Albert Dewar
August 8, 1944
Service Number: F/78103
Unit: Royal Canadian Artillery
Division: 3 Lt. A.A. Regt.
BRETTEVILLE-SUR-LAIZE CANADIAN WAR CEMETERY
There is a bit more to the story:
The History of the Third Canadian Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment (3LAA)
a page on the internet – a diary of what happened to that regiment that Gordon was a part of. It states, August 8, 1944 – on the day he died:
On 8th August, 1944, American Fortresses, due to an error in navigation, unloaded their bombs a short distance south of Vaucelles causing a large number of casualties. Eight members of the Regiment were killed and a number injured. No anti-aircraft guns fired at them.
Casualties on 8 August 1944 were:
K18091 Gunner John Earl Boyd – Killed Age 30, son of Hugh Archibald and Edith Jane Boyd of Kamloops, British Columbia; buried IX. A. 11 Bretteville-Sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery, Calvados, France
F78103 Gunner Gordon Albert Dewar – Killed Age 21; date of birth September 1, 1922 Roseneath, Prince Edward Island, son of William Weston Dewar and Florence M. Dewar of Brudenell, King’s Co., Prince Edward Island; buried VI. F. 13 Bretteville-Sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery
L10546 L/BDR David George Farrow – Killed Age 24; son of Ernest T. Farrow and Ann Farrow of Regina, Saskatchewan. Buried VI. F. 12, Bretteville-Sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery
B111901 Gunner William Leo Fortier – Killed Age 21; son of Albert and Mary Fortier of Toronto, Canada; buried VI. F. 10, Bretteville-Sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery
D124613 Gunner Joseph Bernard Horn – Killed Age 22; son of William Horn and Regina Horn of Montreal, Quebec; buried V. F. 7. ,, Bretteville-Sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery
K76810 Gunner Albert L. Kinney – Died of Wounds Age 26; son of Milo J. and Florence A. Kinney of South Fort George, British Columbia; buried VI. F. 11, Bretteville-Sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery
K15182 BDR Gordon G. Sheldon – Killed Age 39; son of John Herbert and Lena Sheldon; husband of Exie Estelle Sheldon of Stockton, California, U.S.A.; buried VI. F. 15, Bretteville-Sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery
Update: December 12, 2019:
Message received from Gordon Hume Dewar:
“He was indeed my uncle, he was killed in France. I was named after him. His father was William Weston Dewar from Roseneath, Brudenell area. His wife was Florence Gordon. My father, Kenneth was Gordon’s brother.
Gordon was engaged to an English lady at the time of his death.“
Not all mysteries can be solved
Now that I figured out Gordon’s connection, and identification, I am curious as to who the other 2 soldiers in the other 2 pictures?
(Un)known Soldier 2
Unknown Soldier 3
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