Sunday, November 22, 2015

He met the Red Baron

Wilfred is my wife's 3rd cousin three times removed in her Countryman line.  

I'm learning about his death but so far not much of his life.

Lieutenant Wilfred Ellis Durant
Born January 20, 1895 in Chesterville, Ontario
Son of William Durant and Luella Mae (Countryman) Durant
Died July 2, 1918 in France



Wilfred went to Toronto and tried the Royal Airforce exams, passed seventh. They picked out 7 officers. He was at home for a week and left for overseas in civilian clothes on the Megantic landing in Bath and Salisbury Plains. He passed his gunnery exam first and was placed a sub lieutenant to the 29 squadron. He went to France. The big push was on and he was kept at his post until fatigue took its toll. His slowed reflexes made him an easy target for the great German Ace on July 2, 1918.~Erma Durant Steven[1]


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Date of Death:02/07/1918
Regiment/Service:Royal Air Force 29th Sqdn.
Grave Reference: V. C. 40.
Additional Information:Son of William Asa and Lewella May Durant, of Chesterville, Ontario.[2]

Canadian Virtual War Memorial

In memory of
Lieutenant Wilfrid Ellis Durant
July 2, 1918
Military Service:
Age: 23
Force: Air Force
Unit: Royal Air Force
Division: 29th Sqdn.
Additional Information:
Son of William Asa and Lewella May Durant, of Chesterville, Ontario.
Commemorated on Page 586 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.
Burial Information:
Grave Reference:
V. C. 40.
LONGUENESSE (ST. OMER) SOUVENIR CEMETERY is on the southern outskirts of St Omer and is about 45 kilometres south-east of Calais. When approaching the cemetery from St. Omer centre follow in the direction of Abbeville on the D 928. As you leave the town towards Longuenesse drive up the hill for about 600 metres and the cemetery is on your left.


WILFRID ELLIS DURANT Jan. 20, 1895" July 2, 1918 Lieutenant, Royal Air Force.
Son of W. A. Durant; b. Chesterville; ed. Winchester P.S., Chesterville H.S., Kempt ville c.i.; Education, 1914-15; Teaching at s.s. 10, Winchester, Dundas Cy.; C.O.T.C. In March 1917 he joined the R. Naval Air Service and went overseas in May. On completing his training he went to France in November, and served in the Ypres area. After the change of organisation he was serving with the 29th Squadron, R. Air Force. The day of his death he was leading his squadron at a great height over the Ypres front when he was attacked by two German planes which came down from above a cloud. He was shot through the head and fell near Battery Corner. Buried at St. Omer.[3]

Canadian Great War Project

Lieutenant Wilfrid Ellis Durant
Regimental Number: 490942
Survived War: No
Force: Air Force
Regiment: Royal Flying Corps Battalion: 29th Squadron
Enlisted or Conscripted: Enlisted
Prior Military Experience: Yes
Enlistment Date: March 9, 1917
Age at Enlistment: 22
Enlisted at: Toronto, Ontario
Address at Enlistment: RR #3, Chesterville, Ontario
Civilian Occupation: School Teacher
Saw Service in: Europe
Date of Death: July 2, 1918
Age at Death: 23
Cause of Death: Killed in Action
Battle Died/Wounded:
Burial: Longuenesse (St Omer) Souvenir Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France
Plot: V. C. 40.
Date of Birth: January 20, 1895
Next of Kin: Luella May Durant (Mother), RR #3, Chesterville, Ontario
Place of Birth: Chesterville, Ontario
Country of Birth: Canada
Prisoner of War: No
Married: Single
Religion: Methodist
Height: 5 Feet 5 Inches
Chest: 36 Inches
Expansion: 5 Inches
Ethnic Origin: Not Specified
NAC Reference: ^ra2772 - 49
PrivateCanadian InfantryUniversity of Toronto Training Company
LieutenantRoyal Flying Corps29th Squadron
Awards and Decorations
Notes: Son of William Asa and Lewella May Durant, of Chesterville, Ontario.
Research Notes[4]