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Discover the stories and remember the lives of UCC
Old Boys who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the Great War.

Captain Henry Ewart Bethune ’09

Died: September 30, 1918

Capt. H. E. Bethune, M.C., son of Mr. H. J. Bethune, 72 Roxborough Rd., Toronto, was 24 years of age and was at U.C.C. from 1903-1909. Capt. Bethune was at Winnipeg at the outbreak of the war and enlisted as a Pte. in the 79th Cameron Highlanders in August, 1914. He went from there to Valcartier, then overseas to Salisbury. In December he received a commission in the 12th Highland L. I. and went to France.

In April, 1916, he was severely wounded and came home on a furlough. The following Spring he returned to France, was again wounded and sent to Scotland, where he was placed on home duty. In April of this year he returned to France and had been in frequent actions until he was killed. Three brothers are also on active service, Lieut. J. A. in France with the Canadians, Leiut. R. with the Kings’ Own Royal Lancashires and Lieut. D. with the R.C.D. in England. The following letter has been received by his father:

12 H.L. 1 B.E.F.

Dear Mr. Bethune :

The Commanding Officer has asked me to forward the enclosed Certificate and Copy of Army Orders No. 57, showing your son to have won the Military Cross. The official announcement of the Award came through the day on which he was killed and he never knew that he had gained it actually, though he knew he had been recommended for it. Your son was also awaiting confirmation of his promotion to the rank of Captain. This will appear in due course in the London Gazette. The Commanding Officer has, I think, already written to you expressing his sincere sympathy in your loss and his admiration of your son’s behaviour in the battle in which he was killed.

May I add to his my own deep sympathy for you in your loss. I knew your son very well and had much admiration for him as a soldier and a man. His promotion to Captain was the reward of efficiency and of pluck. The C. O. was quick to spot him as a promising Company Commander and he more than justified his choice. He died a soldier’s death at the head of his Company. His fellow officers and the men of his Company all speak with admiration of his behaviour on the day of his death, and on all hands one hears expressions of deep regret in our having lost one of the best of our officers.

Yours sincerely,
S. Campbell
Act. Adj. for C O.

College Times (Summer 1918) pg.25-26


More information about Captain Henry Ewart Bethune ’09 can be found at:

Upper Canada College Roll of Service 1914-1919

Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Canadian Great War Project

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

The Royal British Legion – Every Man Remembered

The National Archives (UK)

Trinity College School Old Boys At War

Trinity College School 1916-January 1919, p.593-4

Supplement to The London Gazette, 11 January 1919