Discover the stories and remember the lives of UCC
Old Boys who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the Great War.
Lieutenant James Pomeroy Cavers ’10
Died: September 3, 1918
Flight-Lieut. J. P. Cavers, the son of Mrs. Dyas of Howland Ave., Toronto, was at U.C.C. in 1 909-1910. When he enlisted in 1915 he was in his 3rd year S.P.S., Toronto; he was Capt. of the S.P.S. Rugby Team, which won the Mulock Cup in 1912; in 1913-19 14 he was Intercollegiate light-weight boxing Champion and in 1914-1915, President of the S.P.S. Athletic Society. He enlisted with the Eaton Machine Gun Battery and served with that unit in France until he was wounded; on recovery he joined the R.F.C. and was transferred to Salonika, where he was again wounded, but remained on duty, and, finally was reported missing on September 3rd, 191 8. He was 25 years of age.
The following two letters have been received from his superior officers.
Royal Air Force,
Dear Madam :
You will doubtless have heard of your son’s death both officially and from his Squadron Commander (Capt. Goulding) so I will not go into details. I write in the name of the Wing Commander (‘Col. Todd) Officers, N.C.O’s and men of the 16th Wing to offer our heartfelt sympathies in the sad loss you have sustained of so brave and good a son. He was absolutely fearless, and his high moral character set a good example to all those who came in contact with him. He was one of our best pilots, and had brought down two enemy machines in flames the two days previous to the date on which he himself was unfortunately brought down by 5 or 6 enemy machines, which he bravely attacked.
In his death the British Empire and the R.A.F. are heavy losers, and we all of us here cannot express our sympathies with you too greatly.
If there is anything I can do please ask. His personal effects, etc., are all sent to you through the usual Military Channels and will arrive some day.
C. Hodgkinson Smith,
Capt. S.O., 1 6th Wing R.A.F.
Dear Major Dyas :
You will have heard through official sources of the loss of your brother, and it is with the deepest sympathy I endeavour to portray the most gallant way in which he carried out his duty and so added his name to that glorious list of those who have given their utmost.
He had been doing the most excellent work, and three days previous to his death, had been successful in sending two enemy machines to earth, and his loss is deeply regretted by all. He was on escort duty, protecting a reconnaissance machine, when he was attacked by six enemy machines. His engine and controls were hit and he was forced to come down followed by the enemy. The combat had been over Lake Doiran into which he was forced to descend. A formation of his squadron saw the fighting and went to help as fast as possible, but unfortunately arrived too late to save your brother, but succeeded in shooting down four of the six “Hun” machines.
Cavers was an excellent swimmer and I thought he probably had managed to reach shore, and sent out patrols at night in an endeavour to find him, but in this I was disappointed. He was an excellent fellow and most popular in the squadron. His death though quickly avenged is keenly felt, and all officers deeply sympathize.
The General Officer commanding the army in Salonika sent the following telegram to the Squadron which I think you will be glad to read.
“I greatly regret the loss sustained in Lieut. Cavers’ death, he was a splendid example.”
Your brother’s kit is being forwarded. If there is anything further I can do to assist you I shall be only too glad to do so.
A. G. Goulding
College Times (Summer 1918) pg. 15
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