Discover the stories and remember the lives of UCC
Old Boys who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the Great War.
Lieutenant Richard Gilpin Crawford ’11
Died: May 9, 1915
When the war broke out last summer, Crawford was with a survey party in Northern Quebec. About two weeks later a workman, who arrived at the camp, brought the news that war had been declared. In an hour Crawford had resigned his position, and was on the trail.
At the nearest telegraph office he wired to the Minister of Militia, asking for a commission and offering to enlist as a private in case all the commissions were filled. Needless to say he secured a commission and left Canada with the First Contingent. At Salisbury Plains he was given special duties, and when the Canadian battalions left for France he had charge of the transportation of stores. Afterwards he became chief orderly officer to the Second-in-Command at Salisbury Plains, but when a shortage of officers began to be felt at the front, he applied for a transfer and was sent to join the Princess Patricia’s Regiment just when the righting in that quarter was at its height. For two or three weeks after joining the regiment the fighting went on and the regiment suffered very severe losses. His last letter to his father, containing a few general statements about these things, was written from the trenches on May 6th. On May 8th he was wounded, and on May 9th he died.
Richard Gilpin Crawford was the son of Mr. W. G. Crawford, of Tillbury, and came to the College in 1908 to prepare for the R.M.C.
He passed the entrance examination in 1911 and completed his course there in 19 13. He was a very loyal and honourable boy, proud of his connection with the College, interested in all our activities, and ready to lend a hand whenever he could be of use in any way. A particularly sad feature in connection with his death is that he was an only child.
He was a very dutiful son, particularly devoted to his mother, and very much liked by the people of his own town. His last letter to his parents, written two days before he was wounded, has this postscript: “Have been able to keep cool up to the present, and am much pleased about it.” This statement is abundantly proved in the letters received from his brother officers after his death.
College Times (Summer 1915) pg. 12-13
More information about Lieutenant Richard Gilpin Crawford ’11 can be found at:
The Stone Frigate (1914) by The Royal Military College of Canada