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

Major Edward Cuthbert Norsworthy ’97

Died: April 22, 1915

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Major E. C. Norsworthy, who was killed in action on April 22nd, was born on the 29th of May, 1879, at Ingersoll, Ont., where his grandparents, a Devonshire family, had settled in 1852. His early education was begun at the Public Schools in Ingersoll and St. Thomas, and completed at Upper Canada College, from which he matriculated into McGill University in 1897, at the age of eighteen.

Undecided what to do, as many a boy is at this period of his life, he finally made up his mind to seek a career for himself in the financial world, and obtained a position with Messrs. Geo. A. Stimson and Co., dealers in bonds and debentures. Only a few men know how earnestly the young Norsworthy worked and studied in order to gain a thorough knowledge of the bond business. From nine till five he was busy in the office, and then worked half the night on the most difficult mathematical problems, making more progress in a few weeks under adverse conditions like these, than most men could do in a year, and keeping it up for months at a stretch. In 1901 he opened an office in Montreal for the Dominion Securities Corporation, and being very energetic and possessing a keen analytical mind he soon gained the confidence of investors and succeeded so well in promoting the business of his company that he was elected to the Board of Directors. Another position of importance which he held in the financial world was a directorship of the Canada Cement Company.

In his student days he had been connected with the Cadet Corps in the St. Thomas Collegiate Institute, and the U.C.C. Rifle Company, and shortly after settling in Montreal he joined the 5th Royal Highlanders, and advanced step by step till he became major in 1909. Immediately on the outbreak of war he offered his services and proceeded to the Front with the First Contingent as second in command of the 13th Battalion, which was formed largely from his own regiment. He was very quick to realize that heretofore he had only been playing at soldiering, and really worried a great deal over the difficulties of training the men for the great struggle before them. But his letters of a later date indicated a much more hopeful outlook, and in one of the last letters he wrote from France he declared that he could see an improvement in his regiment from day to day. This improvement was due in large part (so it is said) to the earnestness and efficiency of Major Norsworthy.

On April 22nd the Colonial French troop, who were stationed next to the Canadians, were driven from the trenches by poisonous gases. This left one part of our line in a very dangerous position, and it was while bringing up reserves to prevent our left from being entirely surrounded that Major Norsworthy met his death. According to one report he was slightly wounded and then bayoneted, but from one of his closest friends who happened to be nearby at the time, it has been learned that he was killed almost instantly by a rifle shot through the neck.

College Times (Summer 1915) pg. 5-6

 

More information about Major Edward Cuthbert Norsworthy ’97 can be found at:

Upper Canada College Roll of Service 1914-1919

The Canadian Virtual War Memorial

A Canadian Family in the Great War 1914-1918
(A book privately printed in 1921 which is also available to view by appointment at the College Archives.)

Imperial War Museum: Lives of the First World War

Oxford Remembers Oxford’s Own

Masonic Roll of Honour

Canada At War

Canadian Great War Project

Ann Brooks’ Ancestry

Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada Regimental Archives

The Call to Arms: Montreal’s Roll of Honour, European War, 1914