Person:Arthur Brown (47)

     
Captain Arthur Roy Brown
d.9 Mar 1944 Ontario, Canada
m. 8 Sep 1886
  1. Captain Arthur Roy Brown1893 - 1944
m. 19 Feb 1920
Facts and Events
Name[6][7][8][9] Captain Arthur Roy Brown
Gender Male
Birth[1][2] 23 Dec 1893 Carleton Place, Lanark, Ontario, Canada
Military[1] 1918 pilot of a Sopwith Camel, 209th Squadron, Royal Air Force
Military[1][2][6] Distinguished Service Cross
Occupation[2] flight instructor
Occupation[2] Imperial Varnish and Color Company Limited
Marriage 19 Feb 1920 York, Ontario, Canadato Edythe Lois Monypenny
Occupation[2][3] 1928-1940 Amos, Abitibi, Québec, Canadapresident, General Airways Limited
Occupation[2][3] Stouffville, York, Ontario, Canadadairy farmer
Occupation[2] associate editor for Canadian Aviation magazine
Reference Number? Q201490?
Other[7] Aviation Hall of Fame Award
Death[1][2] 9 Mar 1944 Ontario, Canada
Burial[4][5] Toronto, York, Ontario, Canada

Biographical Summary

source: Wikipedia

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References
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 The Red Baron: A History in Pictures, p. 158, 2016.

    The Red Baron: A History in Pictures
    By Norman Franks Pen and Sword, Oct 14, 2016

  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame.

    http://www.cahf.ca/CUSTOMPAGES/907/MemberList.cfm?firstLetter=B#227
    Member Profile: A. Roy Brown
    accessed 6 April 2018

  3. 3.0 3.1 Roy Brown Society.

    http://www.captroybrown.ca/ accessed 6 April 2018
    http://www.captroybrown.ca/life_after_the_war.html
    Roy Brown Society.
    http://www.captroybrown.ca/the_brown_family.html accessed 6 April 2018

    The Moore House: Roy Brown Museum
    170 Bridge Street, Carleton Place, Ontario, Canada

    rob@canadacareer.ca

  4. Capt Arthur Roy Brown.

    Birth: 23 Dec 1893 Carleton Place, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
    Death: 9 Mar 1944 (aged 50) Stouffville, York Regional Municipality, Ontario, Canada
    Burial: Toronto Necropolis Cemetery and Crematorium, Toronto, Toronto Municipality, Ontario, Canada
    Plot: Toronto Necropolis, Toronto, Ontario
    Memorial #: 8759974
    Bio: WWI Canadian Fighter Pilot. Distinguished Service Cross with bar device. Credited as the air ace who finally brought the "Red Baron," Baron Manfred von Richthofen, down to earth. Entered the Royal Naval Air Service in 1915; almost killed when he crashed an Avro 504 on 2 May 1916; eventually recovered and was assigned to 9 Naval Squadron on the Western Front in April 1917. Reassigned to 11 Naval Squadron, scored his first victory on 17 July 1917, while flying a Sopwith Pup. In the fall, he rejoined 9 Naval Squadron to fly Sopwith Camels, becoming a flight commander in February 1918. In the most famous aerial combat of WWI, Brown's flight encountered Jasta 11 on the morning of April 21, 1918. In the battle that followed, Brown scored his final victory of the war while engaging a red Fokker DR.I; he was officially credited with shooting down the Red Baron. For this action, Brown received a bar to his Distinguished Service Cross. "If he had been my dearest friend, I could not have felt greater sorrow" Brown said on viewing the body of Manfred von Richthofen. In 1919, Brown left the Royal Air Force and returned to Canada where he worked as an accountant, founded a small airline and became an editor for " Canadian Aviation" magazine. During World War II, Brown entered politics after his application to join the Royal Canadian Air Force was rejected. The year before he died, he ran for Parliament but lost the election.
    Created by: Fred Beisser (46555840)
    Added: 15 May 2004
    URL: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/8759974/arthur-roy-brown
    Citation: Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 06 April 2018), memorial page for Capt Arthur Roy Brown (23 Dec 1893–9 Mar 1944), Find A Grave Memorial no. 8759974, citing Toronto Necropolis Cemetery and Crematorium, Toronto, Toronto Municipality, Ontario, Canada ; Maintained by Fred Beisser (contributor 46555840) .

  5. Capt Roy Arthur “Brownie” Brown.

    Birth: 23 Dec 1893 Carlington, Ottawa Municipality, Ontario, Canada
    Death: 9 Mar 1944 (aged 50) Whitchurch-Stouffville, York Regional Municipality, Ontario, Canada
    Burial: Toronto Necropolis Cemetery and Crematorium, Toronto, Toronto Municipality, Ontario, Canada
    Memorial #: 144094947
    Bio: World War I recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross and bar. Officially credited by the Royal Air Force with shooting down Manfred von Richthofen, the "Red Baron". Brown enlisted as an Officer Cadet at the Army Officers' Training and graduated from the Royal Naval Air Service for pilot training in 1915. Soon after, he sailed to England as a flight sub-lieutenant and underwent further training at Chingford. Thought to have been unharmed when Brown crashed his Avro 504 on May 2, 1916, the next morning he experienced severe back pain, as he had actually broken a vertebra. After spending two months recuperating in hospital, he was posted to Eastchurch Gunnery School in September 1916 and then sent to Cranwell to complete advanced training in January 1917. Brown was then posted to No. 9 Naval Squadron in March, where he flew coastal patrols off the Belgian coast. In June 1917, Brown was posted for a short time to No. 11 Naval Squadron. Brown acquired his first kill while flying on July 17, 1917. Following his promotion to flight lieutenant, he gathered another three unconfirmed kills. Brown was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross on October 6, 1917. Brown was then made flight commander. Posted to the Somme in early 1918, operations increased and Brown's condition deteriorated. But he refused to quit flying and shot down two more aircraft on April 11th and 12th. While on patrol on April 21st, Brown's squadron became engaged in combat with fighters led by Manfred von Richthofen, the "Red Baron". In an attempt to aid his friend, Lt. Wop May, Brown attacked Manfred von Richthofen. Brown was officially credited with the kill by the Royal Air Force soon after receiving a Bar to his Distinguished Service Cross. As an air unit commander during the First World War, Captain Arthur Roy Brown never lost a pilot in his flight during combat.
    Family Members
    Spouse
    Edythe Monypenny Brown* 1896-1988
    Created by: Lorna McMahon (47176481)
    Added: 24 Mar 2015
    URL: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/144094947/roy-arthur-brown
    Citation: Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 14 April 2018), memorial page for Capt Roy Arthur “Brownie” Brown (23 Dec 1893–9 Mar 1944), Find A Grave Memorial no. 144094947, citing Toronto Necropolis Cemetery and Crematorium, Toronto, Toronto Municipality, Ontario, Canada ; Maintained by Lorna McMahon (contributor 47176481) .

  6. 6.0 6.1 Captain A. Roy Brown - A Reluctant Hero, in Virtual Museum Canada: Community Stories.

    Arthur Roy Brown was born in Carleton Place, Ontario, in 1893, the eldest son of a prosperous and influential family. As a youth, he excelled in sports and school, and demonstrated leadership skills and a strong sense of duty. He led many sports teams to victory, and pursued his studies with the goal of someday taking his place in the family business. With the outbreak of the First World War, Roy did not rush to join the fray, but finished his studies and then deliberately chose a path he felt would enable him to best serve the Allied cause. After careful consideration and with his father’s advice he chose to join the Royal Naval Air Service, and at his own expense, obtain his pilot’s license. He was not a glory seeker but approached the business of war in a methodical and aggressive fashion. In spite of delays in his training, including a serious injury, he did not quit, but pressed on through adversity. He became a combat pilot whose skill and leadership was immediately recognized by his superiors through rapid promotions and assignments to command positions. He was twice awarded the Distinguished Service Cross while flying with the Royal Naval Air Service and the Royal Air Force during the First World War. He is highly regarded not only for his performance as a skilled combat pilot, but also as the leader of the fellow airmen in his squadron. Post-war, he was a pioneer in the Canadian aviation industry, creating an airline company that opened aerial access to Northern Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba. His company, General Airways Limited, operated through the Depression years. His contributions to military and civil aviation in Canada resulted in his induction into the Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame in 2015.

    His Story Lives On: Numerous books and films have been produced in an attempt to reach the truth about Roy’s life and his encounter with Richthofen. Roy rarely spoke about his time in the First World War and most of the information learned about his experiences were gleaned from personal letters, official military reports, and anecdotes provided by friends and family. The fact that his story has continued to fascinate and intrigue people reinforces the belief that his was an unusual and extraordinary life. There is some evidence to suggest that Roy may have influenced the creation of the legendary fictional spy character in Ian Fleming’s James Bond stories. After the war, Roy and Fleming both spent time in Southern Ontario at or near the military spy training centre known as Camp X, which was operated by Fleming’s good friend William Stephenson. Stephenson is better known as the spy “Intrepid” and was credited with having shot down the Red Baron’s brother, Luther. Connections to Roy also come into play when considering certain injuries and scars Bond was described as having in the original novel Casino Royale. These injuries are said to match war injuries that Roy suffered in his life. Roy’s July 1918 near-death experience and rescue by friend Stearne Edwards is thought by some to be the inspiration for You Only Live Twice. The strongest connection could be seen to be the name of James Bond’s secretary, Edna Moneypenny, which is very close to Roy’s wife’s name, Edythe Monypenny. Fleming was adamant that a Canadian actress play the part of Edna Moneypenny in the early Bond movies! Roy never bragged about his achievements nor kept track of the number of aircraft he shot down. He was confident of his abilities, and of his men. He led them well, never losing a man in his flight. Even when crippled with battle fatigue and exhaustion he fought against the enemy, for he knew the men on the ground needed aerial protection to succeed. He undoubtedly shortened his life with his fierce determination to succeed as a fighter pilot and leader. It is exactly this determination that makes heroes of people. Roy’s legacy continues to live on across Canada. With the 100th anniversary of Roy’s encounter with Richthofen being marked on April 21st, 2018 a new generation of Canadians are beginning to learn his story. Institutions such as Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame and the Royal Military Institution have permanent exhibits on his war career. The Royal Canadian Geographic Society has recently featured Roy in their documentary series A Nation Soars, which profiles the lives of Canadian airmen in the First World War. Both Carleton Place and Stouffville, Ontario, have embraced Roy as a native son. Recently, both towns created monuments in his memory. In 2016, a plaque was erected in Stouffville at the site of his original grave. Roy’s home town of Carleton Place celebrates “Roy Brown Day” each June 4th. A large mural depicting the air battle with Richthofen was unveiled on the main street in 2012. Commemorative plaques about his life are located near the town’s cenotaph and at his birthplace. In 2017 Roy Brown Park will open, with thirty acres of public space that will include walking trails named in memory of Roy Brown and his fellow airmen. This reluctant hero will not be forgotten.

  7. 7.0 7.1 Inside Ottawa Valley: "Legendary pilot Roy Brown enters Aviation Hall of Fame", in Carleton Place Almonte Canadian Gazette, article by John Chalmers, 19 Jun 2015.

    Ontario native son Arthur Roy Brown (1893-1944), generally regarded as the man who downed German pilot Manfred von Richthofen, known as the “Red Baron,” was inducted as a member of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame at ceremonies held on June 4 at the Toronto Pearson International Airport. Roy Brown was an accomplishment fighter pilot and recognized as a squadron leader, who established his own aviation company after the First World War.

    At the annual ceremonies, 375 aviation enthusiasts from across Canada gathered to celebrate outstanding accomplishments in Canadian aviation.

    Also installed as a member of the hall was the late Colonel Owen Bartley “O.B.” Philp who founded Canada’s famous aerobatic team, the Snowbirds. Jim McBride of Calgary, founder of Midwest Aviation and Turbowest Helicopters, was also installed as a member of the hall. Retired Colonel George Miller of Abbotsford BC, who served 35 years with the RCAF, was the fourth Member installed this year.

    Receiving the CAHF Belt of Orion Award for Excellence, given to an organization, was AeroVelo Inc. of Toronto. Its principals, Todd Reichert and Cameron Robertson, have received international acclaim for their development and successful flights of a human powered helicopter, and a human power ornithopter, an aircraft that flies by flapping its wings.

    The citation for Roy Brown’s induction to the Hall of Fame reads: "A Royal Naval Air Service and Royal Air Force pilot and combat leader in the First World War, Roy Brown is inextricably linked to the demise of Manfred von Richthofen, Germany’s highest scoring fighter pilot. Afterwards, Brown established General Airways Limited, operating through the 1930s in Ontario, Québec and Manitoba."

    Born in Carleton Place, Ontario on Dec. 23, 1893, Arthur Roy Brown was known by his middle name, Roy. After attending school in Carleton Place, he studied accounting at the Willis School of Business in Ottawa from 1910-12. An invitation from an uncle, William Brown and his wife, Blanche, took Roy to Edmonton, Alberta, where he enrolled in Victoria High School from 1913-15. There he became friends with Wilfrid “Wop” May; the names of the two young men would soon be inseparably linked.

    Returning home, Roy applied for enlistment in the First World War with the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS). He was told that if he could earn a flying certificate, his tuition fees would be refunded and he could enlist in the RNAS as a Probationary Flight Sub-Lieutenant. Roy enrolled at the Wright School of Aviation at Dayton, Ohio, qualifying for his Aero Club of America Certificate on Nov. 13, 1915 on his only solo flight, with only five hours and twenty minutes of flying time.

    On Dec. 2 he sailed for England, where he began training at RNAS Station Chingford, twelve miles north of central London. While there he flew more advanced aircraft and on October 1915, Roy suffered minor injuries when his airplane crashed.

    On April 6, 1916, the engine of his BE.2c aircraft at Chingford failed and he crashed again, breaking a vertebra. After recovery and resuming training, on Sept. 6 he was given his RNAS Pilot Certificate and the rank of Probationary Flight Sub-Lieutenant and posted to Eastchurch Gunnery School. In January 1917 Roy was posted to Royal Navy Station Dover and on March 9 was assigned to active service.

    On March 10 Brown was appointed to Number 9 Naval Squadron in France at the aerodrome near the village of Saint-Pol-Sur-Mer, near Dunkirk, flying patrols along the Belgian coast. After flying three missions in Nieuport aircraft he was given a Sopwith Pup, which he crashed when landing on March 16. He reinjured his back, as well as his left knee, and was sent to England for recovery. Returning to his station on May 10, he was given responsibility for maintenance of five aircraft and training of five pilots.

    On June 13, Roy was transferred to RNAS 4 Squadron at Bray Dunes, also near Dunkirk. When pilots flew at high altitudes, oxygen was scarce, temperatures were sub-zero Fahrenheit, lubricants on aircraft components congealed, guns frequently jammed and engine failures were not uncommon. Flying almost daily at high altitudes plus the mental strain of the work, was taking its toll on Roy’s health.

    Following two more months of flying in which Roy was formation flying, testing new aircraft, doing photographic reconnaissance, patrol and escort flights, he scored his first victory on July 17. He downed a superior German aircraft, an Albatross III, while leading a flight of Sopwith Pups and was promptly promoted to Acting Flight Lieutenant.

    On Aug. 24 he was recommended for further promotion and sent on leave, returning to 9 Naval on Sept. 1. Two days later he scored his second victory, while flying a Sopwith Camel, an aircraft new to him. Assigned to command a flight, Roy shot down three more enemy aircraft in quick succession. Confidential Reports stated, “Performed his duties as Flight Leader with great skill and dash – most efficient officer with men, good control of men.” On Sept. 6, Roy was recommended for the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC), awarded for the performance of meritorious or distinguished services before the enemy.

    Skilled pilot: By October 13, 1917 Roy had scored his sixth victory. From Nov. 10 until Jan. 29, 1918 he returned to Canada on home leave. Back at 9 Naval in France, he was promoted to Acting Flight Commander, now flying only the Sopwith Camel biplane single-seater fighter. Escalation of the war saw Brown flying at least two combat missions a day, as well as training new pilots.

    On March 13 he was recommended for promotion to Squadron Leader and soon scored his seventh victory. On April 1, 1918, the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service amalgamated to form the Royal Air Force (RAF). Roy Brown’s rank changed from Flight Commander with the RNAS to Captain in the RAF. His squadron was renamed as 209 Squadron. On April 9, his high school friend, Wop May, was posted to the squadron and joined Brown’s A Flight. On April 11 and 12, Brown scored two more victories, bringing his total to nine.

    On the morning of April 21, 1918, Brown’s squadron engaged with Baron Manfred von Richthofen’s “Flying Circus” German squadron of Fokker Triplanes. During the melée Wop May’s guns jammed, so he left the fight, heading for Allied lines, with the “Red Baron” giving chase. Seeing that May was in trouble, Roy Brown dove on von Richthofen, firing a burst at the red triplane and saving Wop May’s life. Von Richthofen’s airplane went down and Brown was recognized for downing the dreaded German fighter pilot, but never credited with the victory.

    Four days later, Brown was grounded and hospitalized with severe food poisoning and extreme exhaustion, then sent to England to recover. Soon afterwards, he was recommended to receive the DSC for the second time. Released from hospital on June 6, Brown reported for duty as an instructor with No. 2 School of Aerial Fighting and Gunnery in Yorkshire. On July 15 just after takeoff, his engine failed, the aircraft stalled and crashed. Seriously injured again, Roy spent eight months in hospital before being sent back to Canada on March 8, 1919 and was released from the RAF in April 1920 with the rank of Captain.

    On Feb. 19, he married Edythe Monypenny in Toronto, and by 1928 the couple had three children – Margaret, Barbara and Donald. Roy was employed with the Imperial Varnish and Color Company Limited of Toronto, partly owned by his father-in-law, but maintained his interest in aviation. In March 1928 Roy incorporated General Airways Limited, with himself as president. In June the company began operation from Amos, Québec with two aircraft servicing remote mining companies in Québec and Ontario. By 1935 the company was operating four bases in Québec and one in Ontario. Seven aircraft were in service carrying freight and passengers to remote points as far as Flin Flon, Manitoba and providing scheduled service to Winnipeg.

    With changing government policies, competition from other carriers and during the Depression, even though General Airways had enjoyed financial success, eventually it became unprofitable, and ceased operating in March 1940.

    Roy’s next venture was to purchase a run-down farm near Stouffville, Ontario, turning it into a profitable business. Still with an interest in aviation, he accepted an appointment as associate editor for Canadian Aviation magazine, a short-lived position because of his deteriorating health. On March 9, 1944, at the age of only 50, Arthur Roy Brown died at home.

    John Chalmers is an historian with Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame.

  8. "Ont. girl's never-ending quest to honour war hero", in Toronto Sun, by Alexandra Moscato (QMI Agency), 22 Mar 2015.

    Six months ago 11-year-old Nadine Carter had never heard of Roy Brown. Today, she’s probably the World War I hero’s biggest advocate.

    Brown, a native of Carleton Place, Ont., was the fighter pilot who shot down the dreaded German ace The Red Baron.

    But Brown’s name, like those of so many other brave men of that era, has been largely relegated to history and the memories of military buffs.

    Not any more. At least, not in Stouffville, Ont., just north of Toronto, where Carter lives and which claims a piece of Roy Brown’s life story.


    What started as a social studies project on Stouffville’s coat of arms turned Carter into a history detective.

    When she discovered Brown had lived, and died, in Stouffville she set out to piece together why there was no recognition for him in the town.

    After weeks of research, she learned his grave been moved from Stouffville to the Necropolis Cemetery in Toronto. That’s where his wife also rested.

    Carter was so consumed by her search that she visited the cemetery.

    But there was no tombstone, and the exact location was unknown.

    "I didn’t find the exact grave and it made me upset," Carter said.

    She had hoped to put flowers on Brown’s grave.

    "Heart-rending and poignant," is how her efforts are described by Rob Probert, the president of the Carleton Place-based Roy Brown Society.

    "Here’s a young girl who spoke so well in what history should mean to us."

    Determined to right what she considered a terrible wrong, Carter took her campaign to town council.

    Standing small but confident behind a podium one night, she asked them for a memorial plaque in his honour in Stouffville, to locate his grave and add a proper headstone in Toronto.

    "I hope you will vote to help others remember him because remembering is an important part of how we choose to live in the present," Carter wrote in her speech, "which is the last step we get to make before we become part of the future."

    Council granted all three of her wishes; the plaque is in the making, the grave is being located and will have a headstone, and books about Roy Brown will be placed in the school library.

    As word got out about Carter’s efforts, she also began to receive accolades — including in Canada’s House of Commons.

    "Thanks to Nadine I’m working with the town to ensure that this oversight is corrected," said MP Paul Calandra.

    "Members of this place, of course, know the importance of remembering our heritage and especially those who risked their lives for our freedom."

    She was also awarded Stouffville’s Certificate of Merit and the City Medallion.

    "It’s funny," she told QMI Agency when asked about the recognition.

    "I am happy about getting congratulations and awards and all that, but I still feel it shouldn’t be about me. It’s all about honouring this hero."

    Brown’s family has also expressed its appreciation.

    "I’m just gobsmacked with her sense of history at such a young age," said Don Brodeur, one of Roy’s grandsons.

    "She’s got a greater sense of history and feeling of curiosity than I do now at 64."

    Another of Brown’s descendants, granddaughter Dianne Sample, has invited Carter to a ceremony for her grandfather in Toronto in June, when he’ll be enshrined into the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame.

    Carter appreciates the offer, but she’s not sure she will attend.

    "I don’t know if I will go, because it is more than 70 years since Captain Roy Brown died and I think this should be for his family. I think he would be real happy to have all his family come together for him."

    WHO WAS ROY BROWN?

    Born on Dec. 23, 1893 in Carleton place
    He was one of five children
    His father was a prominent citizen of the town. He owned a flour mill, a power company and served as a town councillor
    Roy got his pilot’s certificate from the Wright School of Aviation and joined the Royal Naval Air Service. He was appointed Temporary Probationary Flight Sub-Lieutenant
    Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his aerial success
    Appointed Captain of the 209 Squadron after the amalgamation of the Royal Flying Corps and RNAS into the Royal Air Force
    He shot down the Red Baron April 21, 1918. It was his 10th and final kill, which was confirmed despite some controversy about who fired the decisive bullets.
    He was celebrated that morning for bringing down the war’s highest scoring fighter pilot. The Red Baron had 80 aerial victories
    Returned home in 1919 to work as an accountant and editor of Canadian Aviation
    Married Edythe Lois Monypenny in Toronto on Feb. 19, 1920 and had three children
    Tried to re-enlist in Second World War with the Royal Canadian Air Force but was refused
    Purchased a farm that turned into a prosperous business before he died of a heart attack March 9, 1944 at age 50 in Stouffville. Will be enshrined into the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame in June in Toronto.

  9. "A little kid tells the lesson of Canada, in memory, old bones", in Ottawa Citizen, article by Kelly Egan, 29 Jun 2015.

    History — at least the living kind — is a little kid with no memory of great events reminding elders of cherished things carelessly forgotten.

    The story of Nadine Carter, all of 12, with long blond hair under a ball cap worn backwards, and her connection to Capt. Roy Brown, all of dead for 72 years, is quite wonderful.

    “She’s stirred and invigorated a lot of older people, that’s for sure,” said Rob Probert, president of The Roy Brown Society, founded in 2009 in the pilot’s hometown of Carleton Place.

    When she was only 10 and in Grade 6, Nadine was working on a social sciences project about a remaking of the coat of arms in Whitchurch-Stouffville, north of Toronto, where she lives.

    Who, she began, were the famous residents of the town? Five names came up — four hockey players and one A. Roy Brown, who settled there to farm after the Great War and died in 1944. She knew nothing of him, though he was the celebrated pilot who had taken down the so-called Red Baron, Manfred Von Richthofen, in 1918.

    With the help of family, she went at it old school, mailing 11 letters to politicians, and military and heritage groups — as a 10 year old. “I even had to ask what things meant like squadron and what the Somme was,” she later wrote her teacher at Glad Park Public.

    “Also, when I started, I was thinking it was about Captain Brown but, as I learned more and more, I started to think it was more about our town and how we forget about people when they are gone.”

    Honestly, from the mouths of babes.

    Where was Brown buried, she asked? In common ground in Toronto? Why was there no headstone? Why were there no books in the library about him? Why were there no plaques anywhere?

    Well, it was the lighting of a fire. Pretty soon, she was in touch with the Brown society, was corresponding with noted war historian Norm Christie, was meeting with then-area MP Paul Calandra, and addressing the town council of Whitchurch-Stouffville before a crowd of 100 or so.

    To race ahead, Nadine will join Probert on Thursday at the Toronto Necropolis Cemetery, where an ordinary military gravestone will mark the final resting place of “Arthur Roy Brown, DSC, Captain RAF, 1893-1944 within this cemetery and Edythe Monypenny, Loving Wife, 1896-1988.”

    She will, of course, say a few words. “I also think — that memories are where we find our thoughts of worth,” reads her speech. “And finally I think memory is the ground on which we stand here today.”

    It doesn’t end there.

    On July 1, Nadine will be part of a Canada Day ceremony at the Memorial Park bandshell in Stouffville, where a plaque to Brown will be unveiled. There will also be a flypast by vintage aircraft and, for three days, an extensive display on Brown’s life.

    And it doesn’t end there.

    A plaque is also to be installed at the former Brown farm, now part of Rolling Hills Golf Club, just a few kilometres from town.

    “It sure offers a glimpse of optimism when it comes to what the next generation of Canadians might achieve,” said Probert.

    Nadine, never doubt, immersed herself in the Brown story. Last summer, she visited Carleton Place to see Brown’s childhood home and tour the local touchstones. It was the same year she attended Brown’s induction into the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame, where she met several of his descendants.

    “Roy Brown was sort of famous, but he wasn’t really remembered in my town,” Nadine said Monday evening after school. “I thought if someone like that could be forgotten, what about ordinary soldiers?”

    There is an enduring controversy about whether Capt. Brown actually shot down the Red Baron or whether he was felled by a gunner on the ground. It is widely accepted, however, that, either way, it was Brown’s aerial pursuit of the German ace that led to his demise.

    They were different characters. Von Richthofen was born into a family of noblemen and was celebrated across Germany for his 80 kills, each marked by the ordering of a silver cup.

    Brown, meanwhile, sought no credit for his role in the death of the Red Baron, in fact was troubled by the taking of life, and he constantly worried about the pilots under his watch.

    When the war ended, he rarely spoke of the deadly aerial fight and became an accomplished farmer. How quietly Canadian.

    Happy Canada Day. We are the lucky ones, something even a child can see.