Not Coming Home – Leslie George Jordan WWII

Day 7 of the 11-day Military Challenge

Leslie George Jordan was born in England to Rose Davis and Canadian John Brown Jordan. His Father John had served in WWI and it is likely during this time that he met Rose, who was a WWI widow of John Peters. Before marrying Rose, John would first have to divorce his Canadian wife, no record of the divorce has been found.

After WWI John worked in England for the Imperial War Graves Association, in 1921 his son Leslie was born. Leslie grew up in England and it is possible that did not meet his Canadian 1/2 brother and sister, Syd & Bea.

At the outbreak of WWII it is not surprising that Leslie signed up, he became a Flight Sergeant Observer with 108 Squadron.

In 1942 Leslie was in Egypt where he and others had the task of bringing Liberator AL577 plane to England. The plane left on March 15th with nineteen men onboard, the flight was going well until they encountered a storm. Liberator A577 crashed near Dundalk, Ireland killing fourteen people, Leslie was amoung the dead.

Most of the information about Liberator AL577 was found on the site WWIINI Archives and Foreign Aircraft Landings in Ireland – WWII.

Leslie is Remembered with Honour on the Brighton (Downs) Crematorium.

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I found a tribute video on Youtube for the people killed on AL577, but I was sad to see they, like me, did not have a photograph of Leslie.

Leslie’s parents returned to Canada where his father John passed away in 1958 and was buried at Cataraquai Cemetery in Kingston, Ontario, his mother Rose Emma Mathews Davis died in England in 1979.

 

Jordan, John B & Rose

Leslie’s parents John Brown Jordan and Rose visiting family in Montreal

 

My next step is to try and track down the people mentioned in Rose’s will in the hopes of finding a photograph of Leslie.

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*Featured Image from Wikimedia Commons of 36th Bombardment Squadron B-24 Liberator in Adak Alaska.

My Military Ancestor – Samuel T. Jordan

Day 1 of the 11-day Military Challenge

Samuel T. Jordan was a career soldier serving with the 8th Royal Rifles and later as an instructor at the Royal Military College in Kingston.

I recently found a picture of him on a trip to Kingston hanging on the wall at the RCHA social room. He is in a group picture of Warrant Officers and Staff Sargeants of the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, with each person thankfully identified.

#mymilitaryancestor

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A Fine Celebration

One of the things that I inherited from my grandmother Beatrice (Jordan) Dever was a Royal Canadian Artillery reunion booklet.  She may have attended the event or collected it as her grandfather William Robert Jordan was honoured at the event. The reunion was held in Kingston, Ontario and was reported in the Kingston Whig-Standard on May 23, 1930.

William attended, placing a wreath on the R.C.H.A. memorial along with Mr. W.R. Abbott and Major General R.W. Rutherford.

The reunion booklet contains the programme, the committee members, a history of the regiment and photographs of members.

I have scanned the front page.

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Cover of the reunion booklet.

 

The Royal Artillery Museum has a write up about William Robert Jordan on their website.

John Brown Jordan & His WWI Service

John Brown Jordan was born August 12, 1888, to parents William and Agnes Brown in Kingston, Ontario. It is not surprising he heeded the call to serve in WWI as his father was a career soldier, as well as his older brother Samuel. John was not new to soldering, he already served nine years with the Royal Canadian Artillery and seven years with the Canadian Army Service Corps. John married to Celina Collins in 1905 at St. Matthew’s Church, Quebec City and they had three children, Celina Agnes Becroft (Bee) born in 1906, John William Sidney (Syd) born in 1908 and Mary Patricia arrived in 1913.

John enlisted September 10, 1914, and is described as fresh complected, with dark blue eyes and medium brown hair. He wasn’t the tallest in stature measuring in at 5’4”.

He sailed on the S.S. Alaunia which transported the first Canadian troops to head overseas. John left for France July 19, 1915, joining the 3rd division and was mentioned in dispatches Dec. 28, 1917. John’s daughter Mary Patricia died while he was gone in 1918. John survived the duration of the war and returned to Canada Sept. 6, 1919, sailing on the S.S. Minnekahda.

John continued working for the military, returning to England and working there as a clerk to the Imperial War Graves Association. John and his wife Celina divorced, and John married Rose Emma Matthews Davis, a widow from England. Rose and John’s only child, a son Leslie was born in 1921 in England.

Leslie also became involved in the military, in WWII he was a Flight Seargent with 108 Squadron. Leslie’s plane crashed in Dundalk, Ireland killing seventeen people. Leslie is remembered on a plaque in Brighton (Downs) Crematorium in England.

John Brown returned to Canada after WWII, and he and his wife settled back in Kingston.

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Rose and John Brown Jordan visiting relatives in Montreal. c1950 

John died there in 1951; he is buried at Cataraqui Cemetery.

  • A memory that told to me by John’s nephew, Herbert Jordan was that John was very hard to understand as he had been gassed during the war and had a hole in his throat.

A Mother Gone Too Soon – Fearless Females

March 11 — Did you have any female ancestors who died young or from tragic or unexpected circumstances?  Describe and how did this affect the family? Blog prompt from Lisa Alzo.

When reading this prompt the first person that came into my mind is Anne Reddy.  Anne had her share of trials in her short life, at the age of 26 she had given birth to 7 children, 6 sons and 1 daughter. She was not new to loss as her own mother Margaret (Pendergast) Reddy passed away when she was 8.

Anne named 4 of her boys William, none of whom survived infancy. In 1879, her third William aged two died 1 day after his 5-year old sister Mary of Scarlatina. Anne passed away one year later giving birth to William number 4. Anne and her children are buried in St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Quebec City.

Taken from ancestry.ca

Taken from ancestry.ca

On the thirtieth day of April one thousand eight hundred and eighty we the undersigned priest have interred in the cemetery of this church the body of Anne Reddy wife of William Jordan aged twenty-five years, deceased on the twenty-eighth instant in childbed.

_____ Jordan also Mary & William. St. Patrick's Cemetery, Quebec City. After a visit to the cemetery in the 1990's no sign of this cross was found.

_____ Jordan also Mary & William.
St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Quebec City. No sign of this cross was found in the 1990’s.

The 1881 census for Quebec City shows the two surviving Jordan children, Samuel & Peter living with their grandparents. Their father William, who was in the military being stationed in Kingston, Ontario. While there William met and married his second wife Agnes Brown. Peter, my great grandfather, grew up not knowing his mother.

I do not know much about the Reddy family other than what can be found in the records. I would like to know where they were from in Ireland, when they came to Canada or anything at all about their lives. It is a tragedy to have lost two generations of women before their children could know them or their stories.

Letter From A Female Ancestor – Fearless Female

March 8 — Did one of your female ancestors leave a diary, journal, or collection of letters? Share an entry or excerpt. Prompt from Lisa Alzo.

I do not have a diary or journal for any of my female ancestors (or male for that matter). I do have a few copies of letters that my grandmother wrote. I believe she used carbon paper when typing which created a duplicate of her correspondence. Not all her letters have survived, but the little glimpse into her life is priceless to me and inspires me to write about my life.

The letter I picked t share with you is written by my grandmother Beatrice Dever, she is replying to a letter from cousin Ned Frost in Kingston, Ontario. His original letter (which I have) is inquiring about the Jordan family and anything she knew of the family’s history.

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Letter by Beatrice Dever to her cousin Ned Frost.

Most Unusual Name – Fearless Female

March 3 — Do you share a first name with one of your female ancestors? Perhaps you were named for your great-grandmother, or your name follows a particular naming pattern. If not, then list the most unique or unusual female first name you’ve come across in your family tree.

The above is a blog prompt from Lisa Alzo. I do not share a first name or a middle name with any of my ancestors that I know of.

Next up is unique or unusual names and the closest I have is Gertrude, which I don’t find that unique or unusual. Many female names in my direct line are Mary, Elizabeth, Beatrice, Caroline and Bridget. With names like that I have to go with Gertrude as being the most unusual. Little is known at this time about Gertrude. I know she was married to a soldier named John Tipper who was Scottish. I do not know when or where they married or Gertrude’s maiden name. I know Gertrude had 4 children and the family was living in Montreal, by 1801 they were in Kingston, Ontario. By 1805, Gertrude had died leaving her husband and children to fend for themselves. I hope I will be able to discover Gertrude’s birthdate, where she was born and who her parents are.

No matter what, Gertrude is a female not forgotten.