Friday, November 11, 2016

Remembering Roy Brown

On this Remembrance Day, I am taking the opportunity to revisit the story of Carleton Place's great war hero, Roy Brown, the pilot credited with shooting down the dreaded Red Baron in WWI.

The Bridge Street mural, below, depicts the battle in which Brown allegedly shot down the Manfred von Richthofen, who actually was a German noble or baron. He also piloted a red plane; hence the nickname, Red Baron.

The image shows Roy on the tail of von Richthofen who himself was tailing Brown's friend and flying companion, Lieutenant Wop May. May had been in another altercation before being pursued by the Baron.

Although it is possible that Australian artillery actually shot down the Baron during the heated action, Brown was officially credited, at least by Canada. For this and other feats in battle has was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.

The mural was officially unveiled in November 2012, and I understand that it takes its inspiration from the following painting of the battle by Ivan Berryman.

The town also pays homage to the pilot with an exhibit in the Moore House.

There is a corner with cutout, uniform, and information displays. To the left, the Baron has not been forgotten.

Although he didn't always live in this town, Roy was born in Carleton Place in 1893 in the house shown below. There is a small, commemorative plaque outside, but I was shooting with my wide angle lens on the day, so it was pointless to try to photograph it.

That lovely home (above) lies just around the corner from his grandparents' house (below), which is even a finer, old mansion.

In the left in the above photo, you begin to see the mill that his grandfather owned just across the street from the house, and there is more mill to see in the following photos.

Now, converted into apartments, it was then the Boulton Brown Mill. The grandparents chose to live right opposite the mill despite whatever sights and sounds that must have been emitted from a busy mill. Back then, without access to the kind of transportation that we enjoy today, it was actually considered to be advantageous to live close to your work.

When I searched to update my recollections about the mill, my own previous Flickr posting came up, with this photo that I took last winter.

Finally, a photo of the other side of the mill (all the buildings to the right) from the bridge over the river.

With all of these photos and bits of history, I may have digressed a little from what I intended to be a Remembrance Day memorial to the town's old was hero, but the information all seemed to be connected and, therefore, pertinent. And you know that I can scarcely resist including a photo or six in my posts.

Of course, there is much more information readily available online, including Wikipedia's page on Roy Brown.


Marie Smith said...

Interesting post about a war hero. Such an incredible man during a frightening time. Thank you for sharing.

TexWisGirl said...

nice to remember a home-grown hero. i like the mural.

Ginnie said...

Hi John: My niece Wendy is with me and she once lived in Newfoundland. She (and I) are fascinated with your entry and especially the great pictures of the mill. Also a nice remembrance of a famous war hero. (I thought that snoopy was credited with taking down the Red Baron.... Ha, Ha.) Thanks.

Mara said...

A few years ago they renamed a road in my parents' home town after the person who had liberated said town after WWII. I had never heard of him, but it turns out he was a Canadian called Leo Major. He single-handedly chased the remaining Germans out of the town, after his fellow 'tracker' was killed. Apparently he was the most decorated Canadian. He passed away in 2005.

Shammickite said...

You might be interested in this article about a local schoolgirl who wants a plaque honouring Roy Brown to be erected in our town. He had a farm near here and died there in 1944.
look at:

Shammickite said...

And a bit more about the schoolgirl who is interested in honouring Captain Roy Brown.

Vicki Lane said...

Interesting post with terrific photos of these handsome buildings.

Country Gal said...

Lovely post and photos . Thanks for sharing , we will always remember our heroes .

Mage said...

Thank you. I enjoyed both the pictures and the remembrance.

Jenn Jilks said...

It's a moot point, hard to say if he actually did it! History, lotsa fun!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Enjoyed this bit of history, John, and learned more than I knew before reading the post. The photos were a great accompaniment and added interest, as always. But what will Snoopy do?

KGMom said...

Thanks for this. I love the story, and also the accompanying photos. And your post reminds me of yours and my good blogging friend Philip Robinson who always shared pieces of Canadian history.