Honouring Captain Roy Brown

By John Chalmers, CAHS Membership Secretary

Roy and Edythe Brown markerAt ceremonies held on June 4, 2015, Captain Arthur Roy Brown, DSC, was inducted as a Member of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame. A century after serving Canada as a pilot with the Royal Naval Air Service and the Royal Air Force in the First World War, Roy Brown is finally commemorated with a headstone at a plot in the historic Necropolis Cemetery in Toronto.

Following his death at Stouffville, Ontario, in 1944, Roy Brown was buried in the cemetery of a neighboring town, Aurora. In 1955, his remains were removed at the request of his wife, Edythe, cremated, and then reinterred in an unmarked grave of common ground at the Necropolis Cemetery. Following the death of Edythe on November 9, 1988 at the age of 92, her cremated remains were buried a short distance from her husband’s.

Thanks to the initiative of the Roy Brown Society of Carleton Place, Ontario, and the financial support of the Last Post Fund in purchasing a plot at the cemetery and a military-style headstone, Roy and Edythe are now appropriately remembered. After coordinating with Brown family members for the wording to be placed on the headstone, the Last Post Fund arranged for it to be installed in November 2015.

On behalf of the family, Carol Nicholson, a niece of Captain Brown, accepted Roy's membership in Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame at the 2015 induction ceremonies. She has expressed the family’s gratitude for the support of the Last Post Fund in commemorating Roy Brown. Carol recognizes also the work of Nadine Carter, now in grade seven at Stouffville, for her successful efforts in raising public awareness of Brown’s contribution to Canadian aviation heritage.

Following the removal of Brown from the Aurora cemetery, the location of his remains was unknown for many years, even by family members. In November 2015 I published an article called “The Search for Captain Roy Brown,” which appeared in Relatively Speaking, the quarterly journal of the Alberta Genealogical Society. The article can be read online or downloaded and saved from the internet by clicking here.

Information about the Roy Brown Society is available here  and here. To learn more about the Last Post Fund, click here.