Flight Lieutenant H. L. Crowe
SAC 1908-1915

Flight Sub-Lieutenant Harry Laurence Crowe was born in Bridgetown, Nova Scotia on April 12, 1897, the son of Harry J. & Helen R. Crowe, of 37 St. Edmund's Dr, Toronto, Ontario. He attended Acadia Villa School, Nova Scotia followed by St. Andrew's College from 1908 to 1915.

He entered the Second Form in September, 1908, coming into residence in the Lower School. His progress through all the Forms was normal, and he successfully passed the Junior Matriculation Examination in June, 1914. During 1914-1915 he was in Form Upper VI, and obtained his Honour Matriculation in June 1915, entering the Faculty of Applied Science at the University of Toronto that autumn where he became a Kappa Alpha and joined the Canadian Officer's Training Corps (COTC).

At the conclusion of his first year at the University he made preparations to join the air service, and went to Newport News, Virginia, for his training. In September 1916, he obtained his Flight Sub Lieutenancy in the Royal Naval Air Service, and went overseas a few days later.

He had been engaged in patrol work on the English Coast for some time, when, on June 22nd, 1917, he was sent out to scout for a submarine. As he was returning, after being out for a long time, something went wrong with his machine and he plunged in to the sea. His body was recovered later and brought home to Toronto for burial, the interment taking place in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto (Grave Number: V. Lot 97) with full honours on August 7th, 1917. (See photos below.)

"Bertie" Crowe's career at the School was one of excellence, both in class and in extra-curricular activities. He was particularly keen on rifle shooting and was one of the most regular Saturday attendants at the School range at York Mills. His quiet, thoughtful and unselfish character made him popular with all who know him during his seven years at School, while those who were his closer friends loved him well.

Letters received from brother officers in England evidence the fact that the same attractiveness of character was still present. He was very popular with his men and in a marked degree had won their affection, as well as their loyalty. Of him one man writes,

"As a friend I found him one of the best, every ready to oblige, no matter how far it took him out of his way ... I have never met amongst all the chaps I have met in the service, or, indeed, amongst any others, a cleaner, straighter chap."

The "Laurence Crowe Trophy for Open Rifles Competition" was presented in his memory.

  • Canadian Virtual War Memorial Page for H. Laurence Crowe. This page also includes a link to his commemoration on Page 576 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.

With some information from the University of Toronto, Roll of Service, 1914-1918


Monument (4)