Second Lieutenant P. H. Raney
SAC 1906-1908

Second Lieutenant Paul Hartley Raney was born in Toronto Dec 25, 1892, the son of the Hon. William Edgar Raney, KC and Jessie Amelia Raney, of Toronto, Ontario. He attended West Toronto Public School, St. Andrew's College from 1906 to 1908, and Oakwood Collegiate. He studied Applied Science from 1910 to 1914 before graduating with a degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Toronto.

In December 1916 he joined the Royal Flying Corps, and after training at Camp Borden and in England, he reached France in July 1917, being appointed to the 66th Squadron, Royal Flying Corps then operating in the Ypres area. He was killed in action on August 21, 1917 at the age of 24 (see below).

He is remembered on the Arras Memorial in the Faubourg-d'Amiens Cemetery, France. The Flying Services Memorial commemorates over 1,000 men of the Royal Naval Air Service, the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Air Force, who have no known grave.

  • Copy of Attestation Paper (National Archives) - Front - Back
  • Canadian Virtual War Memorial Page for Paul Raney. This page includes a link to his commemoration on Page 580 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.
This photo of Second Lieutenant Paul Raney (right) and his friend Lt. Pat Alva O'Brien appeared in "Outwitting the Hun" (1918). This book detailing O'Brien's wartime experiences was a top ten bestseller in 1918. O'Brien was an American who joined the American Flying Corps in early 1916, but after 8 months training in San Diego, resigned and joined the Royal Flying Corps in Victoria, B.C. to have a chance to get into the war. He was sent to Camp Borden (Ontario), and in May 1917 left for England. On August 17, 1917, he was shot down during an air fight and taken as a POW to hospital. On August 21st, he witnessed an air fight outside the hospital.

According to O'Brien's recollections, in a fight that involved 16 German planes against 4 English, 2 planes from each side were shot down, Raney was killed. This photo was found on Raney's body and given to O'Brien by the Germans. O'Brien escaped from Courtnai prison in Belgium and wrote that he later visited Raney's parents in Toronto to bring them a map of his grave site. He preserved this map through a difficult escape which included swimming through canals, but it appears that Raney does not have a marked grave today.

Paul Raney - right