Saturday, 28 February 2015

Ford Ross Carruthers (1922 - 1942)

The above picture was one found in a collection of old photos belonging to my grandparents, Frances and Frank Kinnaird.  There was no name on it, only the photography studio's stamp (Paul Horsdal, Ottawa) in the corner.  I had wondered who it might be and his story but never really thought I'd know.

Last night, my online subscription to was coming to an end so I decided to see what I could find in the Ottawa newspapers for "Carruthers".  What a surprise to open up the Ottawa Journal (exactly 73 years ago today) and see the photos and read the following clip about Carl Carruthers and his brother Ford's adventures overseas during the Second World War.  They were sons of Orrin Victor Carruthers, Grandpa's first cousin and his wife Beulah Jessie Ford. Our mutual ancestors were his great grandparents Andrew William Carruthers and Jean Steven.  I am sure the photo that was in the trunk is Ford.

The tone of this article is all victory and adventure and that the boys are having the time of their lives.  Carl wonders how he will ever go back to his office job as a Government Tax Collector again after the thrills of being a wireless operator in a German bombing squadron.

Found on

It all changes a little more than one week after this article appeared in the paper.  Further searching turned up horrible news with the clipping below about the disappearance and later presumed death of Carl.  It was a sad twist that he was never to return to that boring office job again.  Carl Stuart Carruthers is memorialized at the Apeldoorn Cemetery in the Netherlands. 

Found on

I am so sad to relay that the story became even more tragic with the death not six months later of younger brother Ford at the tender age of 20.  Ford  Ross Carruthers is memorialized at Runneymede Cemetery in Surrey, England.

Found on

Young Ford had earlier survived an incredible brush with death at age 11 as is told in the clipping below. His name appears in other Ottawa Journals connected to his exploits at local hockey games so the bone must have healed well.

Found on

Not surprisingly after suffering such great loss not once but twice,  their father Orrin died young at age 54 in 1950.  His widow Beulah died at age 92 in 1989.  They are buried at Pinecrest Cemetery in Ottawa.  

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