WW1 1917 letter to RFC pilot in Canada from Engineer-Sapper, UK #8

$25.00 CAD

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Envelope is pre-printed from Y.M.C.A. and handwritten On Active Service. Letter inside written on paper with letterhead ‘Y.M.C.A. On Active Service WITH THE BRITISH EXPEDITIONARY FORCE’.

Letter from Royal Engineer - Sapper. On August 26th 1917, Gordon was at the Stonar Camp in Kent England (based on another letter).

Sent to:

Pr Clyde Tite. #72689 W.R.S. R.F.C. Leaside Camp Toronto Ont. Canada

Sapper C.G Townsend
No. 320552
I.W.D. – R.E.  (Inland Water ___ - Royal Engineers)
A.P.O. S100  (Army Post Office)
B.E.F.  (British Expeditionary Force)


Dec. 13, 1917
Dear Clyde,
…I have not much to say about doings around here as about the only thing is work during the day, and then to sleep, when through there is nothing much to break the monotony of this camp life, except go to the canteen to get something to eat or YMCA for some tea…
The skating season will be on in Canada by now and I suppose that you will be there, enjoying the gliding sensation, also the other winter sports that the Canadians can enjoy to the upmost.
There are very few Canadians at this camp, only about 30 or so I should judge, the rest being form the British Isles, so that I get lonesome for some of the native sons, as most of the boys wearing the Can. uniform, are either Englishmen or Americans enlisted in Canada.
I would give anything to have a good fast game of hockey as the ice now just to loosen up a bi, and fell the skates under my feet….Sincerely C. Gordon T.


Postmark ‘Army Port Office De 19 17’, red ‘Passed by Censor No. 3250 stamp.

Envelope bit rough on right.  Letter nice, extra vertical creases.

25 x 20 cm.

During WW1 Stonar Camp was built by the army on the south side of Ramsgate Road, Ash to serve the Richborough Military Port


Development of the Q port at the Richborough site started mid-1916. It was situated on the site now known as Discovery Park (formerly Pfizer), and there are very few indications of the port visible today. The port was primarily designed to improve the movement of munitions – but also to assist with the movement of men – to the Western Front. It was a secret port and evidence of its activities is scarce. The River Stour was dredged and the railway link and port were mainly built by the Royal Engineers. Up to 5,000 men were stationed in three camps and a military hospital was based at Richborough Camp.

An important innovation which took place at the port was the development of roll-on-roll-off ferries that enabled the loading of trains directly onto the ships. This speeded up loading and unloading and allowed the movement of munitions and men by railway, rather than by heavily congested roads, to the Western Front.



Alfred Clyde Tite was born in 1892, single, and lived in Edmonton. He was a carpenter by trade. He enlisted in June 1917 in Vancouver. Appointed to Royal Flying Corps 14/8/17, then to R.A.F. on 1/7/18, discharged from 44th Wing (North Toronto) on 8/1/19. He never left Canada.

(Records on FindMyPast)


The Royal Flying Corps Canada was established by the RFC in 1917 to train aircrew in Canada. Air Stations were established in southern Ontario at the following locations:

  • Camp Borden 1917–1918
  • Armour Heights Field 1917–1918 (pilot training, School of Special Flying to train instructors)
  • Leaside Aerodrome 1917–1918 (Artillery Cooperation School)
  • Long Branch Aerodrome 1917–1918
  • Curtiss School of Aviation (flying-boat station with temporary wooden hangar on the beach at Hanlan's Point on Toronto Island 1915–1918; main school, airstrip and metal hangar facilities at Long Branch)
  • Camp Rathbun, Deseronto 1917–1918 (pilot training)
  • Camp Mohawk (now Tyendinaga (Mohawk) Airport) 1917–1918 – located at the Tyendinaga Indian Reserve (now Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory) near Belleville 1917–1918 (pilot training)
  • Hamilton (Armament School) 1917–1918
  • Beamsville Camp (School of Aerial Fighting) 1917–1918