Canadian Virtual War Memorial

William Augustus Defoe

In memory of:

Private William Augustus Defoe

June 2, 1916

Military Service


Service Number:

109119

Age:

23

Force:

Army

Unit:

4th Canadian Mounted Rifles (2nd Central Ontario Regt.)

Additional Information


Born:

October 19, 1892

Son of Anna M. Defoe of Toronto, Ontario. Brother of Vincent Laurent Defoe who died on September 17, 1916 while serving with the Canadian Infantry (Eastern Ontario Regiment).

Commemorated on Page 76 of the First World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page.

Burial Information


Cemetery:
Grave Reference:

Panel 30 and 32

Location:


The Menin Gate Memorial is situated at the eastern side of the town of Ypres (now Ieper) in the Province of West Flanders, on the road to Menin and Courtrai. It bears the names of 55,000 men who were lost without trace during the defence of the Ypres Salient in the First World War. Designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield and erected by the Imperial (now Commonwealth) War Graves Commission, it consists of a Hall of Memory", 36.6 metres long by 20.1 metres wide. In the centre are broad staircases leading to the ramparts which overlook the moat, and to pillared loggias which run the whole length of the structure. On the inner walls of the Hall, on the side of the staircases and on the walls of the loggias, panels of Portland stone bear the names of the dead, inscribed by regiment and corps. Carved in stone above the central arch are the words:


TO THE ARMIES OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE WHO STOOD HERE FROM 1914 TO 1918 AND TO THOSE OF THEIR DEAD WHO HAVE NO KNOWN GRAVE.

Over the two staircases leading from the main Hall is the inscription:

HERE ARE RECORDED NAMES OF OFFICERS AND MEN WHO FELL IN YPRES SALIENT BUT TO WHOM THE FORTUNE OF WAR DENIED THE KNOWN AND HONOURED BURIAL GIVEN TO THEIR COMRADES IN DEATH.

The dead are remembered to this day in a simple ceremony that takes place every evening at 8:00 p.m. All traffic through the gateway in either direction is halted, and two buglers (on special occasions four) move to the centre of the Hall and sound the Last Post. Two silver trumpets for use in the ceremony are a gift to the Ypres Last Post Committee by an officer of the Royal Canadian Artillery, who served with the 10th Battery, of St. Catharines, Ontario, in Ypres in April 1915."

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

Send us your images
  • Circumstances of death registers– Source: Library and Archives Canada. CIRCUMSTANCES OF DEATH REGISTERS, FIRST WORLD WAR. Surnames: Davy to Detro. Microform Sequence 27; Volume Number 31829_B016736. Reference RG150, 1992-93/314, 171. Page 423 of 1036.
  • Photo of William Augustus Defoe– Submitted for the project, Operation: Picture Me.
  • Photo of WILLIAM AUGUSTUS DEFOE– Photo from the National Memorial Album of Canadian Heroes c.1919. Submitted for the project, Operation: Picture Me.
  • Newspaper Clipping– From the Toronto Star. Submitted for the project, Operation: Picture Me
  • Newspaper Clipping– Pte. William Augustus Defoe enlisted in the C.E.F. in Toronto on November 28th, 1914.  He indicated on his military attestation that he had previously served for two years with the 9th Mississauga Horse.  His brother Pte. Vincent Defoe, 475820, also died in the war on September 17th, 1916.  Sgt. Frederick R. Defoe, 56090, survived the war.  The three brothers were all born in Toronto.   In honoured memory of the Defoe brothers.
  • Memorial Notice– This memorial notice for Pte. W. A. Defoe's brother mentions that Pte. Defoe was still considered missing in action at that time.
  • Memorial Plaque– Memorial Plaque
  • Memorial– The memorial tablet for the City of Toronto employees is located through the doors of Old City Hall, Queen Street, Toronto, Ontario. Pte. William Augustus Defoe's name is included on this memorial.  Pte. Defoe had worked as a draughtsman in the Civic Works Department for the City of Toronto.
  • Memorial Stained Glass– Pvt. W.Augustus DeFoe's name on stain glass window (center bottom) in Sts. Cyril and Methodius Roman Catholic Church in Mississauga, Ontario.  The stain glass was originally in St. Basil's Church in Toronto.
  • Memorial Stained Glass– Pvt. W.Augustus Defoe's name on stain glass window in Sts. Cyril and Methodius Roman Catholic Church in Mississauga, Ontario.  The stain glass was originally in St. Basil's Church in Toronto.
  • Memorial– Photo from the National Memorial Album of Canadian Heroes c.1919. Submitted for the project, Operation: Picture Me.
  • Memorial– Menin Gate … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Inscription– Inscription on the Menin Gate … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens

Learn more about the Canadian Virtual Memorial

To learn more please visit our help page. If you have questions or comments regarding the information contained in this registry, email vac.cvwm-mvgc.acc@canada.ca or call us.

Date modified: