Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Willie John Nightingale

In memory of:

Ordinary Seaman Willie John Nightingale

April 20, 1917

Military Service


Service Number:

VR/3260

Age:

22

Force:

Navy

Unit:

Royal Naval Canadian Volunteer Reserve

Division:

H.M. Trawler "Lock Eye"

Additional Information


Born:

January 1, 1895

Son of William Sr. and Sarah Jane Ross. Ordinary Seaman Nightingale is also commemorated in the St. Paul's Anglican Cemetery in Innisfil, Ontario.

Commemorated on Page 301 of the First World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page.

Burial Information


Cemetery:

HALIFAX MEMORIAL
Nova Scotia, Canada

Grave Reference:

Panel 1.

Location:

The HALIFAX MEMORIAL in Nova Scotia's capital, erected in Point Pleasant Park, is one of the few tangible reminders of the men who died at sea. Twenty-four ships were lost by the Royal Canadian Navy in the Second World War and nearly 2,000 members of the RCN lost their lives. This Memorial was erected by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and was unveiled in November 1967 with naval ceremony by H.P. MacKeen, Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia, in the presence of R. Teillet, then Minister of Veterans Affairs. The monument is a great granite Cross of Sacrifice over 12 metres high, clearly visible to all ships approaching Halifax. The cross is mounted on a large podium bearing 23 bronze panels upon which are inscribed the names of over 3,000 Canadian men and women who were buried at sea. The dedicatory inscription, in French and English, reads as follows:

1914-1939
1918-1945
IN THE HONOUR OF
THE MEN AND WOMEN
OF THE NAVY
ARMY AND MERCHANT NAVY
OF CANADA
WHOSE NAMES
ARE INSCRIBED HERE
THEIR GRAVES ARE UNKNOWN
BUT THEIR MEMORY
SHALL ENDURE.

On June 19, 2003, the Government of Canada designated September 3rd of each year as a day to acknowledge the contribution of Merchant Navy Veterans.

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

Send us your images
  • Photo– A Royal Navy armed trawler of World War I, similar to HM Trawler Loch Eye, in which William John Nightingale was serving when it was sunk on 20 April 1917.
HM Trawler Loch Eye (Admiralty Number 2965) was a 225 grt, Aberdeen-registered vessel built in 1916 by J. Duthie (Torry) Shipbuilders Co., Aberdeen, and owned by the Empire Steam Fishing Company Limited, Aberdeen.  She was requisitioned by the Royal Navy in September 1916 and converted to a minesweeper, armed with a 6-pounder gun.  Loch Eye was sunk on Friday 20 April 1917 by a mine from the German submarine UC-33, 1¼ miles southwest of Hook Point, near Dunmore, off the coast of Ireland.   Seven men were lost, including Ordinary Seaman William John Nightingale, RCNVR.  UC-33 sunk 35 allied ships including one warship, and was herself rammed and sunk by patrol boat PC61 on 26 September 1917 in St George's Channel.
  • Inscription– The panel on the Halifax Memorial at Point Pleasant in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada whereon William John Nightingale's name is inscribed.  Image taken November 2017 by Tom Tulloch.
Ordinary Seaman William John Nightingale, Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve, was born on 23 March 1895 in Craigvale, Innisfil Township, Simcoe County, Ontario.  He was the only son of William Nightingale, a Farmer, and Sarah Jane Ross Nightingale of Ontario, Canada. His grandfather was born in Hull and emigrated to Canada in 1850, and his grandmother was born in Ireland.  His only sibling was Mary Florence.  He was 22 years old. He is remembered on a memorial at Templetown specially created by the Wexford Branch of the Royal British Legion in the Republic of Ireland.
  • Memorial– Street sign on Nightingale Crescent in Barrie, Ontario.  This street was named in memory of Ordinary Seaman W.J. Nightingale, RNCVR.  (Image taken by Gregory J. Barker of Barrie, Ontario, in 2018.  Submitted by Navy League Cadet Corps CHAMBLY, Barrie, Ontario.)
  • Photo of Willie John Nightingale

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: