Did Roy Brown Die Before He Killed the Red Baron?


for today



Arthur Roy Brown was born on December 23,1893 in Carleton Place, Ontario. He was the son of a flour mill and power company owner and was fascinated by aerial war and enlisted in 1915 as an Officer Cadet in the Canadian Army Officers’ Training Corps. Brown wanted to join the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) but his father, concerned at the high casualty rate for RFC pilots, declined Brown’s request for elementary flying school lessons.

Of course he ignored the advice of his father and applied to join the RNAS with his three of his friends. He learned he needed an Aero Certificate so he took lessons from the Wright Brothers school in Dayton, Ohio. In 1915 he obtained his pilots certificate and became a Temporary Probationary Flight Sub-Lieutenant. Brown set sail for England on 22 November 1915 and underwent further training at Chingford.

On the 17th of July…

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Photos of Roy Brown Park — Mark Smith

Photos of Roy Brown Park — Mark Smith
Please play while viewing

I love these fungi mushrooms and when Mark said he had seen some at Roy Brown Park I asked him to photograph them. Humour me please. 🙂 Roy Brown Park is located behind the MVCA office and is owned and maintained by the Town of Carleton Place. It currently features 0.5km of well-groomed walking trails and an off-leash dog park.

All photos from Mark Smith with thanks

All photos from Mark Smith with thanks

October 13th 2021

Last night our council passed a bylaw for tree conservation. Very Very proud

Read more about the fungi here..

Oddities — Lanark County Puffball Mushrooms

Beware of the Lanark County Fairy Rings
The Faeries of McArthur Island- Dedicated to the Bagg Children

Read more about parks here.

1963 Riverside Park — Stills from a 8 MM Movie Camera — Larry Clark

Riverside Park Comments Larry Clark ‘The Dip’

St. Mary’s and Riverside Park 1969

What Justin Bieber is Missing by Not Coming to Carleton Place

When Were Some of the Trees Planted in Riverside Park?

The Carleton Place Riverside Park Booth Etc. Etc.

The Secret Sanctuary of a Carleton Place Neighbourhood

The Mysterious Shoe Trees

Let’s Build Cabins at Riverside Park!

When the Circus came to Carleton Place

Tug of War 1970’s Riverside and Centennial Park Carleton Place

Just Beat It! Carnival Riot in Carleton Place at Riverside Park

Before and After at Centennial Park

So What Did You Do in Riverside Park?

It was the Boathouse that Went On and On….

The Carleton Place Riverside Park Booth Etc. Etc.

Roy Brown and James Bond?



From the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum- Roy Brown Society





Thumbs Up to the Red Baron-Thumbs Down to Roy Brown –National War Museum

Roy Brown — Forgotten War Heroe?

Did Roy Brown Die Before He Killed the Red Baron?

Mystery Solved of Who Killed the Red Baron — Again???

Mister Carleton Place Postman Look and See— Is There a Letter in Your Bag For Me?

Roy Brown Hockey Photo

Was Roy Brown Looking for the Red Baron at the Museum Last Night? Photos

So What is Up With Roy Brown Park?

So What is Up With Roy Brown Park?


Photo-InsideOttawaValley.com 2015

First trail in Roy Brown Park officially open

Rob Probert posted this November 14th, 2017 


Roy Watson asked:

Rob – query about Roy Brown Park. is publicity on the back burner? Has the park been officially opened? Seems it was skipped on 1 July? I walk/bike along there and it is a great route, the dog park is getting minimal use though but I see the additional route along the river is almost completed. So my query is, why isn’t this park part of Remembrance Ceremonies.

There are remembrance plaques for Passendale and Vimy which are constantly in the news. Maybe we should consider at least wreath laying at these plaques and given that they are within walking distance of the CPHS, three public schools and the Navy League (Sea Cadets) surprised they cannot incorporate visits to this park. I would think that local sea cadets could visit and provide wreaths during this period or for that matter air force cadets from Smiths Falls (i.e., Roy Brown WW1). Perhaps a little late this year but consideration for future ceremonies.

So, what is going on with Roy Brown park and why are so few of us enjoying it???? Of note; during the last open house I went to the Moore house and asked about the official opening and the person on the desk didn’t even know there was a park or where it was. I had to point it out on the map ! Roy Watson


Rob Probert replies: 

These are all good points raised by Roy. Neither I, nor the Roy Brown Society are in charge of this project but I think I can provide some useful info.

The original formal opening was scheduled for July 1st. That day was a complete washout, as was much of the summer. Invited guests were present and it was unfortunate. I do believe that the parks and rec staff who are in charge of this park and the development decided that they may as well try to complete the rest of the trail development scheduled for this year. I know the conversation of another formal opening has been discussed and perhaps an opportunity was in fact lost in this Nov. 11.
It could have been a suitable date. Unfortunately none of the Roy Brown family were available and work has still been ongoing.  In any case, on behalf of the Roy Brown Society, I did, along with the town’s parks dept. and the staff of Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum collaborate to name the trails and come up with the images and wording on the entrance pavilions’ info panels. I do agree that publicity and constant information should be developed.

I have some other simple ideas that I think would make the historical part of the park resonate. These ideas are not yet presented so I won’t go into detail now. I think the suggestions of a wreath laying at this time of year is a great suggestion, especially as more people begin to use the park.

The Roy Brown Society is somewhat focused at the moment on a project to build a commemorative statue of Roy Brown. It will be paced beside the Moore House. There is already close to $75,000.00 in cash and supporting services committed to the project and about another $100,000.00 needed.

As to the staff at the Moore House visitor center I can’t comment specifically but will reach out to make sure that they are better informed.

I hope this helps a bit with your thought, Again all good points and ideas.

Want to see What Part of Roy Brown Park Looks like now?



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Submitted Photo

The entire North end of Roy Brown Park has been stripped from the MVCA building to edge of Boundary Rd.  Great looking trail folks!

As someone said: “I find it hard to swallow that the MVCA allowed all that area to be cleared the way it was.”


Take a look at Jackson Ridge and the storm water management pond that is the size of Belgium so to speak. Not that there is anything wrong with Belgium.

This week in—Really Carleton Place? Really?


It’s Your Decision– Roy Brown Park


collageits my park.jpg

Janet sent me this letter and I was going to post it tonight.. but you can read it also in the Carleton Place Almonte Canadian Gazette— stay tuned for more!!

Reader: Taxpayers should be properly consulted on decisions involving Roy Brown Park


Carleton Place Almonte Canadian Gazette


Our municipal politicians are elected to office to serve town residents and act in our best interest. It is expected that they will put their interests aside as they work for the people of Carleton Place.

I expect council members to act with integrity, thoughtful consideration and good judgement as they make decisions that affect our community.

Being a member of a municipal council is often a difficult, thankless job and there can be many powerful influences that can cause a council to stray from its mandate to serve town residents.

Regrettably, on Aug. 16 our council will be put in the position of choosing to act in the interest of town residents or bowing to the strong influence of a developer.

On June 28, council voted 5-2 against a developer’s proposal to dump contaminated storm water into Roy Brown Park instead of the developer managing the storm water on its own property. Council voted down the original proposal because it is an inappropriate use of public parkland.

The issue should have died on June 28 with the defeated motion and the developer should have respected the decision of council.

However, there was no respect for council, its authority or its decision.

With no direction from council to do so, this proposal has been put back onto the Aug. 16 agenda. Why is council being forced to deal with this issue again? Because the developer wants it. The situation puts me in mind of a persistent teenager trying to wear down parents in order to get what it wants.

However, a flip-flop should be something that you wear on your feet. It should not describe the actions of your council.

As background, in 2004, $385,000 of taxpayers’ money bought land for a park and dedicated it to the memory of First World War flying Ace, Roy Brown.

The park is to have a dog park, tennis courts, playing field and a large recreation building as well as trails and picnic pavilions. A grant from Canada 150 will be used to place signs in the park with information provided by the Roy Brown Society and historical society.

On Aug. 16, council will once again have to review a plan from a developer to dump its contaminated storm water into the park. The people of Carleton Place have not been consulted, no part of the park has been declared surplus to the town’s parkland needs and the area needed to contain the water would be the part of the park that was to be used for the dog park, tennis courts and parking lot for the recreation building.

Why would council even consider removing public uses from public parkland and replace them with a holding area for polluted water and contaminated sediment from an adjacent development? After all, it is the duty of elected representatives to manage public lands in the public interest.

Town council voted against it once already. It is imperative that they vote against it again on Aug. 16.

Our tax dollars bought Roy Brown Park for parkland. We own it.

To use a popular Lanark County phrase “Back Off Government! This is our Land!”

Janet McGinnis

Carleton Place

Is it Just Me? Where are the Words “Drinking Water”? – Opinion

Was Roy Brown Looking for the Red Baron at the Museum Last Night? Photos



Something tells me Roy got the invite….



Whether you believe in ghosts or not, you have to admit that there are all kinds of things in this world that we simply can’t explain.  Even the most skeptical of us has a vague sense that maybe, just maybe, that noise, that unexplained shadow, or that feeling, might be something we don’t want to look at too closely. While we are talking here about things from the past, do you know what happened on April 21, 1918? Do you know about Roy Brown and the Red Baron?  Read all about it here!



Ghosts appear at night. There are very few ghostly sightings in the bright morning or afternoon sun.  They don’t seem to like it.  I’ve been told that twilight is a relatively good time to see ghosts, so last night might have been perfect for Roy to make his presence known.


Ghosts inhabit buildings. They prefer places that have some history to them — the older the better.  There are cases of ghosts showing up in new houses but not very often.  Generally they live in older buildings, or in places close to old buildings-so the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum is the perfect place for ole’ Roy to hang around. Trust me!



Ghosts don’t like an audience.  They prefer to appear before one, two or at most three people at a time.  And they tend to disappear just as quickly if more people come to investigate. Some even might even come to check out basketball scores– well it is the playoff season!  Maybe Roy was too, and he was looking over the shoulder of that gentlemen  on his phone in the back. Maybe Roy figured the gentlemen was looking for information on flying schools for warriors.


In the past, ghosts did not usually speak, but suddenly black and white whispered through the room. After all Roy’s family lived here in Carleton Place and there is no place like home-even for a ghost!


Ghosts have little or no colour.  In general, ghosts appear to be black and white or grey.  When they do have colour, it’s usually a washed-out tint like a flimsy transparency. Is Roy’s head losing its colour?


Everything seems calm and people are enjoying the event until….


What is Rob Probert doing? What is that mist he is touching? Is he channeling Roy? Just remember– you may not be as alone as you think. But, do join the Roy Brown Society today!

Roy Brown Shot Down the Red Baron

Author’s note--By the way, if anyone asks you about Charles Schultz’s Snoopy and how he ‘helped’ Roy Brown shoot down the Red Baron– well, you can tell them the same thing Rob Probert tells everyone else.

Who was Snoopy?

Heck, that was Roy Brown’s dog:)



Sandra Hurdis Finigan for all her hard work, and Scott Reid M.P. for the wonderful event!


Dennis Burn from the Leatherworks in Carleton Place



Thumbs Up to the Red Baron-Thumbs Down to Roy Brown –National War Museum

Roy Brown — Forgotten War Heroe?

Did Roy Brown Die Before He Killed the Red Baron?

Mystery Solved of Who Killed the Red Baron — Again???

Mister Carleton Place Postman Look and See— Is There a Letter in Your Bag For Me?

Roy Brown Hockey Photo


Roy Brown Hockey Photo




MaryAnne Bannon Robertson from Burlington Ontario sent me this picture:) Roy Brown is in the back row. Frank Robertson, grandfather of Dave is also in the back row along with Stearne Edwards.

“Found in my great uncles photos The Independents
Carleton Place Hockey League 1911-1912
Names on bottom on photo”

Thumbs Up to the Red Baron-Thumbs Down to Roy Brown –National War Museum



Today I read an Ottawa Citizen article on the Lanark County Genealogical Society’s  Facebook page about the Canadian War Museum providing Major-General Sir Isaac Brock’s coat to help a Grade 8 student’s history project. This is a fantastic way to get our youth to study history, so why can’t Carleton Place’s very own war hero Roy Brown be in the Canadian War Museum too so some student can borrow one of his artifacts?

“We do not have anything on display,” said Avra Gibbs-Lamey media relations officer of the Canadian War Museum in a past newspaper article.

Now let me check some facts off: there are airports, schools and military bases named after him. We have a huge mural on Bridge Street in Carleton Place, yet no artifacts of his are displayed at the Canadian War Museum, and the staff remains mute about the whole subject. Heck, there was even a Hollywood movie made about the incident featuring Don Stroud as Roy Brown, yet Roy Brown’s name remains “an asterix” on the history books.

I am going to be honest and say I had no idea who the First World War pilot was until I moved to Carleton Place.  I write very little about him, as there seem to be endless articles and books, and very few outside the town’s limits understand the significance of what Roy did. But ask anyone who the Red Baron is, aka the German flying ace Manfred Von Richthofen, and everyone would have their hand in the air.

Brown  was the Royal Naval Air Service pilot from Carleton Place, Ontario credited with the victory that resulted in the death of the Red Baron. The Red Baron shot down 80 Allied planes, but the fact that Roy Brown shot him down is disputed all over the world. There was an American witness, but Australia claims it was machine-gun fire from their infantry on the ground that brought Manfred Von Richthofen down. Even in Carleton Place, his hometown, the controversy still hangs in the air.

Von Richthofen and Brown.jpg

At the Royal Canadian Military Institute  in Toronto lies a piece of the triplane’s wing, the actual seat the Red Baron sat in, and a cut out of the plane’s actual iron cross — signed by Brown’s flight crew on display. Roy Brown himself donated it in 1920. So why can’t people come to a conclusion?

As Rob Probert, president of the Roy Brown Society in Carleton Place said,

“As far as we are concerned, it was Roy Brown who shot Von Richthofen down, and it is him who is officially credited.”

So what he is saying is that the other claims are just that. Not proven. For some reason, Canada does not want to give Brown his proper due and he wasn’t even accepted into the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame until this year. So, I asked Rob Probert last week what his thoughts were:

“Many of us are at a loss as to why the  WWI story of Roy Brown and the Downing of Von Richtoffen ( The Fred Baron) are not represented in some way at all in the National War Museum. While it is not necessarily the Canadian way to boast of military events, this was a very significant battle that did have an impact on the closing out of WWI. Von Richtoffen was very much a German national hero. His downing had a demoralizing effect on their prosecution of the war.

We hope that with some time, and education, we can convince the museum to show some meaningful interest.

While there has been some questioning of the battle, it is, and has been well documented and should be recognized. Brown was officially accredited with and received appropriate honours for this feat. Medical evidence of the day and a variety of credible eyewitnesses all supported the story of Brown being the pilot who downed VonRichtoffen.

One of the goals of the Roy Brown Society is to make sure this story is not lost in time and to promote the other 14 WWI pilots from the Carleton Place area. Many of whom were Aces themselves and had incredible stories and lives post war.

We have been successful this past few years in building a national prominence and in this past year especially there have been several speeches in Parliament recognizing Brown, a wide number of accomplishments in Carleton Place itself, a number oif national newspaper stories and at least 6 radio interviews including CFRB in Toronto. We are especially proud of instigating his successful induction into the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame this past June. There are three significant events planned this June and July in the Toronto area to commemorate his achievements.

We recently had an American Lt. General of the Air Force visit with us and was shocked to understand how little was known of this man and the true story of the battle. More work to be done.” –Rob Probert Roy Brown Society in Carleton Place, Ontario.




Roy Brown — Forgotten War Heroe?

Did Roy Brown Die Before He Killed the Red Baron?

Mystery Solved of Who Killed the Red Baron — Again???

Mister Carleton Place Postman Look and See— Is There a Letter in Your Bag For Me?



Roy Brown — Forgotten War Heroe?



I wasn’t going to write about Roy Brown, I really wasn’t–but when I started going through online newspapers today I found something interesting.Two years ago in a National Post article about Roy Brown a comment was made that the Vancouver Police were called to collect a number of guns from a woman claiming to be Brown’s daughter-in-law some years ago. Among the items seized were a Vickers aircraft machine gun and a couple of German aircraft Spandau (or similar) guns. Someone wondered if there were still battle weapons around– would they find a new life in a museum? The sad fact is historically invaluable weapons are long gone into the belly of smelter. I then began to search newspaper archives but could not find mention of the guns.

Captain Brown, a private and humble man, never actually claimed the victory over Richthofen, popularly known as the Red Baron. In fact, according to a PBS study he was quoted that when he saw Richthofen’s body, “There was a lump in my throat. If he had been my dearest friend, I could not have felt greater sorrow.”

Did the fatal shot come from the Australian troops on the ground in a muddy battlefield In Somme? Rob Probert president of the Carleton Place-based Roy Brown Society said is was definitely Roy Brown not the Australians that shot Richthofen

“That’s our story and we’re sticking to it,” he said.

According to many articles the Germans wanted to hide the fact that their 80 aerial victory war hero was killed in an aerial combat. That would would have been a greater blow to morale so, they had a vested interest in continuing the myth that ground fire killed Richthofen.

If the verdict ever went to the ground forces nobody would have been happier than Roy Brown. In 1997, brother, Howard Morton Brown, said that the flying ace was never comfortable carrying the title of the man who killed Richthofen. Any time he was asked, Roy was a reluctant warrior and his reply was always the same:
“God, I hope not.”

In 1920 Roy Brown was asked to unveil a plaque in St. James Anglican Church in Carleton Place. Howard said Roy removed the cover, but said nothing. “He cried.” Had Roy Brown been an American they would have honored him with a postage stamp or a school named after him, but he didn’t even have a marker on his grave after it was moved.

Brown had been badly hurt in the war and died of a heart attack in 1944 at his home in Stouffville, Ontario at the age of 50. Local Stouffville native 11-year-old Nadine Carter set out to piece together why there was no recognition for him in her hometown. He and his wife’s body had been relocated from Stouffville to the Necropolis Cemetery in Toronto, but there was no tombstone, and the exact location was unknown.

Now thanks to Nadine the plaque is in the making, the grave is being located, and will be proudly marked with a headstone. One of Brown’s descendants, granddaughter Dianne Sample, also invited Carter to a ceremony for her grandfather in Toronto in June, when he’ll be finally enshrined into the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame.

In reality he shouldn’t have been in the war, his nerves and health weren’t rugged enough to take it. But he forced himself every single day, despite deteriorating health, because he knew others needed his expertise to stay alive. That’s what makes a hero, whether he shot down Richthofen or not.

There is that old saying that if we forget history we are doomed to repeat it.

Remembering is an important part of how we choose to live in the present, which is the last step we get to make before we become part of the future. If we don’t remember, we don’t know why we are.

Roy Brown Day June 6th, 2015, Carleton Place Ontario
Did Roy Brown Die Before He Killed the Red Baron?

I wrote this earlier today and when I got the paper Jeff McGuire had also written his thoughts on Roy Brown. Good read.