Tag Archives: roy-brown

People of Carleton Place — John Flett

People of Carleton Place — John Flett


150-152 Bridge Street Carleton Place Circa 1870

G.C. Stackhouse a dentist ran the store as a book, stationary, and variety store.
Then the store was under the ownership of John Flett (1836-1900) who operated it as a bookstore in 1880.

It has had numerous businesses in its premises. In 1871 James M. Scott ran a
stationary shop (Lovell’s Dominion Directory). In 1876 a dentist G.C. Stackhouse
was located in the building (Woodburn’s Central Canada Directory). Mr. Stackhouse
seems also to have been in the jewellery trade since the Carleton Place Herald of
1878 contains an advertisement announcing his withdrawal from the trade. The
Herald announced that on March 3 rd of 1880 that Mr. John Flett was buying out Mr.


John Flett was married in 1862 to Margaret Rutherford of Smiths Falls. Flett worked as a machinist there and in Almonte at the Mississippi Iron Works, Little Bridge Street until it was taken over by the Young Brothers.



Andrew Young was in partnership with John Flett who operated The AE Young and John Flett Machinists and Iron Founders on Lot 18 Coleman’s Island. The partnership dissolved in 1871 and Andrew and his brother Robert set up their iron works operations on Water St.


His eldest daughter Mary Elizabeth Flett married James Morton Brown, a well known Carleton Place miller and hydro electric company. (Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum)




The Victoria Daily Times
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
20 May 1887, Fri  •  Page 3


WWI pilot Roy Brown poses for a snapshot with his mother Mary Flett Brown while home on leave for Christmas 1917. They are standing near the intersection of Judson and Mill Streets. The McArthur Mill (later Bates and Innes) is in the distance to the left, the large frame building to the right is no longer there. Photo and Text-Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Edmonton Journal
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
14 Dec 1939, Thu  •  Page 5



Perth Courier, Sept. 17, 1886

Brown-Flett—Married, on the 8th inst., at the residence of the bride’s parents, by Rev. A. A. Scott, M.A., Mr. J. M. Brown to Miss Mary E. Flett, only daughter of Mr. John Flett all of Carleton Place.

Mary Elizabeth Flett

Birthplace: Smith Falls, Lanark Co., Ontario, Canada
Death: December 13, 1939 (75)
Carleton Place, Ontario, Canada
Place of Burial: Beckwith, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
Immediate Family: Daughter of John Flett and Margaret Flett
Wife of James Morton Brown
Mother of Margaret Maggie Rutherford BrownBessie Church BrownArthur Roy BrownJohn Horace Brown
“Mental Photographs – Album for confessions of Tastes, Habits and Convictions” with entries from 1882 – 1885. Belonged to Mary Flett, aged 19, who later became the mother of A. Roy Brown and wife of Mort Brown, flour mill owner. Photo and Text-Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

People of Carleton Place– John Porter Prospect Carleton Place

The Curious World of Bill Bagg — The Gillies Blacksmith Shop

“2,000 people on the streets”–Dr. Finlay McEwen of Carleton Place

Carleton Place 1845– Dwellings and People

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.

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?



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



Lieutenant Donald Fraser, pictured here standing by the Red Baron’s grave, wrote the account of his death

An eye-witness account describing the final moments of the fearsome German flyer known as the Red Baron has emerged for sale. Could this solve once and for all the mystery over who did kill the ‘ace of aces’?  Manfred von Richthofen who was credited with a staggering 80 kills in the war, was shot down as he chased a British Sopwith Camel plane over the River Somme near Amiens in France at just 400ft from the ground.


A document, outlining the final few moments has emerged and is being auctioned by Bonhams in New York on Wednesday.

The account now for sale from Lieutenant Donald Fraser describes how von Richthofen’s plane was ‘wobbly and irregular’ immediately after the machine gun operated by Sgt Cedric Popkin opened up on him. The German plane crash landed and the pilot was found to be dead having been shot through the chest. Carleton Place’s own Captain Roy Brown was officially credited by the RAF with the coveted ‘kill’ after pursuing the German upon seeing a comrade in the Sopwith being tailed by him.

In 2002 two separate TV documentaries – one by Channel 4 in the UK and the other by the Discovery Channel – claimed Popkin and Lewis gunner Willy Evans respectively had fired the fatal shot. But Fraser’s typed account states:

“I congratulated Sergeant Popkin on his successful shoot but afterwards found out that two A.A Lewis Guns…had also fired at this plane when it was directly over my head. They probably assisted in sealing the fate of this airman as he apparently flew right into their lines of fire. However, I am strongly of opinion that he was first hit by Sergeant Popkin’s shooting as he was unsteady from the moment of that first burst of fire.”

There has been a lot of controversy as to who did indeed shoot him down and this document is a fairly strong piece of evidence to support the case of Cedric Popkin. But in the scheme of things, does it really matter who shot him down?

This impressive collection relating to the Red Baron reflects the mystique and legendary reputation acquired by the German flying ace which has endured long past his death in battle at the age of 25. Mr Lamb said that the piece of aircraft skin, that measures 34ins by 22ins, was a reciprocal gift from von Richthofen’s widow to a Colonel Kimbrough Brown who presented her with a copy of his 1964 book, ‘Von Richthofen and the Flying Circus’.

Col Brown’s family sold it to a private collector over 25 years ago and the collector is now selling it.

The items are being sold by Bonhams in New York on Wednesday.

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.

Did Roy Brown Die Before He Killed the Red Baron?


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 1917 while flying a Sopwith Pup on patrol, he brought down a German Albatross DIII south-east of Nieuport. It did not end there and as he led his squadron on the early morning patrol history was made.Wilfred “Wop” May, a good friend of his, was flying his first combat mission. Brown told May to break formation and head for the airfield if they sighted any enemy planes. Shortly after takeoff, Brown’s squadron encountered a multicoloured flight of German planes. May broke formation and headed for home as he had been instructed to do.

At that moment, a bright red Fokker triplane broke through the wispy clouds and moved into an attack position behind May. Captain Brown rushed to help May and fired a full burst at the German. As the bullets riddled the length of the Fokker, the surprised pilot turned to look back and then slumped in his seat.

The red plane glided along and roughly settled in a field next to some Australian trenches. Manfred von Richthofen, the legendary “Red Baron”, was dead by the time the Australian soldiers reached the aircraft. They later claimed they had brought down von Richthofen, the highest scoring German ace, with fire from their trenches, but he had been too far away from their lines when he was mortally wounded. The Red Baron was hit by a single .303 bullet, which caused such severe damage to his heart and lungs and Richthofen’s last word was “kaputt”.

 Even though Roy Brown’s downing of Richthofen was contested by Australian ground gunners, the official award was given to him.  Brown himself never spoke much about what happened that day, claiming, “There is no point in me commenting, as the evidence is already out there”. Overcoming severe war injuries, he returned to civilian life and later organized an air transport company which served Northern Ontario and Quebec.

According to the records at the Beckwith and Carleton Place Heritage Museum Roy Brown was “fatally” injured after crashing his plane during the war. He was placed in the morgue and pronounced dead. Stearne Tighe Edwards, close friend and fellow airman from Carleton Place went to identify the body. He noticed that blood was still seeping from Brown’s wounds and he appeared to be still breathing. Edwards notified doctors, who immediately removed Brown from the morgue!

Was there a force beyond the description and not confined by existence or reality that revived Roy Brown?


“I had heard that Stearne Tighe Edwards was unable to get the military doctors to take a second look at Roy and he had to go down the road and get a local doctor to come back and only after this doctor saw signs of life did the military doctor move Roy from the morgue.”

Maybe someone from the Roy Brown Society can confirm the details–Shane Wm. Edwards