Laid to rest at the Field of Honour.
Born: 23rd February 1918, Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada.
Died: 6th May 1941; age: 23 years, 2 months & 13 days. Killed in an Air Raid at Bawsdey, Suffolk.
Killed in doorway while helping others into pill box under fire. Shell entered pill box killing Ralph Kenneth Warren (Royal Air Force Volunteer Regiment)
Residence: 41, Arlington Street, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Previously tried to enlist: 1939.
Enlistment Details: Date: 18th October 1940; Age: 22; Occupation: Radio Operator; Religion: Anglican. Next of Kin: mother – Mrs W.J.L. Paul, of 562, Maclaren Street, Ottawa, Ontario. Height: 5ft 6 1/2ins, fair complexion, blue eyes and light brown hair. Scar at base of spine from operation for Spina Bifida. Weakness of muscles of right side of face from having been frozen 5 years before. Hobbies & pastimes: swimming, canoeing, boating, hunting & fishing.
Rank: Leading Aircraftman; Service Number: R.74343.
Regiment: Royal Canadian Air Force.
Relatives Notified & Address: Son of W.J. Leslie Paul and of Georgina C. Paul (nee Van Exan), of Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada.
1921 80, Irving, Dalhousie, Carelton, Ontario, Canada.
Douglas was 3 years old and living with his mother, siblings at the home of his maternal grandfather & aunt.
John Eagleton Van Exan, 68, a Civil Servant, born Walford, Leeds Grenville, Ontario, Canada.
Charlotte May Van Exan, 29, a Stereographer – Office, born Ontario, Canada.
Georgina Corbett Paul (nee Van Exan), 32, born Smiths Falls, Ontario.
Helen Marguerite Paul, 8, attending public school, born Smiths Falls.
Jessie Gwendolyn Paul, 6, attending kindergarten, born Smiths Falls.
The family spoke English, were Anglican, and could read & write.
Douglas’s father was William John Leslie Paul, born September 1888, Perth, Ontario, Canada – died October 1918, Smiths Falls, Ontario, of Spanish Flu Pneumonia – 6 days.
Osgoode Street, Public School, Ottawa – September 1924 – June 1930.
York Street, Public School, Ottawa – September 1930 – June 1932.
Lisgar Collegiate Institute, Ottawa (Principal, J.J. Dunlop) – September 1932 – March 1934 – Matriculation Subjects.
Radio College of Canada, Toronto, Ontario – September 1939 – May 1946. Douglas had a personal loan of C$560 from a friend for tuition at school.
A family note:
Left to Right: Doug E. Paul (killed in action), Don R. Torney, James Anderson (killed in action), J. Graham Torney. The Torney boys both served in the air force.
Don my father (1921 -2010) and Graham (my uncle 1920-1998)). It was taken in August of 1939. I believe my father was living in Kingston, ON, then but there is a Van Exan family home in Smith’s Falls, ON. My father’s family also rented a cottage on the Big Rideau Lake (near Westport) when he was young.
The Van Exan cousins were very close. Dad said several of them lived within three blocks of each other in Smith’s Falls during the depression. They were in and out of each other’s homes, wore each other’s clothes and generally acted like siblings instead of cousins. Later on (1957) they started a Family Picnic for all the Van Exan’s.
A family note:
Thank you for remembering Doug E. He was my father’s eldest cousin, and the only one (of 5 serving) to be killed. Doug was born with spina bifida and a club foot but never let that slow him down. He tried very hard to get into the services. I can see the Van Exan in his features. My father talked about Doug E. a great deal before his own death in 2010. My grandmother and Doug’s mother were sisters.
My beloved Uncle Doug. Often thought of but never met. He died before I was born. He was our family’s hero.
My grandmother’s only surviving son, he did not have to enlist but was driven to do so by patriotism and a desire to defend the rights of others and the sanctity of Canada. His letters to my mother and his other sister as well as my grandmother have mostly been lost over the years but the ones which remain portray a kind and gentle soul with a true belief in God and a talent for poetry.
We will remember him.
Thank you to the Town of Ipswich for helping me to visit Uncle Doug’s grave in 2000 on a visit to England.