Trotter, Stuart Fowden


War Service:
Lieutenant STUART FOWDEN TROTTER, Canadian Infantry attd Royal Flying Corps died on 6 July 1917 of wounds sustained in an aerial dogfight.

He is buried in Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension, Nord Grave Reference III. D. 211..

Location of Memorial:
His name is remembered on the war memorial at St Dunstan’s College, in the pages of the History of The Old Dunstonian Rugby Football Club and on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.

Stuart Fowden Trotter was born in Stanstead Road, Forest Hill on 25 November 1885. His father P.G. Trotter was Assistant Clerk to the Lord Mayor of London and Clerk to the City Magistrates Court. He went to St Dunstan’s College in Catford between 1897 and 1901 and in 1907 sailed from Liverpool to take up a job as a clerk at the Bank of Montreal. He seems to have found banking dull because he left to become a fur trader. When war broke out he was working for the Northern Trading Company at Fort Rae in the North West Territories, trading with the Dogrub Indians on the Great Slave Lake.

He persuaded the company to release him from his contract and on 4 January 1915 set off with a sled and dog team to travel the 600 miles to Edmonton to enlist. In sub zero temperatures he often had to walk in front of the dogs to break a trail through the snow, but at the end of this daunting journey he arrived with nothing worse than blistered feet to show for his efforts.

He enlisted in the Fort Garry Horse in Winnipeg, transferred to the infantry and applied for a commission. He had previously served for 5 years in the Queen's Westminster Regiment. While in Winnipeg he married Dorothy Beryl Kemp-Richardson. He also played cricket. He had played rugby and cricket for St Dunstan’s College XI; in Canada he played with Winnipeg Cricket Club captain of XI. His best score was 153 not out for Winnipeg B. v Yorkshire White Rose in 1909. He came to Europe with the Canadian Expeditionary Force, applied to join the Royal Flying Corps and after training began his duties as an observer on 4 July 1917.

Two days later he was dead, mortally wounded firing his Lewis gun to beat off the German fighters which had appeared in overwhelming numbers to attack the six aircraft of his flight. A final quote from the Journal of the Manitoba Historical Society : “The editors of this work wish to pay tribute to a very gallant soldier and a gentleman, a sportsman who at the call of King and Country played the game taught him at old St. Dunstan’s."

The Manitoba Historical Society website
St Dunstan's College Roll of Honour 1914-19 D W Collett BA
Wisden 1918
London Gazette 20 July 1917

Contributed By: Andy Pepper and Andrew Renshaw

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