Extracts from the News

Capt. W. M. Thomson, Toronto Aviator, Awarded Military Cross

Toronto Evening Telegram

Wednesday, July 03, 1918

Transcribed by: M. I. Pirie

Photograph and original article.


Young Toronto Aviator, Lt. W. M. Thomson, Victor in Air Fight.

Lieut. William M. Thomson, Royal Flying Corps, has won the Military Cross after two months' service in France.  He is the only son of William Thomson, manager of the Thomson Monument Company1, and enlisted when 18 years of age, trained at Leaside and Camp Borden, and left for overseas in November last.  He was a Jesse Ketchum School and Jarvis Collegiate boy.

An account of the affair says that Lieut. W. M. Thomson and 2nd Flt. Lieut. Kemp2 were cut off from their patrol and attacked by four enemy scouts.  Lieut. Thomson turned and fired 200 rounds into one, which was seen to crash.  Lieut. Kemp fired at another, and also shot it down.  They were then attacked from above by an albatross scout.  2nd Lieut. Kemp was killed, and Lieut. Thomson, after spinning down 2,000 feet, turned and attacked the albatross, which was still following him, and drove it off.  He then succeeded in reaching his lines.  Lieut. Kemp was his observer.

Flight Lieut. Thomson was born in Lachine, Que., but had lived in Toronto practically all his life.

In a letter received recently from Lieut. Thomson he refuses to tell how he won the Military Cross.

"What do you  think I have now, mother" he writes, "you would never guess, so I will tell you; it is the M.C., Military Cross, in other words.  Some class now, eh! what! putting M.C. after my name.  I have eight Huns to my credit and eight more out of control.  I will not tell you what I got the M.C. for just now, but I hope to be home in about six months and will tell you then if all goes well.  We do six months in France and then go to England, and probably get three months' leave, so you see I hope to be home for Christmas, a long way, I admit, but then one might as well look forward to it."



1The Thomson Monument Co., Ltd. was a business in Toronto.  Among other commissions, they erected war memorials.  An example of their work is seen at the war memorial for Lindsay, Ontario.
2Second Lieutenant George Hubert Kemp, 20th Squadron, RAF, was a British flyer.  His memorial record appears on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Debt of Honour. His date of death is June 1st, 1918 (giving us the date of the above described incident).  Kemp died at age twenty and is buried at Longuenesse (St. Omer) Souvenir Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.