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Lieut. Alfred James "Fred" NORSWORTHY

Male 1887 - 1917  (29 years)

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  • Name Alfred James "Fred" NORSWORTHY  [1, 2
    Prefix Lieut. 
    Nickname Fred 
    Born 3 May 1887  Ingersoll, Oxford, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3
    • NORSWORTHY--In West Oxford, on the 3rd inst., the wife of J. C. NORSWORTHY, of a son.
    Gender Male 
    Address 1915  [2
    290 Stanley St., Montreal 
    • He was at this address prior to his military service.
    Military Service 1915  [2
    • He signed his attestation paper on 30 October 1915 in Montreal, Quebec. He was a sales manager prior to the war. Next of kin named as his father, J. C. NORSWORTHY.
    Died 29 Mar 1917  Langemarck, West Flanders, Belgium Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 4, 5, 6
    • ANOTHER SON WAS KILLED IN ACTION Sad news received by Mr. J. C. NORSWORTHY -- Lieut. A. J. (Fred) NORSWORTHY killed by explosive shell. The sad news that another son had been killed in action was received by Mr. J. C. NORSWORTHY on Tuesday afternoon. He was informed by a cablegram that his son, Lieut. A. J. (Fred) NORSWORTHY, adjutant of a Montreal Highland Battalion, had been instantly killed. The particulars given were that an explosive shell pierced the orderly room and he was killed instantly. The deceased was a brother of the late Major Edward Cuthbert NORSWORTHY of Montreal, who was killed when the Canadians made such a gallant stand at Langemarck. He gave up a lucrative position in Costa Rica that he might return to Canada and enlist with the Battalion in Montreal. He had been at the front since July last. (Ingersoll Chronicle)     

      Lieutenant Fred NORSWORTHY has made the supreme sacrifice. His father, Mr. J. C. NORSWORTHY, had been notified of his death which was caused by an explosive shell piercing the orderly room, killing him instantly. This is the second son to fall, Major E. C. NORSWORTHY dying at Langemarck. (Oxford Tribune)

      Lieut. Alfred James NORSWORTHY, Canadian, Canadian Infantry, 73rd. Bn., age 30, died 29 March 1917; son of James C. and Mary NORSWORTHY, of Ingersoll, Ontario.
      (Commonwealth War Graves)
    Buried 30 Mar 1917  Barlin Communal Cemetery Extension, Barlin, Pas de Calais, France Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 5, 7
    • He was buried in Barlin Communal Cemetery Extension, 200, 2, Grave ref. I. J. 50.

      In Memory of / Lieutenant ALFRED JAMES NORSWORTHY / 73rd Bn., Canadian Infantry / who died age 30 / on 29 March 1917 / Son of James C. and Mary Norsworthy, of Ingersoll, Ontario. / Remembered with honour / BARLIN COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION

      Memorial inscription on family gravestone in Ingersoll Rural Cemetery: Fred. In memory of Lieutenant Alfred James NORSWORTHY, 73rd Battalion, Royal Highlanders, of Canada, born in Ingersoll, 3rd May, 1887, killed in action at Vimy Ridge, 29 March 1917. His dauntless courage and cheerfulness under most trying conditions won the admiration of his superior officers and his men. Gentle in peace, a hero in battle, beloved by all who knew him, for God, for truth and for liberty. (Library)
    Commemoration 15 Jun 1919  [7
    • At Ingersoll a memorial tablet was unveiled in the Ingersoll Rural Cemetery, in honour of Lieut. Alfred J. NORSWORTHY, and another to the two cousins of this family who also fell in the War - Robert Godfrey HUNTER and Harold Gilray HUNTER. The occasion was one of more than local interest with many distinguished officers present from Montreal.

      Lt. A. NORSWORTHY. Ingersoll Rural Cemetery, War Memorial. The poppies blow in Flanders Fields, 1914-1918. If we break faith, they shall not sleep. World War I.
    Name Fred  [3
    Person ID I4268  Nosworthy
    Last Modified 10 Apr 2018 

    Father James Caunter NOSWORTHY,   b. 2 Jul 1846, Widecombe-in-the-Moor, Devon, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 Nov 1936, Ingersoll, Oxford, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 90 years) 
    Mother Mary Jane CUTHBERT,   b. 14 Sep 1852, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Feb 1891, Ingersoll, Oxford, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 38 years) 
    Married 26 Apr 1878  West Oxford Township, Oxford, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [9
    • NORSWORTHY--CUTHBERT--At Croft Hyrme [?], West Oxford [township], by the Rev. John McEwen, on the 26th ult., James Counter NORSWORTHY, Esq., to Miss Mary CUTHBERT. (Website)

      James C. NORSWORTHY, 30, Banker, England, Ingersoll, s/o John & Mary, married Mary Jane CUTHBERT, 25, Canada, West Oxford, d/o Alexander and Jane. Witnesses: Thomas VALIAN, of London, Ontario and Henrietta CUTHBERT of West Oxford, 25 April 1878. (Archives) [Henrietta would have been Mary Jane's sister.] [3, 8, 9]
    Address 250, King St East, Ingersoll, Oxford, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [4, 10
    • The NORSWORTHY home was originally constructed as a yellow brick farmhouse, the building and surrounding 200 acres became part of the Mary Jane (Miss May) Cuthbert's dowry when she married James. (Newspaper) It was built in the Queen Ann style in the early 1850's and boasted of turrets, bays, chimneys of cut brick, multi-coloured brickwork, slate roofs and stain glass windows. This is generally an irregular shaped home with no plain surfaces. The 21 room home is three stories high. There are 6 bedrooms, a double drawing room, living room, library, dining room, kitchen, etc. The foundation is said to be 43" thick. The cellar was composed of many rooms - a preserve room with cupboards, a root cellar, wine cellar, coal cellar and furnace room. "Cool rooms" for foods, ventilated by early type air conditioning was composed of vents in the basement walls which drew in the air from outside all around the house - the first natural air conditioned home in Ingersoll. This home was the only one in town that had running tap water, in all the rooms. A cistern was built, with pipes going through the kitchen roof, and these were connected to the cistern about 5 feet above the height of the house. When the pipes were connected, taps were installed in each room for the gravity-forced water. As the cistern's level dropped, more water was pumped up from the well. Mr. and Mrs. J. Robbins are the present owners of this beautiful home, and they try to keep it in it's original state.(Ingersoll)

      As late as 1978 the history of this home continues to be told. On 4 August 1978 an article appeared in the local newspaper:


      Behind an impressive screen of shade trees, the NORSWORTHY home broods over Ingersoll. James Counter NORSWORTHY came with his parents to Canada from Devonshire, England in 1852 and eventually established himself as "Banker and Broker, Insurance and Loan Agent" on King Street. Originally Crown Land, the 200 acres was granted in 1806 to Ebenezer Whiting, one of Ingersoll's early settlers. The present owner of the home, Jessie Robins, believes that the house was built in the 1850's and it came with the dowry of NORSWORTHY's first wife, Mary Jane.

      The marriage was announced in the Ingersoll chronicle, May 2, 1978 (should be 1878), "Thursday evening last, our townsman J. C. NORSWORTHY was united in marriage with Miss May, eldest daughter of Mrs. Cuthbert of West Oxford in the presence of a number of invited guests. Mr & Mrs NORSWORTHY left on the midnight train for New York. We wish them every happiness."

      The following week there appeared a letter with the bold headline ADVICE TO THE NEWLY MARRIED MAN FROM AN EXPERIENCED BENEDICT - The long column of free advice contained, among other things. "Don't scold your wife and don't beat your children, if you have any... Bathe often, look after your health..and never go home drunk. Keep clear of your wife's relations...Yours, John. " Just who "John" was and why he felt empowered to give such advice is lost in the pages of time.

      NORSWORTHY elaborated upon the plain red brick Ontario farmhouse until he had a structure worthy of the dignity of the position that he held in town. The result is a melange of styles that nonetheless present a picaresque view to the observer. A veranda, usually thought to give a house a fashionable urban air, is graced with solid Doric columns. The left side is enclosed with stone and has beautiful stained glass windows. There are sumptuous glass windows throughout the home both exterior and interior. The right veranda sports a bandshell design, topped with a very Victorian pinacle. Above the pillared portico is a stately circular balcony which in turn is topped by a curiously curved gable. Although the pointed arches suggest Gothic, the window is curved Romanesque. The rounded design is echoed in the carved wooden fans of the flanking gavels and in the tri-windows on either side of the house. An Italianate tower is not only a decorative addition but practical as well. It housed a water tower and the giant steel tanks are still in place. The main door has a transom extending over the strengths. It is less sound structurally than a shortened transom, but a pleasing arrangement and a typical pattern in Ontario.

      The interior of the home is magnificently finished in wood and is said that Norworthy had a carpenter in residence for over a year to complete the work. Frank Leake, a noted local woodcarver, did the elaborate mantelpieces. Interior doors are all equipped with locks and each one has a keyhole cover, a delightful eccentricity of a moneylender who held mortgages on hundreds of properties in town.

      The ghost of NORSWORTHY's first wife, Mary Jane, is said to have haunted the house. Owner Jessie Robins attests to hearing and being aware of a "presence" in the home for many years. She believes that Mary Jane, who died of diphtheria in 1891 while nursing her sick children, was looking for her daughter. The mysterious Lady in Grey has not been seen on the balcony since the daughter Nellie died a few years ago. (Focus Magazine)
    Sketch of Norsworthy home
    Sketch of Norsworthy home
    250 King St. East, Ingersoll. The home originated as part of the dowry of Mary Jane Cuthbert.
    250 King St. East, Ingersol, Ontario in 2008
    250 King St. East, Ingersol, Ontario in 2008
    Family ID F1197  Group Sheet

  • Photos
    Norsworthy sons
    Norsworthy sons
    Blackwatch Regiment 1914-1918. L-R: Edward, Weldon, Alfred, and Stanley.
    Fred Norsworthy
    Fred Norsworthy
    Plaque for Fred Norsworthy at Ingersoll Cemetery
    Plaque for Fred Norsworthy at Ingersoll Cemetery
    In memory
    73rd Battalion Royal Highlanders Canada
    Born in Ingersoll 3rd May 1887
    Killed in action at Vimy Ridge 29 March 1917
    His dauntless courage and cheerfulness under
    most trying conditions won the admiration
    of his superior officers and his men

    Gentle in peace - A hero in battle
    Beloved by all who knew him
    For God, for truth, for liberty.
    Norsworthy boys
    Norsworthy boys
    Believed to be (L-R) Edward, Alfred, John and Stanley; sons of James Counter Norsworthy and Mary Jane Cuthbert


    In Memory of
    73rd Bn., Canadian Infantry
    who died age 30
    on 29 March 1917
    Son of James C. and Mary Norsworthy, of Ingersoll, Ontario.
    Remembered with honour

    "Beloved son of
    Born at Ingersoll,
    3rd May 1887".

  • Sources 
    1. [S53] Census of Canada, 1901, (31 March 1901).

    2. [S121] Attestation Paper, Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force, (original images online at Canadian Archives.).

    3. [S162] Website.

    4. [S217] Newspaper.

    5. [S28] Website: The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (

    6. [S676] Personal communication.

    7. [S348] Book: A Canadian Family in the Great War 1914 - 1918, J. Castell Hopkins, (Published privately, Toronto, 1921. Copy in Parish of Widecombe-in-the-Moor Family History Center Library.).

    8. [S317] Ontario Archives.

    9. [S109] Civil Marriage Registration.

    10. [S280] Book: Ingersoll: Our Heritage, Harry Whitwell, (1978).


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