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Major, Edward Cuthbert NORSWORTHY

Major, Edward Cuthbert NORSWORTHY

Male 1879 - 1915  (35 years)

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  • Name Edward Cuthbert NORSWORTHY 
    Prefix Major, 
    Born 29 May 1879  Ingersoll, Oxford, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Address 1891  St. Thomas, Elgin, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    • His name appears on the War Memorial at Ingersol Rural Cemetery. The poppies blow in Flanders Fields, 1914-1918. If we break faith, they shall not sleep. World War I.
    • His name appears in the Remembrance Books at the Peace Tower in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
    Military Service 1914  [5
    • His attestation papers were signed 23 September 1914, at Valcartier, Quebec. He had been working as a broker prior to the war. Next of kin, his father, James C. NORSWORTHY. He signed as Major Edward C. NORSWORTHY. Description given of him: 35 years, 3 months; height 6 ft; fair complexion; blue eyes; fair hair. Killed in action written at the top of page.
    Died 22 Apr 1915  Langemarck, West Flanders, Belgium Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    • Major E. C. NORSWORTHY, Canadian, Canadian Infantry (Quebec Regiment), 13th. Bn., age 35, died 22 April 1915; son of James C. and Mary NORSWORTHY, of Ingersoll, Ontario. (War Graves)

      He died at Ypres. "As the men of the 13th. emerged from the trenches to the roadway, Major Norsworthy used the words well worthy of remembrance: 'Come on men, remember we are Canadians and all the eyes of Canada are upon us' - with that they went forward with a yell, taking up the new position. While rallying the fleeing Turcos, Captain Drummond was killed, and at the same moment Major Norsworthy fell to the ground, receiving a wound in the neck; as he staggered to his knees, two of his men ran to his assistance and wanted to help him back to a dressing station; he ordered them back to their place in the line, saying, 'No man should retire that could hold a gun.' He merely tied his handkerchief about the wound and continued to cheer his men to stick fast, walking up and down the roadway indifferent to his own danger - finally he fell mortally wounded and died on the roadside." (Book)
    Buried Tyne Cot Cemetery, Passchendaele, West Flanders, Belgium Find all individuals with events at this location  [6, 7, 8
    • He was buried in Tyne Cot Cemetery, 544, 10, near Leper, Belgium; grave ref. LIX.B.24.(War Graves)

      In Memory of / Major E C NORSWORTHY / Mentioned in Despatches / 13th Bn., Canadian Infantry (Quebec Regiment) / who died age 35 / on 22 April 1915 / Son of James C. and Mary Norsworthy, of Ingersoll, Ontario. / Remembered with honour. / TYNE COT CEMETERY

      His father, J. C. Norsworthy received a letter written on 10 Feb. 1922 from the Adjutent-General, Canadian Militia in Ottawa:


      During the exhumation work in Flanders a grave has been found containing the remains of a Major of the Royal Highlanders of Canada. The location of the grave was about one mile South East of Langemark. From information available it is thought that the remains are those of Major Norsworthy and the body has been re-buried in Tyne Cot British Cemetery, Plot 59, Row "B", Grave 24.

      The removal and re-burial were carried out with every measure of care and reverence, special arrangements having been made for an appropriate religious service, and enclosed herewith is a report which contains all the available information relative to the new grave.

      The temporary wooden memorial at present erected will at some future date be replaced by a permanent stone monument, and enclosed herewith for your information is literature in this connection.

      "When Edward was killed in 1915, J. C. commissioned a bronze bust of Edward and had it placed atop the family monument where Mary Jane had been laid to rest. 'Major Norsworthy sacrified all - suffered all - dared all - and died.' reads part of the inscription. The bust's handsome face looks through coloured branches, over the river and across town toward the Norsworthy home, the roof peaks of which will be visible once the leaves have dropped. Having died so far away, perhaps it comforted J. C. to have his son looking homeward. Some believe Edward is supposed to be watching over the homestead; maybe guarding the mysterious hiding place of a strong box the 90 year old J. C. was supposed to have left behind after his death in 1936." (Roberts)
    Person ID I4296  Nosworthy
    Last Modified 2 Mar 2021 

    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, West Oxford Township, Oxford, 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  [11
    • 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.] [9, 10, 11]
    Address 250, King St East, Ingersoll, Oxford, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 12
    • 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.
    'Norleigh', home of J.C. Norsworthy
    "Norleigh", home of J.C. Norsworthy
    Photo originally belonged to Nellie Ruth Herman, nee Counter.
    Counter family visiting J.C. Norsworthy
    Counter family visiting J.C. Norsworthy
    Top L to R: Charles Walton Counter; (presumably) his wife, Jessie; J. C. Norsworthy; lower L to R: John Scott Counter; (presumably) his sister Nellie Ruth.
    Photo originally belonged to Nellie Ruth Herman, nee Counter.
    250 King St. East, Ingersol, Ontario in 2008
    250 King St. East, Ingersol, Ontario in 2008
    Family ID F1197  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    Norsworthy boys
    Norsworthy boys
    Believed to be (L-R) Edward, Alfred, John and Stanley; sons of James Counter Norsworthy and Mary Jane Cuthbert
    Norsworthy sons
    Norsworthy sons
    Blackwatch Regiment 1914-1918. L-R: Edward, Weldon, Alfred, and Stanley.
    Edward Norsworthy
    Edward Norsworthy
    Major Edward Cuthbert Norsworthy
    Major Edward Cuthbert Norsworthy
    This painting, commissioned by his father, hangs in the entrance to the Officer's Mess at the Black Watch Regiment in Montreal.
    Plaque for Edward C. Norsworthy at Ingersoll Cemetery
    Plaque for Edward C. Norsworthy at Ingersoll Cemetery
    13th Battalion Royal Highlanders
    3rd Brigade Canadian Expeditionary Force
    Born in Ingersoll 29th May 1879
    Killed in action at Langemarck 22nd April 1915
    Mentioned in Despatches
    by Field Marshall Sir John French
    for gallant and distinguished
    service in the field

    Not for fame or reward - not for place or rank
    not lured by ambition - goaded by necessity
    but in simple obedience to duty
    as he understood it
    Major Norsworthy sacrificed all - suffered all
    dared all - and died.

    "Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori".

    Remembrance Book: Peace Tower, Ottawa
    Remembrance Book: Peace Tower, Ottawa
    Commemoration of Major Edward Cuthbert Norsworthy in the Remembrance Book for 1915.


    In Memory of
    Mentioned in Despatches
    13th Bn., Canadian Infantry (Quebec Regiment)
    who died age 35
    on 22 April 1915
    Son of James C. and Mary Norsworthy, of Ingersoll, Ontario.
    Remembered with honour

    The bust of EDWARD CUTHBERT NORSWORTHY sits on top of the Norsworthy monument, and faces his home, Norleigh. It was commissioned after his death by his father, James C. Norsworthy.

  • Sources 
    1. [S217] Newspaper.

    2. [S1079] Census of Canada, 1891.

    3. [S216] Cemetery Transcripts.

    4. [S209] Photograph.

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

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

    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. [S470] Magazine.

    9. [S162] Website.

    10. [S317] Ontario Archives.

    11. [S109] Civil Marriage Registration.

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