1. Grave:Tyne Cot Cemetery59.B.24
2. Book:The (1921) Masonic Roll of Honour 1914-1918Pg.131
3. Memorial:The (1940) Scroll - WW1 Roll of Honour8C GQS

Awards & Titles:

Mentioned in Despatches

Family :

Son of James C. and Mary Norsworthy, of Ingersoll, Ontario.

Service Life:


Unit / Ship / Est.: 13/Canadian Infantry (Quebec Regiment) 

Action : The Battles of Ypres 1915 (Second Ypres) 

22 April - 25 May 1915. On the 22nd April 1915 the Germans used poison gas at Ypres. This was the first 'official' use of gas and took the Allies by surprise. After initial success capitalising on the confusion and horror of this weapon, a heroic stand, initially by the Canadians and then supported by British and Indian Battalions, held the German advance. However it became clear that the Germans had achieved a tactical advantage and eventually the British were forced to retire to more a more defendable perimeter closer to Ypres. These positions were on the last ridges before Ypres and their loss would have resulted in the loss of the town and possibly open the Channel coast to German occupation with disastrous consequences for the re-supply of the BEF.

Detail :

A biography appears in De Ruvigny's work - Volume I, where his portrait image can also be found : "NORSWORTHY, EDWARD CUTHBERT, Major 13th Battn. (Royal Highlanders of Canada, 3rd Brigade, Canadian Expeditionary Force, eldest s. of James Counter Norsworthy, of Ingersoll, P. Ontario, Canada, by his wife, Mary Jane, eldest dau. of Alexander Cuthbert, of Ingersoll, and gdson. of John Norsworthy, of the Parish of Widdicombe, co. Devon, England (who went to Canada in 1852); b. Ingersoll afsd. 29 May 1879; killed in Action at the Battle of Langemarck on 22 May, 1915; educ. Ingersoll and St. Thomas' Public Schools, from which he passed to the Upper Canada College, and thence matriculated to McGill University, at which time he won the Governor-General's gold medal for mathematics. He subsequently became registered as a Student of the Institute of Actuaries of Great Britain along with his younger brother Stanley. At the examination held that year, there were thirty-six candidates writing in the Dominion; of this number five were successful, including Major Norsworthy and his brother. In his student days he had been connected with the Cadet Corps at St. Thomas' Collegiate Institute, and the Upper Canada College Rifle Corps. Deciding to adopt a career in the financial world, he obtained a position with Messrs. G.A. Stimson & Co., of Toronto, and in 1901 he opend an office in Montreal as Manager for the Dominion Securities Corporation. He joined the 5th Royal Highlanders as a subaltern, shortly after his arrival there, and after passing his examination at St. John's (Quebec) Military School, he became Capt. in 1905, and Adjutant three years later, and Major in 1909. On the outbreak of war, Major Norsworthy volunteered his services, and helped to organise the 13th Battn. for active service, and accompanied it to Europe as Senior Major and Second in Command. While in England he was offered an appointment with Sir Max Aitken, the Canadian "Eye Witness," but preferred to remain with his regt.; unm...."

On 22nd April 1915 the Germans released chlorine gas against French troops defending the North sector at Ypres and following the collapse of the neighbouring French forces the Canadians were required to plug the ever widening gap. The Canadian Division held a line, 4250 yards in length, extending in a north-westerly direction from, the Ypres-Roulers Railway to a point some fifty yards beyond the Ypres-Poelcappelle Road. The extreme left of this line was held by the 13th Battalion. Beyond the 13th to the left were French coloured troops (Turcos), while on the right flank was a battalion of their own brigade, the 15th (48th Highlanders) from Toronto. Two platoons of No. 1 Coy were at Battalion Headquarters in St. Julien commanded by Major E. C. Norsworthy. Having broken through the French lines on a wide front, the Germans had swung in towards the Canadian flank and were making some progress in the general direction of St. Julien. This brought the enemy into contact with Major Norsworthy and two platoons of No. 3 Company in support, or rather the remnant of these platoons, which had suffered severely in the opening bombardment. Inspired by the gallant leadership of Major Norsworthy and Capt. Guy Drummond, the men of the supporting platoons fought a dauntless fight. Every moment was precious and no one can estimate the value of the time that was gained by the delay this devoted effort caused to the Germans. But even sublime courage can not withstand fire and steel. Overwhelmed at last, Norsworthy and Drummond fell and such of their men as had not been killed were, with a few exceptions, surrounded and captured. Amongst the exceptions were Private Telfer and five other men who made their way through to the front and reported to McCuaig the disaster that had befallen his supports. A report offered more details: 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. His father, J. C. Norsworthy received a letter written on 10th February 1922 from the Adjutant-General, Canadian Militia in Ottawa: "Sir: 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."

Masonic :

TypeLodge Name and No.Province/District :
Mother : Saint Paul's No. 374 E.C.Montreal & Halifax

8th November 1910
8th November 1910
8th November 1910

Entered the English Constitution from a foreign constitution, possibly Quebec?

Source :

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Additional Source:

Last Updated: 2020-12-20 15:28:59