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John Haworth Drewry

John Howarth Drewry John Haworth Drewry, ca 1917. BC Archives 93-6553

John Haworth Drewry (“Jack”), was the only child of William and Claire Drewry. He attended University School in Victoria, and then entered the University of British Columbia for a civil engineering degree. In 1917 he was recruited for the Royal Flying Corps, and was one of the first Canadians to fly in the First World War with the British Royal Air Force.

In his letters home, Drewry describes his flying training at Camp Borden in Ontario (and one or two crash landings), and his aerial work in France. Although he loved flying, the dogfights were hard on him. He writes “I was never made to be a killer and my heart isn’t in it as it is with a great many of the chaps. Of course with us it is either kill or be killed so one chooses the lesser of two evils.”

Discharged in 1919 he returned to Canada and resumed his education at McGill University, graduating in 1921. Drewry volunteered again in 1940 for the Royal Canadian Air Force, but because of his age, was not an active combatant.



Find these records in the BC Archives

MS-3140 J.H. Drewry, Box 4, Files 1, 2 and 3, 1917-1919

Letters from John Haworth Drewry to his parents.