Irving Lionel Vince

Lest we forget
Above: Brookwood Cemetery

Rank, Unit, Division
Gunner, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, C Battery

Royal Canadian Artillery Emblem

Service Personnel Information

  • Name: Irving Lionel Vince
  • Service Regimental Number: P9908
  • Rank: Gunner
  • Height/weight: 5 feet, 11 inches tall, 153 pounds
  • Colour of eyes: Grey
  • Marital status: Married
  • Religion: Roman Catholic
  • Address: 301 Bonner Avenue, North Kildonan
  • Next of Kin (and relationship): Edith Marjorie Vince (Wife)
  • Date of enlistment: September 1st, 1939
  • City and province of enlistment: North Kildonan, Manitoba


Irving was a student at St. Paul’s College. He completed his grade nine education, and was now at St. Paul’s College, continuing his education (Education Qualifications 6). Before we can talk about his education, one must first understand the history of St. Paul’s College. St. Paul’s College was founded in 1926 by a staff of six and around one hundred students (St. Paul’s College History A1). Now, Irving himself probably attended the College in and around 1938 or 1939, as this was the time of his enlistment (Attestation Paper 5). It is not known what he was studying, but as listed in the attestation paper, he described his trade as a soldier and a student (5). It is not clear what Irving was taking in school, but it is clear that he was very dedicated and willing to learn because he was listed as a student for his occupation.

Irving Vince had a wife and two children. His wife was Edith Marjorie Vince. They had a son and a daughter. The daughter, Norma Jean Vince, and her younger brother Irving Wayne Vince, were all living in North Kildonan Manitoba on Bonner street. (Particulars of Family 12). Bonner street now is considered in the neighbourhood of North Kildonan, but this is now a section of Winnipeg. Back in the time of him living there, North Kildonan was a suburb of Winnipeg, and probably an upscale area to live. This leads one to thing, but now know for sure, that he came from a life of money.

Irving Vince was enlisted into the Royal Canadian Artillery first Field Regiment. This regiment was a horse regiment. The R.C.A 1st Field Regiment was initially founded in 1871 with the A and C batteries (Canadian National Defence A1). This means that there were two initial branches of the regiment that people could join and fight in. Irving himself fought in the C battery. His specific battery was founded in 1899 for the purpose of having more soldiers to fight, while not overcrowding the other two batteries (Canadian National Defence A1). This C battery was located in Aldershot, England at the time of him being there, and also at the time of his death (Particulars of Family 14). The specific base he died at was the Leipzic Barracks (Proceedings of Court Inquiry 22). This means that the place that he died was used as a barracks, or place where the soldiers were living before going into the war. Irving Lionel Vince was only there for four months and two days before dying tragically at the Leipzic Barracks (Official Registration of Death 27).

Irving Vince was a gunner in the first world war (Attestation Paper 6). In this part of the war, this meant that he would have rode on a horse with a gun, going into battle. According to his regiment, as spoken about previously, his C battery in the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery was a relatively small unit, therefore Irving did not see any part in battle. Also, the fact that he was not overseas for a long period of time attributed to his lack of combat (Official Registration of Death 27). Just because he did not receive any field experience, does not mean that he does not receive the recognition of a man who died for his country.

Irving died on April 10th, 1940 in Aldershot, England at the age of only twenty five (Official Registration of Death 27). However the cause of his death is very well known. Irving died at 1500 hours, due to a motorcycle accident he was involved in. He suffered from four main injuries. Irving suffered a fracture of the skull, brain hemorrhaging, a fractured cervical vertebrae, and a fractured right leg (Report of Deaths 26). It also is well known how the accident occurred. According to an eyewitness Potteruff of the R.C.H.A, Irving was driving his motorcycle down a road that had recently been slightly washed out due to rain, and a supply truck was headed in the opposite direction, when the two collided, resulting in Irving being thrown from the motorcycle (Proceedings of Court of Inquiry 22). All of this incident was seen vividly by private Pottruff. With all of this being known, it is fair to say that Irving suffered a brutal, undeserved and accidental death.

Around the time of Irving’s death, the German’s were beginning to invade Norway and Denmark. Denmark has surrendered on the day of the attack, and Norway held out as long as June ninth (Holocaust Timeline A1). This means that Irving could have been preparing to be stationed into Norway in order to prevent them from being conquered. Irving being apart of the horse artillery at the time of his activity in the war means that horses were used quite frequently. Also, his arrival and the new development of this battle, and the proximity to where he was at the time makes it fairly plausible that he could have possibly been preparing to fight in that battle.

Back in Winnipeg at the time of Irving’s death, the main way that people found out about what was happening overseas was through the newspaper. One newspaper in particular, the Winnipeg Tribune, had a lot of coverage on the war, as well as other things. About the war, the Winnipeg Tribune was covering the fact that the German’s were preparing to invade Norway and Denmark. With this being spoken about, people understood where the soldiers were heading overseas (Manitobia A1). With regards to Irving Vince, there was no specific coverage about his death overseas. This was probably because he died not in battle, but back at the base in a motorcycle accident (Particulars of Family 14). According to Manitobia, the main happening on the day of Irving’s death was the National Hockey League playoffs between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens and how the Maple Leafs had just won the second game of the series to even up the series to one game apiece (28). This shows that not all the occurrences at home was about the war. People were still trying to keep their lives the same through entertainment. The war did not put their lives on hold.

Irving’s family was sent the official death records shortly after his death occurred. These papers gave the information about how he died, where he died, where he was buried, and other legal documents. Irving received the war medal, which was an award that was given to anybody who died overseas (Awards 10). There is not much else to be known about his family after Irving’s death. One would hope that his wife, his children, his parents and all the people he knew and loved were proud of what he did for his country.

Military Service Record

  • Age (at death): 25 years, 9 months, 4 days
  • Force: Army
  • Unit: R.C.H.A "C" Battery
  • Service Number: P9908
  • Honours and Awards: Memorial Cross
  • Photograph: None available
  • Next of Kin (and relationship): Edith Marjorie Vince (Wife)
  • Date of Death: April 10th, 1940
  • Country of Burial: Surrey, England
  • Cemetery: Brookwood
  • Grave Reference: Plot 3, Row C, Grave 13
  • Location: Brookwood Cemetery, Surrey, England
  • Book of Remembrance: Second World War - 1940. Thomson, Matthew-Wynne, William Charles. Page 19

Grave Reference

  • Name of Cemetery: Brookwood
  • Grave Reference: Plot 3, Row C, Grave 13
  • Book of Remembrance
  • Plot Thirteen - Near bottom right corner of picture, is where Irving is buried.

Additional information/links

301 Bonner Avenue - Today

  • Irving Vince died in a motorcycle accident at the camp.

    • Compound fracture of the right temple, brain haemorrhage, fractured leg, fractured cervical vertebrae.



"The Winnipeg Evening Tribune." Manitobia. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2012.


"World War II." Nation Defence and the Canadian Forces. Government of Canada, 15
Mar. 2012. Web. 29 Apr. 2012. <http:///

"St. Paul's College History." University of Manitoba. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr.
2012. <>.

"Holocaust Timeline." United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. N.p., n.d. Web. 6
Jan. 2011. <

Military service files of Gunner Irving Lionel Vince obtained from Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa, Ontario.

Archival Reference

external image ww2019.jpg

Military service files of Gunner Irving Lionel Vince obtained from Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa, Ontario.

Internet Sites


example from LAC