Richard Ernest William Turner

Richard Ernest William Turner

Richard Ernest William Turner (1871-1961) belonged to a business family in Quebec City. He had been awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on November 7, 1900, in the Battle of Leliefontein during the Boer War. He was 43 years old when he enlisted to fight in the First World War, in September 1914. Soon after the start of the war, Turner was promoted to brigadier-general. He was given command of the 3rd Brigade, which first saw action in France in February 1915. Although Turner's personal bravery was unquestionable, by the end of 1916 he was deemed to be unsuited for higher command of troops in battle. He was then given administrative and staff responsibilities that he fulfilled for the rest of the war. He was promoted to lieutenant-general and knighted in 1917.  During his service, Turner received military honours from France, Great Britain and Russia, and was mentioned in dispatches of The London Gazette numerous times. He returned to Quebec City after the war, and died there on June 19, 1961, at the age of 89.

Service Record Details

Attestation Paper 1

Date of Birth: July 25, 1871

Date of Attestation: September 22, 1914 (Valcartier, Quebec)

Age at Enlistment: 43 years, 1 month

Height: 5 feet, 9 1/2 inches

Weight: 160 pounds

Description: Fair complexion, blue eyes, fair and straight hair. Church of England. Scar on right side of neck. Scar over left scapula. Scars over occiput.

Home Address: 26 Saint Ursule Street, Quebec [City], Canada

Trade: Wholesale merchant

Married: Yes

Details of Family: Wife, Harriet Augusta Turner, living at 26 Saint Ursule Street, Quebec [City], Canada.

Next of Kin: Harriet Augusta Gooday Turner (Wife)

Branch of Service: Canadian Expeditionary Force

Theatre of War: England, France


Attestation Paper 2
  • December 30, 1914 – Turner breaks his collarbone in an accident in London, England, on December 23, 1914. (Page 25)
  • July 24, 1919 – It is noted on a medical history form that he has scars on his neck and left shoulder from gunshot wounds received during the Boer War. (Page 17)

Interesting Details from the Service Record

  • July 24, 1919 – He has defective vision, or “partial loss of function of eye.” He has had the defect since childhood and it has not been aggravated by his wartime service. (Page 16)
  • June 18, 1915 – A note indicates that on May 31, 1915, he was “Recommended for Gallant and Distinguished Service in the Field.” (Page 11)
  • September 15, 1915 – He lands in France. (Page 12)
  • February 12, 1918 – A note indicates that his name was “brought to the notice of the Secretary of State for War by Army Council for very valuable services rendered in connection with the War up to 31-12-17.” (LG 30521) (Page 6)
  • April 17, 1920 – He is struck off strength due to general demobilization on November 22, 1919. (Page 4)

The London Gazette

No records found

Military Medals Honours and Awards

Census Records

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