The kid I never met

I met the kid on the left, but not the one on the right.

Allan Todd History 007

Allan Todd had his picture taken with Neil Hammond. It did not take long to find him on the CVWM Website. He was the only Hammond who died in 1943.

Allan Todd History 004

Leading Aircraftman
Richard Neiland Hammond
Royal Canadian Air Force
22nd September 1943, aged 20
Beechwood Cemetery
Ottawa, Ontario

Richard Neiland Hammond was born August 8, 1923, on the family dairy farm in Ironside, a village in West Hull that was then four miles north of Hull’s city limits. His parents were Watson and Jane (Barber) Hammond. Neiland, as his family called him, attended the local elementary school and then Hull Intermediate for high school. When he was a child both parents died- his mother in 1930 and father 1935. The farm was then managed by two uncles, who hired housekeepers so that Neiland, his sister and two brothers could stay on the family property.

A short time after finishing high school, Neiland started work at the Electric Reduction Plant in Buckingham, Quebec, but gave up this job to enlist in the RCAF in 1942. He went to Belleville Training School, and then on to elementary flying at Pendleton, Ontario (east of Ottawa). After his graduation from Pendleton, he came back to Uplands (Ottawa) for his service flying training. Here he had to learn to fly the Harvard, a powerful, heavy, single-engine aircraft. On the night of September 22,1943, he was assigned to practice night take-off and landing at a relief field near Carp, Ontario, the present site of Carp Airport. During take-off something went wrong, and he crashed into nearby bush. The authorities listed the cause as “obscure.”

Left to mourn were his girlfriend Frances Copping, his sister Jean and brother-in-law William Brisenden, brother James and sister-in-law Mabel (who still live in Chelsea), and brother Felton. Jim Hammond recalls that the news of Neiland’s death was delivered to him on the family farm at Ironside on the night that his wife Mabel was in labour for the birth of their first child, Barbara.

Neiland was doing well on the course and would have graduated in a few weeks. He is buried in Beechwood Cemetery’s Veterans Section.




4 thoughts on “The kid I never met

  1. About the kid I never met and the person who wrote his epitaphe…

    Good morning Pierre…

    Thank you so much for sharing the wonderful photo. You never know where old photos will turn up. The author of that article, Allan Richens, has unfortunately recently passed away. I know him as quite a dedicated researcher so I am sure he would have tried hard to find a photo of Richard Hammond before publishing the article and would be so delighted that one turned up. I know the Historical Society is right now working on their November talk on W.W.I vets and highlighting a few of the local families who sacrificed. After following different branches of each family we did find of the photo of the veterans to give a more personal note.

    We do keep an “Image Bank” containing thousands of photos of the places and faces that were part of the Gatineau Valley history… may I have your permission to add it to that collection – of course giving your name as the contact name should someone want to use it or need more details?

    Thanks again for sharing.


  2. I will remember him now. Smitty told me of the many who died developing the gliders at Camp MacKall during their paratrooper training – and they should ALL be remembered!!

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