Honouring the Irish

Hibernia Street is one of the early Canada Company street names which appeared on the 1848 map. It was probably named by Canada Company officials in honor of the homeland of Irish settlers. Hibernia is the ancient Latin geographical name for Ireland, which was used by Greek and Roman writers. See YouTube video Hibernia to learn the history.

In the 1830s, agents of the Canada Company were actively promoting the settlement of their land in the Huron Tract. Great Britain was a prime area for the distribution of Canada Company books and pamphlets, and the attributes of the Huron Tract were publicized on a scale unmatched by any other land development company.

Agencies were set up to provide information in both the north and south of Ireland, and among the books distributed was Dr. William (Tiger) Dunlop's Statistical Sketches of Upper Canada, published in 1832. 

Poster advertising land for sale in the Huron Tract, 1832.  Click on image to read a larger print.

Click above to read

There were also three pamphlets published by John J. E. Linton (see Linton Avenue) of Stratford in the 1840s, titled Settlers' Statements and Letters from Settlers. (see PDF The Life of a Backwoodsman). The company also published thousands of copies of glowing letters which had been sent home by settlers living in this area. The Irish formed a major group among the settlers of the Huron Tract, arriving from Belfast, Dublin, Cork and all the areas between.

In the 1830s and 1840s, Irish emigration was hastened by a series of potato famines which drove thousands away from their homeland. The man who erected Stratford's first permanent building, in 1832, was an Irishman from County Tipperary. Believed to be Stratford’s first settler, William Sargint (see Sargint Street) built the first inn. That name lives on today in honour of the many Irish settlers who were pioneers on the Huron Tract and helped to build Stratford. By Stanford Dingman

220 Hibernia St.

Bea Arthur and Gene Saks

Iris Bannerman

Sharman house history

This Victorian Italianate heritage house, at 220 Hibernia St., was built by Joseph Sharman in 1875 as a farmhouse for a 75-acre farm. Joseph was the son of Stratford's first blacksmith, John Sharman, 1806-1883 (see Sharman Street). It was designed by architect Alexander Hepburn (see Ontario Street), who also designed Stratford's landmark Huron Street bridge. 

Construction cost of the house was $4,000. Over the years the house has had many owners, including a grandson of the architect, William Hepburn (1844-1917), who was the mayor of Stratford in 19804 and 1904. 

The house was designated a heritage building in 1984. It was featured in the Warner Brothers’ movie One Foot in Heaven, which was nominated for best picture in 1941. The house also graced the cover of Country Home magazine in 1986. It was converted to a bed and breakfast destination in April 2008, and since the spring of 2017 has been owned by Debra and George Mackie. Source: Hughson Hall 

It was in the early 1950s, when Harry and Phyllis Watson owned the house, that it established an ever-growing tie with the Shakespearean festival. 

Tom Patterson was one of the festival’s founders and Donald and Florence Patterson took over the house in 1966 returning the home into the Patterson family. Donald was Tom Patterson’s brother 

A young Christopher Plummer (see Christopher Plummer Street) rented the downstairs apartment, which is now the formal dining room. At the same time, acclaimed actor and director Gene Saks rented what is now the parlour. Saks  was the first husband of actor Bea Arthur. He also shared a long-term professional relationship with Neil Simon. Saks' screen credits include Cactus Flower, Barefoot in the Park, The Last of the Red Hot Lovers, The Odd Couple, and Mame. He also directed Christopher Plummer in Barrymore at the Elgin Theatre.  

Rev. Eugene Bannerman and his wife Iris bought the house in 1984. As well being an actor, she performed with the Festival and later became the voice coach for the company. She is also purported to have worked as a body double for Elizabeth Taylor (see pic). She earned a doctorate from the University of Toronto in 1995 and became director of the acting program at the Ryerson Theatre School, and wrote the highly acclaimed curriculum for the four-year bachelor of fine arts degree. 

In 2008, Ross Hodgson and Clinton Hughes bought the house and moved to Stratford from Calgary to start a new life. Ross had a long history in the arts, including teaching drama and musical theatre at the performing arts school in Calgary. Clinton is an interior designer by trade but also has a theatrical background, having toured internationally as a professional figure skater and studying dance at the University of Calgary. 

Debra and George Mackie moved here from Roseville, a small village near Ayr and New Dundee, where they had lived for 27 years and raised three sons. Debra is a landscape designer who has had her own business for more than 24 years, and also maintained large estate properties. George was a human resources, labour relations manager for more than over 40 years. He retired a few months after moving to Hughson Hall. Thanks to  Debra and George for this.

Cora B. Ahrens   Photo: Gord Conroy

Cora B. Ahrens, pianist, author and teacher

Cora B. Ahrens, a teacher, lecturer, author of music books and pianist, was born in Stratford in 1891. She played in a trio with Leon Vera and Avram Pratz  which accompanied silent movies at Stratford's Theatre Albert (see Downie Street). During the 1930s she was one of the first itinerant rural school music teachers and taught throughout Perth County. She was also an innovator who, and to nurture and  encourage music in the schools across the county, introduced rhythm bands. She had several music theory and harmony books published. In 1926, she was a co-founder with William B. Rothwell and Margaret Stevenson Grant of the Perth County Music Teachers' Federation. 

She lectured in pedagogy at the University of Western Ontario, the University of Toronto, and McGill University, conducted summer workshops in piano pedagogy in most major Canadian cities, and taught privately in Stratford. Her pupils included Campbell Trowsdale (see William Street), Audrey Conroy (see Water Street), James Reaney, (see Caledonia Street), Paul Helmer (see Water Street), Barbara Collier (see Murray Hill Road)  and Irene (Jocelyn) Bird (see Strachan Street). She lived at 94 Hibernia St. She died in Stratford on Aug. 26, 1964.  Source: Canadian Encyclopedia

Cora Ahrens' father, Dr. Alfred Emmanuel Ahrens (1851-1929), was a noted dentist for many years with offices in the Gordon Block (see Downie Street) and Market Square. Her mother, Isabella (Day) Ahrens (1863-1937), originally from New York City, married Alfred in 1886. She was a talented pianist and keenly interested in the development of music in Stratford. She was for many years the organist of several city churches. She was also a charter member of the Perth County Music Teachers Federation and Cora B. donated a trophy to the Stratford Kiwanis Music Festival in memory of her mother. Source: Gordon Conroy and Find a Grave Waterloo, Ont.

During her career as mentor and teacher, Miss Ahrens gathered young musicians from around Stratford and created rhythm bands. This photo of such a band appeared in a May 1931 edition of the Beacon-Herald.  

Cora Ahrens lived at 94 Hibernia St., as did actor Irene Worth, in 1953 (see below).

* Cora B. was honoured with a Stratford Bronze Star  on July 1, 2016,. It was placed near the city hall.

Front row, from left: Palmer Stalley, Ruth Burston, Josephine Penner, Grace (Capling) Walkom, Helen (Tough) Cremin, Marjorie (Tough) Millar, Jean (Stewart) Hall. Middle row, from left: Duncan Stewart, Elizabeth (Dempsey) Dillon, Elizabeth (McTavish) Polley, Audrey (Whiteside) Conroy, the group's pianist; Irene (Jocelyn) Bird, conductor; Charlie Corke, George Whiteside, Jack Whiteside. Back row, from left: Gordon Jocelyn, Marie (Kalbfleisch) Wittig, Marion Smith, Constance Dickens, Jean (Dempsey) Graff, Dalton Walpole.

Photo from Brian Wendy Reis . . . FB

Irene Worth in All's Well That Ends Well, 1953

94 Hibernia St.

Irene Worth, actor

Irene Worth was a leading member of the Stratford Festival's first acting company in 1953, when she appeared as Helena in All's Well That Ends Well (see Cast) and Queen Margaret in Richard III (see Cast).  

She returned to Stratford in 1959 and played Rosalind in As You Like It, directed by Peter Wood; and again in 1970, when she played the title role in Hedda Gabler, directed by Peter Gill. She also returned for three one-woman shows: Letters of Love and Affection (1982, 1983), Venus and Adonis (1983), and Ulysses and Mrs. Dalloway  (1983).

She worked with masters of 20th-century theatre: Ralph Richardson, Laurence Olivier, Alec Guinness and Noel Coward.

Her occasional appearances in films included recreating her Tony performance for the film, Lost in Yonkers (1993), Orders to Kill (1958), for which she won the British Academy Award for best actress, The Scapegoat (1959), Nicholas and Alexandra (1971), Eyewitness (1981) and Deathtrap (1982).

In 1975, she was made an honorary Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Source: Wikipedia

Irene Worth stayed in Miss Ahrens’ apartment at 94 Hibernia St. in 1953 when Miss Ahrens was in London at the University of Western Ontario, writing a book.  Source: Nora Polley

Addendum: In the 1953 NFB film, The Stratford Adventure,  which can be found on the Stratford Festival website, or online  The Stratford Adventure - Bing video , you can see a bicycle being delivered to Ms Worth at 94 Hibernia Street that summer courtesy of Tom Patterson and the Stratford Festival. Many actors rode bicycles to rehearsals and around town. Mable Ellison who worked for Miss Ahrens, also aided Ms Worth that ssummer, and can be seen in her uniform enjoying the moment when the bicycle arrives.  Source: Gord Conroy. 

Lloyd Dark in 1984 with the Rolleiflex camera which he used for much of his 42-year career. Photo by Robin Wilhelm

Lloyd Dark, Beacon Herald photographer

Lloyd Dark recorded the face of Stratford for The Beacon Herald from 1942 to 1984, when he retired. He lived at 148 Hibernia St. 

Dark captured memories such as the homecoming of the Perth Regiment in 1946 after the Second World War, aided by a huge crowd and hindered by a frozen camera on a cold January day. He photographed the Royal Family, including Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip and Princess Margaret. He took photos of several prime ministers, among them Louis St. Laurent, John Diefenbaker, Lester Pearson, Pierre Trudeau and Joe Clark, and theatre legends from Tyrone Guthrie and Alec Guiness to Jason Robards.

But he did not photograph just the famous and well known. He "shot"happenings in Stratford that were big and small, places bad and beautiful, the Avon River and Queens Park in all seasons, children and families and pets. He was there when cheques were presented and winners announced and trophies awarded. When races started and games ended, when fires raged and streets flooded. Some assignments were annual or seasonal events, some once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, others a matter of luck. He shied away from none of them, and over the course of four-plus decades earned the respect and admiration of many of his subjects.

Many will remember the entrance to the Stratford Beacon Herald at 108 Ontario St., and the climb up the wooden creaky steps to the photography studio, where Lloyd would make young or nervous subjects feel at home and work his magic. Like good photographers everywhere, he didn't take pictures, he made pictures, almost all of them with black and white film. Some with the help of a tripod, some with lights, some with a backdrop. All of them with a smile or a quip that could put everyone at ease.

When Chuck Dingman arrived at the paper in 1960, it seemed as if Dark had been at his post forever, he recalls. “He was the face of The Beacon Herald and a very well-respected representative of the newspaper. He was a pleasant photographer, and always did what was asked of him.”

Robin Wilhelm, who took over the chief photographer’s post when Dark retired, said he enjoyed working with the laidback personality for six years. "He was a real easy-going guy.” And according to Wilhelm, Dark’s enthusiasm for the job never waned. Wilhelm learned a thing or two about the Dark’s unique style as a photographer early on in his own career. “He was sort of the last of the old-school photographers. His whole career he used four-by-five and two-and-a-quarter film format cameras. I only saw him use a 35-millimetre camera once; he frowned upon it as not good enough quality.”

108 Ontario St. in the 1970s. Photo Beacon Herald

Lloyd A. Dark was born on Feb. 20, 1919, and enjoyed his illustrious career and retirement in Stratford. He died in Stratford on July 12, 2004, at age 85. In 1946 he married Winnifred Croxall (1920-2001).

In addition to taking thousands of photos of everyone and everything over his 40-plus years career, he may also have saved The Beacon Herald from burning down in the 1950s. The story is re-told this way in The Beacon Herald Celebrating 150 Years in December 2005. “A darkroom explosion set off by the accumulation of fumes caused by the photo engraving process resulted in a small fire. Mr. Dark contained it by closing it off in a room, but he was badly burned and missed work for six weeks.” 

In 1965, while in the middle of his photography career, Dark was one of the original founders of the Wildwood Lake Sailing Club. Wildwood Lake was created by the building of the Wildwood Dam in 1965, and is part of the 3,200-acre playground operated by the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority. The dam was the first major flood control structure in the Upper Thames River watershed. The sailing club, officially founded on March 22, 1967, leased five-and-a-half acres from the UTRCA on the south shore of the lake. 

In 1992, after his retirement, this hard-working man and avid gardener, who was always a cool customer under pressure, continued to enjoy sailing at Wildwood. The pavilion that had been built in 1976 was officially named the Lloyd and Winnie Dark Pavilion in recognition of their longtime service to the club. Much of the club's beginnings and early history have been preserved in Lloyd's photographs.

And it was because of Lloyd Dark that the life of Stratford was recorder so well visually for 40-plus years in the 20th century. As Robin Wilhelm put it, "Lloyd Dark could see a photograph a mile away.”

Sources: Paul Cluff Beacon Herald Article, 2004, and The Beacon Herald celebrating 150 Years 1855-2005. Complled by Gord Conroy

Out of the blue on a warm summer's day . . .

One of Lloyd Dark’s most famous photographs, taken during the 1960s, captured a humorous moment with police Const. Ed Butterworth and two children at the edge of a downtown fountain. Lloyd was stopped for a red light when he spotted the activity. He hurried to the fountain's edge and got the shot. Stratford-Perth Archives

Residence: 194 Hibernia St. in  1923

Robert Moderwell

Robert Andrew Moderwell was born in Stratford on Dec. 21, 1892, the youngest child of Andrew Moderwell, who worked for the post office, and Jessie Catherine Easson.

Robert had the good fortune of being born into two of the oldest families in Stratford. His grandfather and namesake, Robert, was appointed the first sheriff of Perth County, in 1855, and served in that capacity for well over a decade. Sheriff Moderwell has a street named after him in Stratford (see Moderwell Street).

Robert Andrew’s mother, Jessie Catherine Easson, was the daughter of William (Boss) Easson (see Easson Street) from Perthshire, Scotland. He built the biggest sawmill in Stratford. 

During Canada’s Centennial year, 1967, the Beacon Herald featured a series of interviews with Stratford’s older residents, who recall about what it was like to grow up in the town around the turn of the 20th century. Robert, or Bob as he was known, reminisced about his childhood, including catching frogs from a tributary of the Avon River every Saturday morning. The Commercial Hotel featured frogs' legs as a special on its Saturday night menu. He remembered skating on Lake Victoria every winter, and the concerts and regattas on the lake in summer, and playing under the newly installed street lights every evening until his father called him in by ringing a school bell. 

Robert and his wife Mary Hughine (Clarke) lived at 198 Hibernia St., but when the lot was subdivided they purchased the east half and in 1923 built the house at 194 Hibernia. They lived there until the mid-1930s. Robert was an insurance agent for Mutual Life for most of the time they lived in that house. He died in 1968, Mary in 1987.  Source: Historical Plaque Property

Former Stratford mayor, Keith Culliton, outside Stratford city hall. 2014. Photo submitted to Beacon Herald 

Keith Culliton, 50 years of community service

Keith Culliton grew up on a farm in North Easthope Township, and moved to Stratford in 1947, where he  began his career in the plumbing and sheet-metal business with R. T. McBride Ltd.

In 1964, Keith and his brother George bought the business and renamed it Culliton Brothers Ltd. Now run by Tim Culliton, Keith's son, the company has transformed into Culliton Mechanical, Electrical and HVAC.

Tim Culliton began working for his father in 1991 and took over the business between 1998 and 2003. “In business, what I learned from him is that he loved to win, but he was not a win-at-all-costs kind of guy. My dad was fair, and he put great effort into everything that he did, but he also wasn’t afraid of failure. My dad was a very optimistic person. He always believed in the best in other people, and he was really good at helping people achieve their potential. He didn’t limit you.” 

Throughout his more than 50 years of public service, Keith served as city councillor, Catholic school board trustee and chairman, public utilities commissioner, president of the Stratford Rotary Club, and twice the mayor of Stratford (1972-1974) and (1976-1978). They were among the many roles and duties he took on during his life in the city.

As a business owner and a politician, Keith Culliton was a supporter of minor sports in the city. As most Stratford residents know, he and his brother George were responsible in 1975 for initiating their longtime sponsorship of Stratford’s junior B hockey team.

Keith built his family home on Hibernia Street, where he and his wife, Fran (Graf), raised their seven children. His family, his family business, his community service, and his leadership as a businessman all  were important to Keith Culliton, who died in 2018 at age 91.

Colleen Misener, a 15-year councillor who served with Keith Culliton during his terms as mayor and long after, said his leadership often helped guide her and her colleagues through the tricky-to-navigate situations every municipal council faces. Source: Former Stratford mayor leaves behind a legacy of service, commitment | The Stratford Beacon Herald 

The dome was named in honour of former mayor Mayor Keith Culliton, in 2002. 

Honour for Mayor Culliton, 2002

There is a plaque to honour Mayor Keith A. Culliton at former Stratford Normal School and teachers college (1908-1973) (see Water Street). The building was repurposed as The Discovery Centre, once housed the Stratford-Perth Museum, and is now leased by the city to the Stratford Festival. The Culliton family asked Dean Robinson to craft the wording for the plaque, and those words are:

The Keith A. Culliton Dome 

The dome atop this historical building is named in honour of Keith A. Culliton who has served this community in exemplary fashion. 

Through his term as a School Board Trustee, Public Utilities Commissioner, City Councillor and Mayor, he has employed the same focus and commitment that have made him successful in business.

Known for his straightforward manner, his sense of fairness and his optimism, he was also a governor on the board of the Stratford Festival, and a Sapphire Paul Harris Fellow and past president of the Rotary Club of Stratford. Born and raised on a farm in nearby North Easthope Township, Keith Culliton lived his adult life in Stratford where he was able to pursue his passion for business and politics.

On the occasion of his 75th birthday, the dome on The Discovery Centre was dedicated to Mr. Culliton at a ceremony in June 2002 attended by his family and officials of The Discovery Centre. Culliton Brothers Ltd. was pleased to pay that tribute to Mr. Culliton. In addition to lighting the dome and the building, the company that bears his name is also committed to maintaining that illumination. Source: Dean Robinson, Hardly Normal, The Stratford Normal School and Stratford Teachers' College, 1908-1973. 

Mayor James Stamp, aldermen and clerk. Stratford Council. 1902. The  History of Perth County

Mayor James Stamp was a contractor who lived at 136 Hibernia Street.  (See below). He was mayor in 1901-1902, following  James Hodd in 1899-1900 and preceding William Hepburn in 1903-1904.   William Davidson, sitting second from the right, had been mayor in 1895-1896 and E.K. Barnsdale would be mayor in 1915 to August 1916. 

The men in the picture played a major role in town life over many years.  E. K. Barnsdale (see Market Square) was a merchant at 27-31 Market Place; Barnsdale's Trading Post was one of the largest stores in the city.  Dr. K. H. Eidt (see Cambria Street) was a dentist in the Gordon Block and one of the chief architects of the Stratford Parks System.  His office was at 3 Market Square in what is now referred to as Festival Square.  The north end of Downie Street was called Market Square at that time, and from his office, he could see on an almost daily basis, the degradation of the Avon River. That kickstarted his interest in rehabilitating both the river and its shoreline park system. 

Thomas Savage who lived at 195 Erie Street was the brother-in-law of Elijah Kitchen Barnsdale who died while mayor in 1916. Their wives were sisters. Thomas is reported to have been born in England in 1849 or Chatham where he is buried. He was married in 1890 and died in Stratford in 1917. J. L. Bradshaw (see Bradshaw Drive) had been the undertaker but became a successful merchant as the owner of a china shop that exists today. (see Watson's Chelsea Bazaar Ontario Street

R. R. Lang was the City Clerk and boarded at the Albion Hotel on Ontario Street.  J. Davis Barnett (see Douro Street) lived on Douro and was a draftsman with the Grand Trunk Railway and a great collector of books.  James Trow (1847-1924)  was a businessman, Trow Brothers, conveyancers and auctioneers at 24 Market Street, living on Cambria, the son of the James Trow (1826-1892) ( see Trow Avenue)  who first represented Perth as an MPP and later MP over a 25 year career in politics.  

J. D. Hamilton is a tobacconist, at 1 Wellington, who lives at 140 Albert Street. Henry Pauli (1861-1946) lived at 211 Downie while serving as alderman.. William Davidson (1833-1920) was born in Ireland and came to Canada with his parents in  1845 and settled in Fullarton Township.  He was married to Elizabeth Cole and lived at 135 Church Street. Davidson was Warden of Fullarton Township from 1875 to 1878 when he resigned to become County Clerk. As mentioned, he was Stratford's mayor in 1895-1896. 

William Daly was a contractor who lived on Huron Street. He was born either in Ireland in 1849 or Middlesex County in London.  he lived in Ontario some 40 years and died in 1922. He was not connected to J.C. W. Daly who was the first mayor of Stratford from January to August in 1859 or to his son, Thomas M. Daly, mayor in 1869-1870. and again in 1876-1878.  Source: Vernon's City Directory Stratford 1900-1902 Stratford-Perth Archives. 

Mayor Stamp built this house at 136 Hibernia St. 

Mayor James Stamp's house 

James Stamp, the builder and first occupant of 136 Hibernia St., moved to this location in 1877, into what must have been a modest house. 

The first owner of the property (Lot 406), however, was Alexander Grant, an attorney and mayor of the Town of Stratford (1879-1880). Stratford became a city in 1885. 


Grant's tenant was George Campbell, a labourer. Another labourer, John O’Neil (listed as Smith’s helper), was the tenant in 1872 and 1873, and again in 1876. John Donovan, yet another labourer, was the tenant in 1874 and 1875. During four of those years, this lot was attached to Lot 473, behind 406. There is no official record of a building on this lot until 1876, so it may have been used for agricultural or other purposes.

James Stamp moved to this location in 1877, and from 1887 to 1894 he is recorded as having three adjacent lots (406, 407, 472), though it would appear that he had only one house, probably larger than the previous one. It has been suggested that the original house is what is now the kitchen. The property also included a stable and an orchard.

The current house, a good example of Queen Anne Revival architecture, was constructed by James Stamp in 1894. James and his wife Lucetta lived in the house until 1902. 

James was born in Dunkerton (near Bath), Somerset, England, on Jan. 19, 1851. His parents were Jesse (a mason) and Mary. He was one of 11 children. In March 1872 he left England and landed in Portland, Maine, intending to continue to Chicago. Friends persuaded him to come to Stratford, but he soon returned to England, where he sought remain. But he returned to Stratford, and returned again to England in the fall of 1875. In 1876, he married Lucetta Harding (only about 16 years old, and also from Somerset) and returned to Stratford with his bride.


While living in Stratford, he first worked as a mason and bricklayer for local contractors Abraham and Filey, Edmunds and Wilson, and Tait and Snazel. He started his own contracting business in about 1885 and was extremely successful. His projects included: the Worth Block, Hamlet School, the Perth Mutual Insurance building, the McLagan factory, and the MacDonald foundry. He also built homes for several prominent members of the community.


Stamp also had a significant municipal career. He became an alderman in Avon Ward in 1893and remained an alderman through 1900. While an alderman, he was chair of the board of works and was involved with the laying of the trunk sewer, and the construction of the present city hall. He was also the chair of the market and police committee. In 1901 and 1902 he was the city's mayor.


In January 1903, James and Lucetta visited London, Nottingham and Bath for at least six months. For that time, they rented out their house on Hibernia Street. The Stamps returned to this Stratford. Perhaps we can assume they missed England and, as they had no children, felt they would prefer to spend their later years in Bath, where they still had relatives. James was listed as a retired builder in the 1911 England census. His financial success as a builder in Stratford, Ont., maybe allowed him them live in Bath without the need of employment.


James died in Bath on April 25, 1924. Lucetta died in the same city in January 1928    Source: Stratford-Perth County Branch ACO (Architectural Conservancy of Ontario) | Historical Plaque Properties, 1931.

Flight Lt. John Adair Woodward

Residence: 218 Hibernia St.

John Adair Woodward, RCAF

John Adair Woodward was the son of Wilfrid and Anna Olivia Woodward, and husband of Margaret Bertha Woodward, of Winnipeg, Man. They lived atr 218 Hibernia St..

On Wednesday, Sept. 27, 1944, some of the aircraft of the 432 squadron (Royal Canadian Air Force), took off for a mission to Bottrop in Germany from a station (airfield) in or near East Moor. One of the crew members was Flight Lt.  J. A. Woodward, RCAF, the pilot. He departed for his mission at 0737 with a Handley Page Halifax (type VII, serial NP692). They bombed from 19,000 feet at 0932 and almost immediately the Halifax was hit by flak and bombs from another aircraft.

The aircraft was badly damaged while over the target (Bottrop, Germany) and Flight Lt. Woodward was seriously wounded. He had severe shrapnel wounds on the upper and lower right side of his body. Despite the wounds, he flew the damaged aircraft homeward and made an emergency landing at Woodbridge, England. By his actions, all the other members of the crew returned safe and uninjured. He succumbed to his injuries shortly after landing. Flight Lt. Woodward is buried in the Brookwood Military Cemetery, Woking, Surrey, England. Source: RCAF Association

The 432 Squadron

Formed at Skipton-on-Swale, Yorkshire, England. on May 1, 1943, as the RCAF’s 31st – 12th Bomber, first to be formed under No. 6 (RCAF) Group – squadron formed overseas, the unit flew Well­ington, Lancaster and Halifax aircraft on strategic and tactical bombing operations. It was disbanded at East Moor, Yorkshire, England, on May 15, 1945.