109717 Pte. George Townsend Raynor was born in Rose Hall, Prince Edward County, Ontario, on May 15th, 1894. He was the only child of Ida and Townsend George Raynor.


A surveyor at the time of his attestation on January 14th, 1915. George received his early education at the Picton and Ottawa public schools and later at the Ottawa Collegiate Institute and the Ontario Agriculture College in Guelph, Ontario. The last four years of his life were spent in Geodetic Survey work for the Interior Department.


George took a very active part in church and religious work. He was an active member of the Y.M.C.A. and took a deep interest in Boy's Work particularly. He took a special course and obtained a diploma in Leaders Corps Work. He was a member of McLeod Street Church and actively associated with the Excelsior Young Men's Club in the Sunday school, of which his father, Townsend, was the leader. He was one of the members of the church basketball team which won the city championship in 1914.


After returning from survey work, George attested into the 8th CMR on January 14th, 1915, in Ottawa, and went overseas with them in August. In January 1916 he was one of 362 men transferred when the 8th CMR was absorbed in to the 4th CMR. His letters home and to his friends were always been bright and optimistic, and the sad news of his sudden death, on June 2nd, 1916, as result of the 4th CMR's devastating losses in the "Battle for Mount Sorrel" outside Ypres, caused widespread sorrow among his many friends.


The details of his death were recorded as follows: ""Killed in Action". While returning to Maple Copse from the front line, with one of the survivors, after an enemy attack, an enemy shell fell between them, killing Private Raynor and rendering his comrade unconscious.".


This entry indicates that George was one of the few initial survivors himself, heeding the call to retreat to Maple Copse, and dying in the process of endeavouring to get one of his colleagues to safety. His name is commemorated on Panel 32 of the Menin Gate Memorial in Ieper (click on the panel image, right, for a lager version).


His uncle, Melbourne Raynor, joined the 143rd Overseas Battalion C.E.F. as a Captain on May 22nd, 1916, as part of the Canadian Army Medical Corps.






Credit and thanks go to Ric Raynor, grandson of Melbourne Raynor, for the above biography and Menin Gate Panel 32 image, with the additional service and loss details courtesy of 4cmr.com.