In memory of those who have Crossed the Bar


William Elliott Flavelle


Lieutenant (P), RCNVR


Lieutenant-Commander (P), O-23990, RCN(R)


Born: 30 Jul 1921, Vancouver, British Columbia


Died: 06 Feb 1999, Abbotsford, British Columbia


FLAVELLE, William Elliott (Bill) - died February 6, 1999, age 77, Abbotsford. B.C., of a stroke. A devoted family man, he enjoyed life to the fullest with his best friend and companion, Sharon. Together they raised three children, Lucinda (Bruce McLeod) of North Vancouver, and Aird (Sheila) and Guy (Mary) of Abbotsford. Saddened to lose their grandfather are McElroy, Ellen, Elizabeth, Angus and Brittany. Also saddened are his sister, Grace Ballem (John) of Calgary, cousins Anne Lagasse of Bowen Island, Charles Flavelle (Lucile) of Vancouver, Sidney Hardwick of England, and Dorothy Sylvester (Dick) of Toronto. His older sister, Mary Elizabeth Gardiner of Winnipeg, predeceased Bill in 1998. Friends who fondly remember Bill include Punch & Eunice Thompson, Catherine MacNeill, Charlie & Maisie Carncross, Freda Springate, Harold & Ruth Atkinson and “Past, Past Commander” George Eckenfelder and his wife, “The Chocolate Chip Cookie Lady," Alice. 


Born in 1921 to B.C. lumber industry pioneer Aird Dundas Flavelle of Lindsay, Ontario, and Mary (Mae) Clemence Elliott of Brampton, Ontario, Bill grew up in Port Moody and Vancouver. He joined HMCS Discovery in 1937 as a Cadet and was a Midshipman in the Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve when hostilities broke out in 1939. During the first years of the war, Bill served as a Lieutenant on HMCS Matapedia, a corvette on convoy escort duty in the North Atlantic. He later joined the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy where he trained as a fighter pilot, closing out his wartime service as a Lieutenant (Pilot) on the aircraft carrier Begum attached to the British Pacific and East Indies Fleet in Ceylon. Bill returned to Canada to join the family business, Flavelle Cedar Ltd., in Port Moody, where he worked in a variety of capacities, including timber buyer, until the mill was sold in 1955. He subsequently pursued several entrepreneurial ventures, including an innovative design for a retractable pool cover and the manufacturing of forestry equipment. He also continued his association with the Naval Reserve after the war, retiring with the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He also served as an auxiliary constable with the New Westminster City Police. During his retirement in Sidney, B.C., he served as the “Butler-Gardener” and co-host at Great-Snoring-on-Sea, the Bed and Breakfast he and Sharon operated for ten years.


Bill was active in the community, and served as Superintendent of the Sunday School at St. Stephen’s Church in Burnaby, as Director of the Youth Resources Society and frequently canvassed for the Canadian Cancer Society and other charities. As a Rotarian, he served as President of the New Westminster Rotary Club.


Bill loved his garden, especially his large collection of rhododendrons. He was a Charter Member and Past President of the Vancouver Rhododendron Society. He was also a Past Commander of the Saanich Peninsula Power Squadron.


Bill’s family extends their sincere thanks to the staff at both Jackman Manor and MSA Hospital for the care and comfort they provided him.


A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, February 11, 1999 at St. Stephen the Martyr Anglican Church, 9887 Cameron Street (at North Road), Burnaby, B.C. V3J 1M3. A reception will follow. The family respectfully requests that in lieu of flowers donations be made to Jackman Manor, 27477 – 28th Avenue, Aldergrove, B.C. V4V 3L9 or the Alzheimer’s Society of B.C. at #20 – 601 West Cordova Street, Vancouver, B.C. V6B 1G1 or the charity of your choice. (Burquitlam Funeral Chapel)


Ships served in:

VANCOUVER DIVISION RCNVR - Listed as a Midshipman, RCNVR (seniority 21 Sep 1939) (Navy List Oct 1939)

HMCS NADEN - Listed as a Midshipman, RCNVR (Navy List Sep 1940)

VANCOUVER DIVISION RCNVR - Listed as an A/SLt, RCNVR (seniority 21 Sep 1940) (Navy List Oct 1940).  Appointed SLt, RCNVR (seniority 21 Sep 1939) (Navy List Dec 1940)

RCN BARRACKS HALIFAX - Appointed to RCN BARRACKS HALIFAX, Add'l, For Disposal or Under Training 16 Jan 1941 as a SLt, RCNVR (Navy List Feb 1941)

HMCS MATAPEDIA - Appointed to MATAPEDIA 09 May 1941 as a SLt, RCNVR. Commissioning crew.  Appointed Lt, RCNVR (seniority 21 Sep 1942) (Navy List Sep 1942)

HMCS STADACONA (Depot Ship, Halifax) - Appointed to STADACONA 01 Aug 1943 as a Lt, RCNVR (Navy List Aug 1943)

HMCS HALIGONIAN (RCNVR DIVISION HALIFAX) - Appointed to HALIGONIAN 01 Oct 1943 as a Lt, RCNVR, CO (Navy List Oct 1943)

RCN BARRACKS HALIFAX - Appointed to RCN BARRACKS HALIFAX, Add'l, For Disposal or Under Training 01 Mar 1944 as a Lt, RCNVR (Navy List Feb 1944)

* ROYAL NAVY - Listed as training with the Royal Navy effective 25 Mar 1944. (Navy List May 1944 - May 1945).

* Seniority backdated to 21 Sep 1941 (Navy List Jun 1944)

Canada [No. 5. I.T.S. No. 13. E.F.T.S. No.14 S.F.T.S.]

* Awarded Wings 17 Nov 1944
HMT PASTEUR - 22 Dec 1944 - For transport to the UK

HMS MACAW RANAS (sic) Bootle [No.9 (P) A.F.U.] Errol - Feb 1945
HMS HERON #7 NAFS RANS Yeovilton - Mar 1945
HMS VULTURE RNAS St. Merryn - May 1945
HMS RAVAGER Deck Landing Trials
HMS BERMUDA RNAS Colombo - 31 Jul 1945
HMS BAMBARA - 09 Aug 1945
HMT (RMS) QUEEN ELIZABETH - For Transport to Canada

* Appointment Terminated (Demobilized) 04 Feb 1946 as a Lt, RCN(R)

* Lt (P), RCNR - Appointed to SHEARWATER for #1 Air Training Group

HMCS DISCOVERY - Appointed to DISCOVERY 31 Aug 1946 as a Lt (P), RCN(R) (seniority 21 Sep 1941) (Navy List Oct 1946).  Appointed LCdr (P), RCN(R) (seniority 01 Jul 1948) (Navy List Jul 1948)

HMCS DISCOVERY (Retired List) - As a LCdr, RCN(R) (seniority 01 Jul 1948) (Navy List Jul 1952)

* Last noted on the Retired List as HMCS DISCOVERY as a LCdr, RCN(R) (Navy List Jan 1960)

* Total Flying Hours: 184. Total Deck Landings: 8. Service Aircraft Flown: • Cornell, • Wildcat IV & V, • Hellcat 1 & II, • Oxford, • Tiger Moth, • Firefly


SLt William E. Flavelle on HMCS MATAPEDIA K112


Photo taken in Ceylon summer 1945


William E. Flavelle - front, 1st on left



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