Memorable Manitobans: Benjamin Nelson Harrop (1894-1986)
Pilot, military administrator.
Born at Indian Head, North West Territories (now Saskatchewan) on 16 October 1894, son of William James Harrop (1858-1948) and Janet Harvey (1865-1951), he grew up on the family farm in Saskatchewan. During the First World War, he served overseas where he received his flying certificate at Eastbourne (1916). He flew seaplanes with the Royal Naval Air Service (later the Royal Air Force) in France and Belgium, earning the British War Medal and Victory Medal. While in England, he married Cecilia Agnes Maud Powell (1894-1979) on 29 August 1917 and had a son, Frederick Harrop (1922-2009). Following the end of hostilities and military discharge from the RAF, he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force by the early 1920s and made Flight Lieutenant in 1924. He worked in commercial aviation as a lead pilot for the Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company, at Trail, British Columbia. He rejoined the RCAF during the Second World War and was initially posted to the Western Air Command. He transferred to the Air Training Command No. 2 Headquarters (?-1942) in Winnipeg where he worked a for some time and attained the rank of Wing Commander. He subsequently served as Commanding Officer (1942) of the Wireless School No. 3 and Chief Supervisory Officer (1943-1944) of the Air Observers School No. 5 before returning civilian aviation duties at Trail. He died at Kelowna General Hospital in British Columbia on 20 December 1986 and he was buried in the Kelowna Memorial Park Cemetery.
Birth registration, Saskatchewan Vital Statistics.
Death registrations, British Columbia Vital Statistics.
1901 & 1911 Canada censes, Automated Genealogy.
Great Britain - Royal Aero Club Aviators’ Certificates, Ancestry.
Canada - Certificates of Military Instruction, Ancestry.
Canada - Militia and Defence Forces Lists, War Services of Officers of the Active Militia, Ancestry.
“Canada leads world in map work for air,” Winnipeg Evening Tribune, 8 November 1926, page 3.
“Pilots losing hope for life of geologist,” Winnipeg Evening Tribune, 11 September 1931, page 4.
“Regina-Winnipeg flight halter by bad weather,” Winnipeg Free Press, 27 November 1934, page 6.
“Harrop appointed Chief Supervisor of Air School,” Winnipeg Tribune, 30 September 1942, page 13.
“Pennant winner,” Winnipeg Free Press, 12 June 1943, page 2.
“Posted here,” Winnipeg Tribune, 4 July 1944, page 4.
My Military Ancestor - Benjamin Nelson Harrop, WW1 Pilot, My Genealogy Life.
My tree [Patricia Greber], Ancestry.
Kelowna Memorial Park Cemetery, FindaGrave.
We thank Patricia Greber for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.
Page revised: 7 April 2018
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