Fonds F0549 - Lennox family fonds

Accession notes

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Lennox family fonds

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  • Textual record
  • Graphic material
  • Object

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Dates of creation area


  • 1900-1997, 2018, predominant 1939-1946 (Creation)
    Lennox (family)

Physical description area

Physical description

0.58 m of textual records
ca. 260 photographs : b&w and col. ; 43 x 30 cm or smaller

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Archival description area

Name of creator

Biographical history

The Lennox family had traditional roots in Simcoe County. William James Wilfred Lennox (1883-1968) and his wife Fannie Jane Evangeline Watt (1895-1980) both shared a common ancestor : they were both descended from two brothers of Innisfil Township, John and William Lennox, who emigrated from Londonderry, Northern Ireland in the 1830s. William was William's grandson and Fannie was John's great-granddaughter. Wilfred "Wiff" Lennox grew up on his father's farm in Newton Robinson, Ontario and later obtained his Bachelor of Scientific Agriculture in 1905 from the Ontario Agricultural College in Guelph, Ontario. Fannie was the daughter of Arven Curickshank Watt, the local incumbent of the Holy Trinity Anglican Church at Bond Head. Fannie's family moved to Toronto in 1912 where she attended Oakwood Collegiate and the Toronto Normal School and taught for several years before her marriage in 1916 to Wilfred. Wilfred Lennox found employment with the Federal Department of Agriculture in the Plant Products Division. He would retire in 1948. During WWII, he was seconded to the Wartime Prices and Trade Board in Ottawa. Wilfred and Fannie had three children, William ("Bill"), John Watt Lennox and Elizabeth Jane Lennox ("Bettie"). The family settled on Quebec Avenue in Toronto. The children attended Brown Public School and North Toronto Collegiate Institute. John Watt Lennox was employed during the summers of 1939 and 1940 as a bell boy and later a deck hand in the Great Lakes passenger steamship "Manitoba". In September 1939 he enrolled at the Ontario Agricultural College. His roommate there was Richard Palmer. During his second year at O.A.C., John met Muriel ("Mime") Young, who had enrolled at the college for women, the Macdonald Institute. He carried her picture with him overseas when he joined the air force during WWII. John was a member of the Canadian Officers Training Corps on campus and in early 1941, he applied to the Royal Canadian Air Force. His brother William joined the RCAF after his marriage in June 1942. Soon after completing his second year examinations, John was called up to the Manning Pool in Hamilton, where he enlisted. John kept a correspondence with Richard Palmer, who also enlisted in the RCAF (he was later killed in action in Burma) and family members throughout his training at the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan at bases in Sydney, Victoriaville, Cap-de-la-Madeleine and Moncton in the Maritimes. In Moncton he received his wings as sergeant pilot. By early 1942 he was posted at Debert, NS, and was shipped out to Scotland in February of 1942. John completed his training in October 1942, but was required to retrain in order to fly "heavies" - Halifax and Wellington bombers. In January 1943 he received his letter of commission as a pilot officer in England, and was assigned to the 405 Pathfinder Squadron, which participated in bombing missions over Germany in May of 1943. In April he assumed control of his own craft and Commonwealth crew. On the night of May 4/5, 1943 during his seventh sortie in a Halifax bomber with other allied bombers targeting Dortmund in the Ruhr valley, Lennox and his crew were shot down along the German-Dutch border. John Lennox and his air gunner, Bernard Moody were killed, but the remaining crew survived. Lennox was one month short of his twenty-third birthday. He was initially buried in Lingen-am-Ems and later moved to the Reichswald Forest Military Cemetery near Kleve, Germany just over the border from Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

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Scope and content

Fonds consists of correspondence, photographs, diaries, a scrapbook, college yearbooks and transcriptions of oral interviews created and accumulated by members of the Lennox family including husband and wife Fannie Jane Evangeline Watt and William James Wilfred Lennox, and their children William, John Watt Lennox and Elizabeth Lennox Locke.

The majority of archival material relates to John Watt Lennox (1920-1943), who was killed in action in WWII. Correspondence is accompanied by detailed inventory and contextual information compiled by Elizabeth Lennox Locke and her nephew Dr. John Lennox.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Donated by Dr. John Lennox (nephew of John Watt Lennox) and Elizabeth Lennox Locke (sister of John Watt Lennox) in 2009.


Language of material

  • English

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No restrictions on access.

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The fonds comprises the following accessions: 2009-003, 2018-017. Further accruals may be expected.

General note

This fonds is featured in the "Letters Home: A selection of wartime correspondence" online exhibit which is available at

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

2009/03/23 Anna St.Onge:. EAD v. 1.0 (Creation)
2009/03/23 Awaiting review by the Data Collection Archivist
2009/11/12 revised biographical sketch and scope note to streamline information.
2009/12/11 Anna St.Onge. Added to biographical sketch based on contents of box 003 Added to Scope and Content note based on contents of box 003. Added to photographic extent based on contents of box 003.
2013/04/10 Anna St.Onge. Updated biographical sketch based on email from John Lennox correcting details to family genealogy.
2014/07/23 Migrated to AtoM.
2018/10/23 MS. Post-Migration, metadata clean up, addition of GMD, accession numbers, published description, and generated finding aid.
2019/04/25 J. Grant. Addition of accession 2018-017.

Language of description

  • English


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