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In honour of our soldiers: Elvet Baxter McCutcheon

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 11:48 PDT, Fri July 5, 2024

Elvet (Elvie) Baxter McCutcheon was born on May 30, 1914, in Saskatchewan. He later moved to Richmond in 1922, where he attended English school. He, with his mother and brother, lived at his grandfather’s farm on No. 3 Road. In 1927, he attended Bridgeport High School for one year and then Richmond High School, leaving in 1929. Elvie took a commercial course at King Edward High School for another year and then worked as a farmer for several years. 

From the age of 17, he also worked for the Marpole Richmond Review as a sports writer. Elvie was very involved with lacrosse, both as a player and as an executive member of many sports, including basketball, rugby, swimming, and golf. In 1934, he entered the carpet and lino trade and joined the Hudson's Bay Company in 1940 as a salesman.

On enlistment in the Royal Canadian Air Force in Vancouver on Feb. 28, 1941, he was posted to bases in Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan for training. Elvie embarked for England in October 1943. Elvie wrote back to the Richmond Review in January 1944, describing conditions in England. He served on several bases in England, and his final posting was at RAF Cranwell. 

On Jan. 16, 1945, the #420 Snowy Owl Squadron was engaged in night operations against Madgeborg, Germany, when Halifax aircraft #NA 183 was shot down over Bokensdorf. Four members of the crew, including Elvie, were killed instantly, and the remaining four survivors became prisoners of war. Flight Lieutenant Pilot Officer Elvet McCutcheon was buried at Bokensdorf and later exhumed and re-buried in the Limmer British Cemetery, Hanover, Germany. Elvie was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross effective Jan. 15, 1945. The city of Richmond continues to honor Elvie’s service through McCutcheon Place, which still stands today between Francis and Gilbert.

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