Monday, 12 March 2018

Flying Officer Frederick Campbell Culbert (1910-1943)

Who was Culbert Lake in Manitoba named after? Frederick Campbell Culbert, the great-grandson of John Culbert & Mary Ward.

Photo of Frederick Campbell Culbert courtesy of his son, the late Richard Revis "Dick" Culbert. This photo was taken just before Fred headed off to war.
Fred's son, Dick told me that naming lakes in honour of fallen soldiers is a long-standing tradition in Manitoba.

Fred Culbert was born 17 June 1910 in Waskada, Manitoba to George Arthur Culbert and Jean McLeod Campbell.

He married Margaret Rachel Sanders on 2 January 1939 in Regina, Saskatchewan. They had one child: Richard Revis "Dick" Culbert, born 24 April 1940.

Left to right: Margaret Rachel (Sanders) Culbert, Richard Revis "Dick" Culbert, Frederick Campbell Culbert. 1942.
Photo courtesy of Carole (McLeod) Cox.
In 1934, Fred joined the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and served with the force in Winnipeg until 1941. He enlisted with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) on 24 November 1941 and headed overseas in October, 1942.

On a cloudy, moonless night just before midnight, the crew of the 408 Squadron Halifax II took off from their base at RAF Leeming in Yorkshire, England. Their operation? To bomb the oil refineries of Gelsenkirchen, Germany.

In the early hours of 26 June 1943, their plane was shot down.
Fred Culbert died, age 33.

He is buried in the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery near Kleve, Germany in Joint grave 12. D. 1-2. 

Photo of Reichswald Forest War Cemetery by Dennis Peeters.

His citations include the 1939-45 Star, the Air Crew Europe Star, the War Medal 1939-45, and  the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and clasp

Fred was posthumously awarded RCAF Operational Wings in recognition of gallant service in action against the enemy. 

Frederick Campbell Culbert's name is inscribed in the Second World War Book of Remembrance in the Memorial Chamber in the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill, Ottawa.

Frederick Campbell Culbert's name on page 150 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance.

Each morning at 11:00 a.m. during a ceremony, one page of the book is turned. Every year on March 29, the book is turned to page 150: Fred's page. 

He is also commemorated on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial and on the World War II Honour Roll located inside the Chapel at the West Vancouver United Church, West Vancouver, BC.

Flying Officer Frederick Campbell Culbert. Photo courtesy of his niece, Carole (McLeod) Cox.

Frederick Campbell Culbert's family tree:

Ancestors of Frederick Campbell Culbert:
John Culbert & Mary Ward (great-grandparents)
Richard Culbert & Jane Fairhall (grandparents)
George Arthur Culbert & Jean McLeod Campbell (parents)

Descendants of Frederick Campbell Culbert & Margaret Rachel Sanders:
Richard Revis "Dick" Culbert (1940-2017) (son)

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.[1]
[1] Verse from For the Fallen. Poem by Robert Laurence Binyon.


  1. The Culbert "look" goes back a long way and still continues today!

    1. Absolutely, Wendy! I was struck by Fred's resemblance to so many other Culbert men.