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World War II and After

In 1942, Charles Albert Liffiton (1919-1989) joined the Canadian Army. Stationed at St. Jean, Quebec, he served as an instructor in the "Power Squadron," concerned with boating and depth charts.

Also in 1942 Clark Liffiton (1923-2004) joined the Royal Canadian Air Force. In 1943, he was stationed at Galt, Ontario, now Cambridge, Ontario, and then in Northern Ireland with the 423 Squadron on coastal command. As an aero-engine mechanic, he serviced Sunderland flying boats used to chase German submarines.

Ernest J. Liffiton II, known as Ernie (1916-2004), served with the Essex Scottish Regiment from 1934 to 1937. During World War II, he entered the Royal Canadian Air Force, but served in the Royal Air Force. While in England he taught army pilots to fly gliders and then trained on Spitfires. He also met and married his wife Helen Hatfield, who was in military service. Ernie flew with Royal Air Force 273 Squadron in England and in Southeast Asia (Indian, Ceylon, Burma). He was deferential about his service, once saying his work in Burma was to keep his pistol from rusting.

Douglas Edward Arthur Liffiton (born 1922) served in the 408 "Goose" Bomber Squadron, Canadian Royal Air Force during World War II. He was stationed at Lyton on Use as an aeroplane mechanic working on Spitfires, Lancaster bombers, and Halifax bombers. 408 Bomber Squadron was formed in England as part of No. 5 (RAF) Group on June 24, 1941. Initially based at Lindholm, Yorkshire, it was equipped with Handley Page Hampdens. It retained its bombing role and title throughout the war in Europe until it was disbanded on September, 5, 1945.

Helen Hatfield Liffiton (1922-1995) served in the Women's division of the Royal Air Force, where her work was classified. On December 17, 1943, she married Ernie Liffiton, a Canadian Spitfire pilot stationed in England.

Francis Hugh Liffiton (1923-1972) served, but the nature of his service is unclear. The Knox College Roll of Honor for 1939-1945 lists F H Liffiton among those who served between 1939 and 1945. Formerly known as Theological Hall, Knox College is located in Dunedin, New Zealand. Reverend Liffiton completed his undergraduate degree there prior to his ordination as a minister in 1955.

Unverified family accounts say Lincoln Liffiton (1900-1977) served in the Seabeas, the United States Navy's fighting construction engineers. He is said to have been a machine gun instructor. This information needs to be researched.

Tech 5 Norman Henry Liffiton (1906-1963) served in the Medical Detachment, 407th Infantry, U.S. Army. The 407th was awarded campaign streamers for the Rhineland and Central Europe during World War II.

William Liffiton (1923-2006) was attending Pennsylvania State University when his U.S. Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) unit was called up in 1944. Uncle Sam sent him to France as a private in the 71st Division. He attended Officer's Candidate School in Fountainbleau, France, and finished the war as a 2nd lieutenant.

After a return to civilian life for four years, he returned to military service in 1949 and made it a career. He would serve as an infantry officer in the Korean Conflict, an infantry instructor in Occupied Japan, and an ROTC instructor at Mississippi State University before getting an education in finance to work in the Army's Ordnance Corps. He was a graduate of Babson Institute (1959) and the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas (1963). His lists of assignments include Ft. Riley, Kansas (1951); the Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland (1957); Orleans, France (1959 - 1962), Wright Patterson Air Force Base (1962-1966) He retired from the United States Army with the rank of lieutenant colonel in 1966. Read more about Col. Liffiton in the Korean Conflict section.

Korean War

1st Lt. William T. Liffiton, age 25, of Lakewood, Ohio, re-enlisted in the U.S. Army around July, 1949. After training at Ft. Benning, Georgia, at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina, and Ft. Riley, Kansas, he was ordered to Korea where he was assigned around March of 1951 to E (Easy) Company, 23rd Infantry Regiment, Second (Indianhead) Division.

When he arrived in Korea, he carried a camera borrowed from his father-in-law. On his return to the States, he would apologize for losing it to the enemy. Once when the Chinese army surrounded his unit (which happened more than once), he and his men escaped by swimming a river at night through the enemy lines. He left the camera behind, but mailed photographs home before that happened.

The Cold War

In 1958, PFC Jack Downey Liffiton, US Army, served with Company D, 8th Battalion, 3rd Training Regiment at Darmstadt. Today he is a building contractor in Buffalo, NY.

PFC Timothy King Liffiton, US Army, in 1958 served with his brother Jack in Company D, 8th Battalion, 3rd Training Regiment at Darmstadt. Tim is now Dr. Tim, a veterinarian.

Recent Service

June 2000-June 2002, Jack Lincoln Liffiton, US Army, Anti-Armor Division, Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. "Managed 6 fellow soldiers in humvee and weapon maintenance."

World War I

Lance Corporal Harry Liffiton (1892-1963), Royal Fusiliers, was awarded the British Army's Military Medal in 1918 for bravery in battle. He entered military service in 1916 with the City of London Yeomanry, but a few weeks later he was assigned to the 12th Middlesex (Prince of Wale’s Own) Regiment. The 12th Middlesex participated in major offensives in France in 1917. It was disbanded in February of 1918, and Harry was reassigned in April to the 2/2nd London Regiment, Royal Fusiliers as part of much needed reinforcements following German Spring attacks. He was promoted to lance corporal and in September of 1918, he was awarded the Military Medal.

In 1915, Pte. Lincoln S. Liffiton (1900-1977) lied about his age to join the 73rd Royal Highlanders of Canada (RHC). The 73rd embarked from Halifax in early 1916 for training in England. In August they arrived in France to take its place in the trenches of Flanders and France. Pte. Liffiton was wounded on Easter Sunday, April 9, 1917, in Canada's most famous battle and victory, The Battle of Vimy Ridge.

When the 73rd was disbanded to build up other units in 1917, Pte. Liffiton was assigned to the 42nd RHC. He was wounded a total of three times during the war, including once by a fellow member of the 42nd. In the last months of the war in 1918, his father wrote a letter telling the government his son was underage. Subsequently Lincoln was transferred to the Young Man's Battalion in England and then sent back to Canada. Lincoln worked at various jobs during his life, including at a steel company in Windsor, with Bell telephone in Ohio, and for the Bechtel Corporation in Sao Paolo, Brazil, where he died in 1977.

Sister Christian Farquharson Garden Maclean>, New Zealand Nursing Corps, who became Mrs. Edward Francis Liffiton, served in the New Zealand Nursing Corps during the First World War. Edward Francis Liffiton (1875-1950) was listed in 1917 as in the New Zealand Army Reserves.

The son of Annie Huntley Liffiton and Jacob Honoré, Pte. Edward Nolloth Honoré, New Zealand Medical Corps, died at the age of 28 on August 19, 1920, as a result of wounds received at the Western Front. He is buried at Manaia Cemetery, Section 30, Block 19A, located in the South Taranaki Distric, New Zealand.

Sapper William Edward Liffiton, Royal Canadian Engineers

Like his older brother, Lincoln, William Edward Liffiton (1901-1950) lied about his age and joined the Canadian Expiditionary Force (CEF) in 1916. Unlike his brother who fought in France with the Royal Highlanders of Canada, William Edward trained for three months as a sapper before he was sent home. The job of sappers was to dick trenches and tunnels at the front.

World War I Mystery

In Canada, in front of the Farnharm City Hall, PQ, stands an obelisk "dedicated to the residents who fought and died during the two Great World Wars and the Korean War." In the list of those killed in action between 1914 and 1918 is "F Liffton." Canadian military records do not identify any F Liffton in the Canadian Expeditionary Force or CEF, nor do they identify any Liffton or Liffiton who died in the war. Although the William Henry Liffiton family lived in Farnham and had two sons in the military, there was no F Liffton in the family. The name on the obelisk remains a mystery. You can see photographs of it and its plaque at

The Military Life

Military service at its best is personal sacrifice so others can be secure. Liffitons have served in the military and have served in many other ways too, in medicine, education, and in spiritual ministry. The special sacrifices of those who serve during war and in the military make Liffiton Family History an appropriate place to begin recognizing Liffiton service.

Before the Great War

Second Maori War - New Zealand

Trooper Edward Nolloth Liffiton (1843-1923), known as Edwin, first joined the Rifle Volunteers and then the Wanganui Volunteer Cavalry to fight in the Second Maori War. His application for the New Zealand medal indicates "numerous times" between 1862 and 1866, he was in the field of fire. He served in the campaigns of Generals Cameron and Chute, and participated in the December 24-25, 1865 actions at Nukuaru (Tauranga-ika).

In civilian life Edwin Liffiton farmed up the Waitortora Valley near Wanganui, was a land agent, was a lay preacher, and served as mayor of Wanganui for sixty-three days. Liffiton Street in Wanganui is named after him. His gravestone in Wanganui's Heads Road cemetery reads "Veteran Volunteer Cavalry."

1870 Fenian Raid - Canada

According to The Fenian Raid medal role, C A Liffitton (with two t's!), who was Charles Albert Liffiton, earned the medal for the 1870 defense of Canada. He was a private in the 3rd Victoria Rifles. In 1866, 1870, and 1871, Canada experienced raids from the United States by the Fenian Brotherhood, Irish sympathizers trying to pressure the British to leave Ireland. Although part of the 3rd Victoria Rifles fought at the Battle of Eccles Hill on May 25,1870, Pte. Liffiton was not identified with those who participated in the battle. That day Canada's military units were on high alert guarding roads, bridges, and railways, so he was probably so engaged. Charles Albert Liffiton (1849-1927) became an import broker and businessman in Montreal.

Before the Great War - Canada

Prior to World War I, Ernest James Liffiton and his brother in law, Edgar Ellis, played with the 3rd Victoria Rifles Bugle Band. Ernest Liffiton is known for playing professional hockey in the pre-National Hockey League era. He later worked for a steel company in Windsor, Ontario. Edgar Ellis and his wife, Ida Jessie Liffiton, lived in Montreal and later in Winnipeg.