The First World War
Officers of The Royal Canadian Regiment

Hon. Capt. Joseph Freeman Tupper

Soldiers of the First World War database entry - J.F. Tupper


The Connecting File; Vol XII, No. 4, November 1933

Toronto; September 1933; Originally printed in The London Free Press.

Editor, Free Press:— Thousands were thrilled by the eloquent sermon preached by the Rev. Joseph Freeman Tupper, in Victoria Park, London, on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of The Royal Canadian Regiment. The writer has been permitted to look into his scrap books. From this material one discovers that he has been a literary person all his life. At fifteen he edited a boys' paper and since that time he has edited almost a dozen different periodicals and has contributed many articles to magazines and newspapers. He has had considerable business experience. When the Geat War broke out he offered his services in any capacity. He was an untiring recruiting officer. He went overseas, in the 193rd Battalion of the Nova Scotia Highland Brigade, which at that time was commanded by Col. Langford, the present O.C. of The R.C.R. When he reached France he was attached to the Royal Canadian Regiment and served with them longer than any other chaplain. After the war he was appointed Chaplain to the Canadian Air Force. He is now Rector of St. Monica's Anglican Church in the City of Toronto. he has been the special speaker and preacher on many occasions, but seems to be more pleased that he conducted The R.C.R. Anniversary Service than about any of the others.

No less than five New England Governors are amongst his recent ancestors. Here they are: Governor William Bradford, Governor Thomas Prence, Governor Thomas Mayhew, Governor Thomas Hinkley and Governor Major William Bradford (son of the other Governor Bradford). Other New England ancestors include Edmund Freeman, one of the founders of Lynn; Samuel Freeman, one of the founders of Watertown; Thomas Tupper, one of the founders of Sandwich. Three of his ancestors came over on the Mayflower, viz., Bradford, Brewster and Howland. Rev. Thomas Mayhew, another ancestor, was the first missionary to the North American Indians, and still another ancestor was the great preacher of Boston, Rev. John Mayo. One of his Nova Scotia ancestors, Nathan Tupper, presided over the first regularly called meetings of the proprietors of Liverpool and onther ancestor, Elisha Freeman, was the man to whom the warrant authorizing the meeting was made out.

Padre Tupper said many nice things about the Regiment, It seems fitting that your readers should know one more thing and that is that the R.C.R. had a wonderful Padre with a worthy ancestry.

Rev. J.F. Tupper, War Padre, The R.C.R. (1936, date not identified)

Major K.M. Holloway, Major H.T. Cock, M.C., Captain & Bt. Major Wm. Neilson, D.S.O., C.S.M. (W.O. II) A.S. Ward and twenty (20) Other Ranks of "B" Company, The RCR, Toronto, Ontario, attended St Monica's Church at 1900 hours, in honour of Captain, The Reverend J.F. Tupper, who served with the Regiment in the Great War. Captain Tupper preached his farewell sermon on his retirement from the active military. Captain Tupper is retiring on account of a serious heart condition.

Listed in The Canadian Who's Who, 1936-1937:

TUPPER, Rev. Joseph Freeman; (Ang.); lecturer; writer; a descendant of Capt. Thomas T., who came to Am. in 1635; h Port Medway, N.S., 5 Mar. 1883; Capt. b James Oliver and Mary Elizabeth (Grosse) T.; e pub. sch., East Port Hebert and Dartmouth, N.S.; St Peter's private day sch., Charlottetown. P.E.I.; The Berkshire (private boarding) Sch., Pittsfield, Mass.; special course in theol., King's Univ., N.S.; Seabury Theol. Coll., Faribault, U.S.A., B.D.; Central Univ., U.S.A., B.Ph.; also private tutors in Eng. and elsewhere; m Kathryn d late James John Munro, 30 Nov. 1910; children Victor Munro, Dorothy Jean Munro; rector, St Monica's Ang. Ch., Toronto, 1927-36; sometime missy. at Baddeck and Western Cape Breton; later rector at Dominion, N.S.: and Westville, N.S.; asst. rector, St John the Baptist Toronto; rector, Georgina, Toronto; hon. chaplain. Baron Byng br., Candn. Legion; do., Candn. Legion, Toronto and dist. 1st clergyman in Can. to become a recruiting offr. in the war; made 1st recruiting speech for fighting men in N.S. and helped conduct 1st recruiting campaign for fighting men in N.S.; was chief recruiting offr. for Pictou Co., N.S.; enlisted as combatant and served as hon. capt and chaplain, 193rd Bn.; and in France as chaplain Roy. Candn. Regt.; attached for a time to U.S. Navy; on return to Can. was govt. chaplain to Candn. Air Forces; a J.P. for Pictou Co., N.S.; a notary pub., twp. of Essa, Ont; hon. fellow, Inc. Guild Ch. Musicians, London, Eng.; mem., Diocesan Council of Soc. Service; chrmn. of sub-comte. on housing and unemployment; ed. a boys' paper at age of 15, and has since ed. a number of periodicals; has written biog. sketches and compiled a number of short hists.; now ed. of series of articles "Ancestors and Others", appearing in Liverpool Advance, N.S.; Freemason; S.O.E.; Conservative; recreations rowing, golf, horseshoe pitching; Clubs Canadian Literature (Toronto; pres.); Ontario English Speaking Union (vice-pres.); Address Synod House, 135 Adelaide St E., Toronto, Ont.

Death - Reverend Joseph Freeman Tupper, B.D.

The death of Rev J.F. Tupper, B.D., occurred suddenly at Toronto, Ontario, on Sunday, 28th November 1937. Mr. Tupper was rector of St. Monica's Church, Toronto, for nine years and retired from the Ministry in 1936 on account of ill-health. Mr. Tupper was Chaplain to The Royal Canadian Regiment, Canadian Expeditionary Force, in France and Belgium, for fourteen (14) months and his last connection with the Regiment was on 10th September 1933, on which date he officiated at a drum-head service in London, Ont., during the re-union, in celebration of the Regiment's Fiftieth Anniversary.

The Connecting File; Vol XVII, No. 1, January, 1938

Death has taken still another old and respected comrade since our last issue—Captain the Rev. Joseph Freeman Tupper, who died suddenly on his way to St Monica's Church, Toronto, on the 28th November, 1937.

Captain Tupper was born at Port Medway, Nova Scotia, and served as Chaplain in the Regiment for fourteen months during the War. Later he was an Air Force Chaplain, and was widely known as the "Flying Padre." He had been Rector of St Monica's Church for nine years, but was forced to retire in May, 1936, owing to ill health.

Captain Tupper officiated at a drum-head service on the 10th September, 1933, during the Regiment's Fiftieth Anniversary Reunion, once more addressing some of the men he had known so well in the field. The card which accompanied a basket of flowers sent as a final token of respect from the Commanding Officer and all ranks, expressed the feelings of those for whose spiritual guidance he had been responsible—"In affectionate memory." Looking back many years, we remember a text which might have been the words spoken over the body of our comrade—"Well done thou good and faithful servant."

Date of Birth - 5 Mar 1883