Waterloo Region Generations
A record of the people of Waterloo Region, Ontario.
Ernest Lloyd Janney 

Ernest Lloyd Janney

Male 1893 - 1941

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  • Birth  16 Jun 1893  Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 3
    Gender  Male 
    • This swept-wing, tailless seaplane of the Canadian Aviation Corps was the first Canadian military Aircraft having been bought for the newly formed (16 September, 1914) first military aviation service in Canada. As no Aircraft were available in Canada at the time, the newly appointed commander of the CAC, E.L. Janney, journeyed to Massachusettes, immediatley closed a deal for the purchase of the Aircraft, and had it shipped to Lake Champlain where an American pilot was ready to ferry it to Canada as Janney was not a qualified pilot. The Burgess-Dunne left Lake Champlain for Quebec City , Quebec where it arrived on 29 September after several delays and was shipped overseas on 30 September on board the S.S. Athenia. It was considered unworthy to fly.
    The Burgess-Dunne AH-7
    The Burgess-Dunne AH-7
    First Canadian Military plane. Purchased by E. L. Janney
    Interesting Life Story  Canadian Aviation Corps 
    Interesting Life Story  military, scandal, invention 
    Military  WW1 
    Eby ID Number  Waterloo-40521P 
    Died  22 Apr 1941  Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried  Brookside Cemetery, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Person ID  I40521  Generations
    Last Modified  6 Nov 2018 

  • Photos
    The Burgess-Dunne AH-7
    The Burgess-Dunne AH-7
    First Canadian Military plane. Purchased by E. L. Janney

  • Notes 
    • Ernest Lloyd Janney was born in 1894, a son of William and Elizabeth Janney. At the beginning of World War I, Mr. Janney, like many of his generation, was caught up in the excitement of the time. However, instead of enlisting in the army he pushed for the establishment of a Canadian flying corps. Although Mr. Janney appears to have had no background in either flying or the military, he did have a remarkable gift of persuasion. Through sheer perseverance he managed to convince the Minister of Defence, Sir Sam Hughes, to commission him a captain and to grant him $5,000 to assist in the assembly of a Canadian flying corps. In this way the Canadian Aviation Corps was born. With a floatplane purchased in Massachusetts, Mr. Janney, in the company of his assistant Lieut. W.F.N. Sharpe, arrived in England on October 17, 1914. His airplane was condemned as not airworthy and Mr. Janney was grounded. He then went on an unauthorized tour of British flying fields and aircraft factories and was listed as absent without leave. Then in November he made an appeal to the federal government for a grant of $116,000 to form a flight squadron. In response he was ordered to return home at once, was stripped of his commission and forced to resign in disgrace. All was not lost, however, and in May 1918 Mr. Janney was mentioned in an Admiralty dispatch as a member of the staff of the newly formed Royal Canadian Naval Air Service. Later that year Mr. Janney was piloting a Curtis Flying Boat which crashed into Toronto harbour. In 1921, a news bulletin from Edmonton reported that "Captain Janney" was organizing a dirigible air service from Peace River Alberta to Fort Norman in the Northwest Territories. There is no evidence that the service was ever implemented. A month after Charles Lindbergh completed his solo trans-Atlantic Atlantic flight on May 20, 1927, the New York Times announced that an E.L. Janney would attempt an Ottawa to London England flight on July 11. No record of the flight has been found. After that all knowledge of Mr. Janney fades and it remains to be determined if he was one of the many slick con men attempting to cash in on get rich quick aviation schemes or one of the true heroes of the early flying days.

      Cambridge Mosaic, Jim Quantrell, 1998, City of Cambridge



      Captain Janney Enters 33d Day of Hunger Strike in Alberta.

      LETHBRIDGE, Alberta, Sept. 8.--Captain E.L. Janney, former British aviator, entered the thirty-third day of his hunger strike in the Lethbridge jail today, with a record of a pound in weight lost for every day he has been on strike. He weighed 170 pounds when he began abstaining from food and now weighs 137. Jail physicians reported his pulse and heart were considerably weakened and advised that forcible feeding be resorted to.

      Captain Janney's hunger strike was begun in protest against his arrest on a charge of obtaining money under false pretenses in connection with flotation of an air craft company.

      The New York Times 9 Sep 1921


      As of January 1932, he was still selling himself as a businessman and aviation pioneer; a Montreal newspaper described him as the "first Canadian to volunteer his services and be accepted as a war flier." He then dropped from sight. Reportedly, in September 1939, he sent a message to Ottawa: "Am still full of the old pep - let me know what I can do."

      Legion Magazine - Canadian Military History in Perspective - A High Flyer, Indeed: Air Force, Park 4, July 1, 2004 by Hugh A. Halliday

  • Sources 
    1. [S259] Census - ON, Waterloo, Galt - 1901, Galt (Town/Ville) C-9 Page 13.

    2. [S655] Vit - ON - Birth Registration, birth certificate 35267 (1893), Ernest Lloyd Janney, accessed 25 Jul 2010..
      Ernest Lloyd Janney Date of Birth: 16 Jun 1893 Gender: Male Birth County: Waterloo Father's Name: Wm W Janney, Saw maker of Galt Mother's Name: Elizabeth Friend

    3. [S1155] Cemetery - Manitoba, Winnipeg - Brookside.
      "Sub-Lieutenant Ernest L. Janney, RCNVR, 1893-1941\emdash Lest We Forget."

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBirth - 16 Jun 1893 - Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
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