For Posterity's Sake         

A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project

 

In memory of those who have Crossed the Bar 

 

Francis (Frank) Amyot

 

Lieutenant-Commander, O-1960, RCN(R)

 

Born: 14 Sep 1904, Thornhill, Ontario

 

Died: 21 Nov 1962, Ottawa, Ontario

 

AMYOT, Francis (Frank) - During the three and a half years the Q072 served the Royal Canadian Navy many men passed through her decks, but none better known than Lieutenant, later Lieutenant-Commander Frank Amyot. Born on September 14, 1904 at Thornhill, Ontario, Frank was one of six children of Doctor John Amyot. After completing a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1926 at the University of Toronto and at Ottawa University, Frank found employment in sales with several companies. At an early age Frank, along with his three brothers, developed a keen interest in canoeing, admitting later, “Canoeing was something of a religion.” His racing career began in 1923 when he won the Canadian Intermediate Singles, and in years to follow he won the senior competition six times. The 1936 Berlin Olympics was Frank’s triumph, setting the new world record for the 1,000 meter race at 5:32.1, winning Canada’s only gold medal for the games. On May 21, 1941, Frank enrolled in the RCNVR as a Lieutenant. After completing his training, Frank served in the English Channel until January 16, 1944. Between March 1944 and July 1945 he served on board four MLs, Q077, Q072, Q114 and Q115. Frank served longest on Q072, between April 24, 1944 and March 16, 1945 when he was replaced by Lieutenant Angus M.C. Kenning RCNVR Frank was remembered as a kind officer who always thought of his men first. As Reginald Cowper, a former crew member stated, “Lieut. Amyot was a good commander, in all ways.” In the words of Harry Barrett, “Lieut. Frank Amyot was a great guy; we would have done anything for him. We all volunteered to a man to serve on M.T.B’s in the English Channel. Lieutenant Amyot said we would remain as a crew and that we would take Q072 with us and fuel at sea if necessary. The Captain informed us that there was no need to rush forward to be first to volunteer; both he and the First Lieutenant had already signed at the top of the list. In spite of all the excitement nothing more was heard of the M.T.B. proposal. Only those who served with Frank on board the Q 072 would remember “Amyot’s Dream”, to ram a German U-Boat. For his service he received the 1939-45 Star, Atlantic Star, Defence Medal, the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and the War Medal. After the war Frank moved to Ottawa where he found employment as a Welfare Officer with the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. He served as a reservist with HMCS Carleton and obtained the rank of Lieutenant-Commander. On November 21, 1962 Frank Amyot died suddenly in Ottawa at fifty-seven years of age. (written by Kevin Joynt)

 

AMYOT Francis (Frank) - He was a Canadian sprint canoer who competed in the 1930s. Born in Thornhill, Ontario, he won Canada's only gold medal at the 1936 Summer Olympics in the C-1 1000m canoeing events. This proved embarrassing to Canadian officials who had refused to pay his way. In 1936, Britannia Boating Club raised money for Frank Amyot's Olympic Fund campaign. When he won the 1000 meter championship in the 1936 Olympic Games, Frank Amyot of BYC raced the Canadian canoe, which is different from the type of canoe he had raced in Canadian Canoe Association meets. Although he had seen blueprints, Amyot rowed the Canadian canoe for the first time during the final training stages in Germany. On June 18, 1933 Amyot saved Ottawa Rough Riders Dave Sprague and Eddie Bond from drowning, when their canoe overturned on Lake Deschenes. On July 18, 1942, Lieutenant Frank Amyot attended a meeting of 17 Britannia Boating Club members, in army and civilian war jobs during World War II, at Holborn Restaurant in London, England. Amyot was inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 1949 and Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 1955. In 1964, the Britannia Yacht Club presented the Frank Amyot Memorial Trophy awarded to Junior Men C-15 Canoe Kayak Canada Canadian Sprint Canoe Kayak Championships, in loving memory of Frank Amyot, a life member of the club, Olympic Single Blade Singles C-1 Gold Medallist (1936), and distinguished member of Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. In 2012, the Britannia Yacht Club stairwell featured a display with a photo of Frank Amyot and a collection of his trophies. (Source: Find-a-Grave)

 

Ships served in:

ROYAL NAVY - Listed as serving with the RN as a Lt (SB), RCNVR (Navy List Jul 1941)

HMCS NIOBE - Listed at HMCS Niobe as a Lt (SB), RCNVR (Navy List Aug 1943)

HMCS VENTURE - Appointed to Venture 17 Jan 1944 as a Lt, RCNVR (Navy List Feb 1944)

ML Q077 - Served in Q077 06 Mar 1944 - 23 Apr 1944 as a Lt, RCNVR (Macpherson-Burgess - The Ships of Canada's Naval Forces 1910-1981)

ML Q072 - Appointed to Q072 24 Apr 1944 as a Lt, RCNVR, Commanding Officer (Navy List May 1944)

ML Q114 - Served in Q117 06 May 1945 - 06 Jun 1945 as a Lt, RCNVR, Commanding Officer (Macpherson-Burgess - The Ships of Canada's Naval Forces 1910-1981)

ML Q115 - Served in Q115 09 Jun 1945 - 25 Jul 1945 as a Lt, RCNVR, Commanding Officer (Macpherson-Burgess - The Ships of Canada's Naval Forces 1910-1981)

HMCS CARLETON (retired list) as LCdr, RCN(R) (seniority 21 May 1950) (Navy List Jul 1952). Last noted in the Navy Lists for Jan 1960.

 

 

Frank Amyot's headstone at the Notre-Dame of Ottawa Cemetery, Ottawa, ON

Source: Find-a-Grave

 

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