Series 01 - William Paterson Sprenger

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William Paterson Sprenger

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CA MUA MG3003-01

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  • 1918-1961 (Creation)
    Sprenger, William Paterson, 1911-1940

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15 cm of textual records and photographs

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Biographical history

Born in North Bay, Ontario, William Sprenger was educated in private schools in England and Saint John, New Brunswick. He earned his B.A. from McGill in 1931 and his B.C.L. in 1934. During his university years, and afterwards when he worked in the legal section of Canadian Industries, Ltd., he was an outstanding champion swimmer. He was also an amateur pilot, and at the outbreak of World War II, he joined the No. 1 Fighter Squadron of the R.C.A.F. He was killed during the Battle of Britain when his plane was shot down near Loch Lomond, Scotland.

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These papers concern two aspects of Sprenger's career: his school and college record, and his death and subsequent memorials. Sprenger's school records comprise reports from his school in England, 1918, and from Rothesay Collegiate School, Saint John, 1921-1926, together with a copy of the R.C.S. magazine recording his graduation, 1927, and a letter to his father, 1926. Two photographs of the Rothesay Football team, 1924, 1926, show Sprenger as captain. His McGill years are documented by matriculation, 1927, and graduation, 1931, certificates, convocation programmes, 1931 and 1934 and an official transcript of marks, 1933. His sports prowess is reflected by the programme of a Quebec Swimming Association competition organized by Sprenger in 1936 and by seven photographs of athletic and swimming teams in which Sprenger participated while at McGill. Various sports certificates, and Sprenger's amateur pilot's licence, 1939, also survive. His death in action is recorded by about eight letters of condolence to his parents from Air Force officers and chaplain, as well as his flying mates. They enclose Sprenger's 'Wings' and photographs of him and of his grave. Printed tributes to Sprenger from newspapers, and the house magazines of Canadian Industries, Ltd and of the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association are supplemented by other periodical articles on the R.C.A.F. and the Battle of Britain.

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