|Date of Birth||May 20, 1878|
|Place of Birth||Smeeton Westerby, Leicestershire|
|Next of Kin||Jonas Breedon Elliott, father, Victoria Road, Cannock, Stafffordshire, England|
|Trade / Calling||Miller|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Battalion||Canadian Artillery Regimental Depot|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Branch||Canadian Field Artillery|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Place of Enlistment||Winnipeg, Manitoba|
|Address at Enlistment||Keewatin, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||November 7, 1917|
|Age at Enlistment||39|
|Theatre of Service||Great Britain|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||September 9, 1959|
|Age at Death||81|
|Buried At||Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario|
Thomas Breedon Elliott was born on 20 May 1878 in Smeeton Westerly, Leicestershire, England. His father Jonas Breedon Elliott was from Leicester while his mother Caroline Burnaby was from the Pipewell-Rushton area in Northamptonshire where the couple had married in the first quarter of 1875. Thomas had an older sister, Florence (1876) and younger brother Frederick (1881), both also born in Smeeton Westerly. Jonas first worked as a grazier out of Smeeton Westerly, then as a surveyor in Kibworth Beauchamp, also in Leicestershire, and then finally as a seedsman in Cannock, Staffordshire. By the 1901 census Thomas was working as a furniture salesman in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire.
During the second quarter of 1907, in Windsor, Berkshire, Thomas married Sarah Standley. Born in 1880 in Hucknall in Nottinghamshire, Sarah was the daughter of master painter John and Hannah Standley. Thomas and Sarah immigrated to Canada that June, arriving in Montreal on the 7th, on their way to Keewatin in northwestern Ontario where Thomas was to work for the Lake of the Woods Milling Company. Sadly, after giving birth to a stillborn baby boy in April of 1909, Sarah died six days later. She and the baby are interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora.
With occupation as miller and his father Jonas back in Cannock as next of kin, Thomas signed his attestation papers in Winnipeg on 17 November 1917. At the time he was a foreman at the flour mill. After training in Canada with the 76th Depot Battery, Canadian Field Artillery, Thomas embarked for Great Britain aboard the Lapland on 10 February 1918. Upon arrival he was admitted to the No 12 Canadian General Hospital at Bramshott suffering from pulmonary congestion/bronchitis. At the end of March he was transferred to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital Bearwood Wokingham, discharged in mid April. He was first attached to the Canadian Artillery Regimental Depot, transferred to the Reserve Brigade, CFA, and then back to the CARD. Granted permission that July, Thomas married Lillian Mae Standley during the 3rd quarter of 1918 in Nottingham. A younger sister of Sarah, Lillian was born in Nottingham. With bronchitis, in November Thomas was admitted to the Frensham Hill Military Hospital in Farnham, Surrey. Discharge later that month, Thomas embarked for Canada aboard the Grampian in January of 1919. He was discharged from service due to demobilization in Winnipeg on March 15th.
Thomas returned to Keewatin and his job at the flour mill. The town held a demonstration in August of 1919, the mayor presenting medals and badges to the veterans who served as well as to family members of the fallen. Thomas’ name was included on the list. Earlier that April Thomas had attended a great reception at the Tourist Hotel in Kenora for returned soldiers.
In May of 1919 Lillian and her widowed mother Hannah arrived in Canada aboard the Digby. Hannah stayed with the couple in Keewatin for a few years, returning to England in the fall of 1923. At some point Thomas and Lillian gave birth to a son, Thomas Jr.
Thomas was a member of the Keewatin Masonic Lodge and the Keewatin Branch of the Canadian Legion. He retired as foreman at the mill on 1 September 1949. Thomas died on 9 September 1959 in the Winnipeg General Hospital. His mother Caroline died in 1942 and his father Jonas in 1959, both in Cannock, and his wife Lillian in Kenora in December of 1947, her grave marker and Thomas’ obituary mistakenly recording the year as 1948. At the time of his death Thomas was survived by his son Thomas of Red Lake and two grandchildren. Thomas and Lillian are interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery.
Thomas is commemorated for his service on the St James Anglican Church WW1 Roll of Honour, the Municipality of Keewatin for King and Country Roll of Honour, on the Town of Keewatin Roll of Honour, and the Lake of the Woods Milling Company WW1 Roll of Honour, all in Keewatin.
by Judy Stockham
Thomas’ grave marker was installed in Lake of the Woods Cemetery in 2018 by the Last Post Fund.