|Date of Birth||March 27, 1891|
|Place of Birth||Quebec City, Quebec|
|Next of Kin||Andrew Cotter, father, Box 305, Kenora, Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||plumber|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Branch||Canadian Forestry Corps|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Conscripted|
|Place of Enlistment||Winnipeg, Manitoba|
|Address at Enlistment||Box 305, Kenora, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||January 27, 1918|
|Age at Enlistment||26|
|Theatre of Service||Great Britain|
|Prisoner of War||No|
Thomas Joseph Cotter was born on 27 March 1891 in Quebec City. Both of his parents Andrew Cotter and Mary Jane O’Neill were born in Quebec to Irish immigrants. The couple married on 21 April 1884 in Quebec City. Over the years Andrew worked as a plumber as did some of his sons. Thomas had four older siblings, Andrew Henry (1885), Justin (1886), William (1887), and Mary Eva (1890) as well as two younger sisters, Stella (1893) and Agnes (1898). Shortly after the birth of Agnes the family moved to Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) in northwestern Ontario. Sadly, Thomas’ mother died in May of 1900.
Thomas signed his recruitment papers on 27 January 1918 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He gave his occupation as plumber and his father Andrew in Kenora as next of kin. With the No 6 Draft, Canadian Forestry Corps, Thomas embarked from Halifax aboard the SS Megantic on 20 February 1918.
Upon arrival in England Thomas was taken on strength with the CFC base depot at Sunningdale. In late March he was transferred to 55 District 130 Company at Sandhurst, Berkshire where he was to serve until early June of 1919. By July 8th Thomas was back in Canada. Thomas’ brother William signed recruitment papers with the No 6 Draft of the CFC in April of 1918, being returned to registrar’s records with exemption that fall.
Thomas returned to Kenora, found living with his father and sister Stella on 5th Avenue South for the 1921 census. Both father and son were listed as plumbers. Thomas’ father Andrew died in February of 1929 in Kenora and at the time of his death he was survived by sons Henry of Australia, Jessie (Justin) of western Canada, William of Edmonton, Tom of Kenora, and daughters Eva Kehoe of Calgary, Stella Bellefeuille of Kenora, and Agnes of Winnipeg. Thomas’ parents and sister Stella are interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora. At some point Thomas left Kenora and further trace of him was not found.
by Judy Stockham