Kenora Great War Project

 

Personal Details
Date of BirthApril 26, 1891
Place of BirthSheen, Pontiac, Quebec
CountryCanada
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinLouis Hall, father, Manresa, Saskatchewan
Trade / CallingLocomotive Fireman
ReligionRoman Catholic
Service Details
Regimental Number2250528
Service Record Link to Service Record
BattalionNo 129 Company, CFC
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Forestry Corps
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentSudbury, Ontario
Address at EnlistmentChapleau, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentApril 3, 1917
Age at Enlistment26
Theatre of ServiceGreat Britain
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathApril 13, 1969
Age at Death78
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario
Plot21E-10-3

Hall, Thomas Harold (Harry)

Although Thomas Harold (Harry) Hall gave his place of birth as Pembroke, Ontario on his attestation papers, he was born on 26 April 1891 on the family farm across the Ottawa River in what is present day Sheenboro in Quebec. His parents Louis and Elizabeth (née Sweeney) Hall had married in 1872 in Ottawa. For a while the family farmed in the district of Hawksbury West, Prescott but by the mid 1880’s had relocated to what was then called Sheen, Aberdeen, Esher and Malakoff in the district of Pontiac in Quebec. Harry had seven older siblings, Emma (1874-1919), John (1875-1893), Mary Ann (1877), James Louis (1880), Clara (1884), Edward (1886), and Albert Joseph (1888). He also had a younger brother, Robert John (1894).

Along with his parents and siblings Joseph and Robert, Harry moved out to the district of Humboldt in Saskatchewan between 1901 and 1906 where once again the family farmed. He joined the Canadian Pacific Railway as a fireman in 1913 and moved to Chapleau, Ontario for his work.

Harry signed his attestation papers in Sudbury, Ontario on 3 April 1917. With occupation given as locomotive fireman, and his father Louis in Manresa, Saskatchewan as next of kin, Harry’s residence was given as Chapleau. With the Camp Borden Forestry Draft to Base Depot, Harry arrived in England on 5 July 1917 aboard the  Justica. Ten days later, diagnosed with measles, he was admitted to the Military Isolation Hospital at Aldershot.

Harry served for the duration of the war with the Canadian Forestry Corps in Great Britain, first with the 117th Company and then with the 129th Company. Both companies were employed in the Dornock, Sutherland area in Scotland. ‘The Canadian Forestry Corps provided lumber for the Allied war effort by cutting and preparing timber in the United Kingdom and on the continent of Europe during the First World War. Forestry units also cleared terrain for the construction of installations such as airfields and runway, prepared railway ties, as well as lumber for the creation of barracks, road surfaces, ammunition crates, trench construction, etc.’ (canadiansoldiers.com).

Embarking from Glasgow on 18 June 1919, Harry returned to Canada aboard the  Saturnia. His destination on his discharge papers was given as Manresa, Saskatchewan. However, Harry resumed working with the Canadian Pacific Railway, transferring to Kenora, Ontario. On 21 April 1920, in Kenora, he married Grace Dulcie Dennett. Born in 1897 in Windsor, Berkshire, England, Grace was the daughter of Robert and Henrietta (née Baldwin) Dennett. After the death of her father she immigrated to Canada, settling in Kenora with her mother and siblings Robert William and Elizabeth Hilda in 1907.

By 1923 Harry had begun working for the Ontario Minnesota Pulp and Paper Company in Kenora, retiring as groundwood tour foreman in 1961. The couple raised four children, daughters Elsie, Irene, and Hazel, and son, Robert. Harry was a member of St Alban’s Pro Cathedral, the local 133 Pulp Sulphite Union, and the Kenora Branch of the Canadian Legion.

Predeceased by his wife Grace in 1963, Harry died on 13 April 1969 in Kenora. At the time of his death he was survived by his daughters Mrs Bud (Elsie) Ziesman of Kenora, Irene of Port Arthur in Ontario, Mrs Wes (Hazel) Alcock of Duncan, British Columbia, and son Robert of Kenora as well as six grandchildren and his brother Robert of Leroy, Saskatchewan. Harry and Grace are interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora.

Harry’s brother Joseph signed recruitment papers on 16 July 1918 in Fernie, British Columbia with the 2nd Depot Battalion BC Regiment. He arrived in England aboard the City of Cairo  on 12 October 1918 and served with the Canadian Railway Troops reinforcements in England until returning to Canada aboard the Baltic  in July of 1919. Grace’s brother Robert enlisted in Kenora in 1914 and served overseas as Sergeant with the 52nd Battalion, returning to Kenora after the war. Following in his father’s footsteps, Harry’s son Robert served overseas with the 17th Field Regiment during WW2.

by Judy Stockham

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