|Date of Birth||November 10, 1889|
|Place of Birth||Petrolia, Lambton County, Ontario|
|Next of Kin||Mrs. Emily Glenn (mother), Seattle, Washington|
|Trade / Calling||Steam engineer|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Place of Enlistment||Winnipeg, Manitoba|
|Address at Enlistment||General Delivery, Portage la Prairie, Manitoba|
|Date of Enlistment||04/10/1916|
|Age at Enlistment||26|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||24/10/1939|
|Age at Death||49|
|Buried At||Riverside Cemetery, Dauphin, Manitoba|
Private Thomas Blake Glenn, usually known as Blake, was the son of John Thomas Glenn and Emily Brydges. He was born on 10 November 1889 in Petrolia, Lambton County, Ontario. His parents had married in 1878 in nearby Wyoming, Ontario. Blake had two older brothers, John Bertram (1879) and Frederick Aylmer (1887), both born in Petrolia. Frederick died there at age four months. When the 1901 census was taken Blake and his family were living in the town of Keewatin in northwestern Ontario and his father John was working as a miner. Sadly, John died in Keewatin in February 1905, at age 50, and he’s buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora.
Blake’s mother moved to Seattle, Washington and when the 1910 U.S. census was taken she was living there with her brother and his family. The war started in August 1914 and Blake enlisted two years later, signing up with the 251st (Good Fellows) Battalion on 4 October 1916 in Winnipeg. He was living in Portage la Prairie at the time and employed as a steam engineer. Next of kin was his mother Emily Glenn in Seattle. Blake trained with his unit until the following summer and during that time he spent about eight weeks in the hospital getting treatment for vd. On 20 August 1917 he was listed as absent without leave and declared to be a deserter.
Conscription started in Canada in the summer of 1917 and Blake registered in Winnipeg on 17 January 1918. He was called up for service on 2 March 1918 and assigned to the 1st Depot Battalion, Manitoba Regiment. Next of kin was his mother who was living in Seattle with her son Bertram and his family. Blake was sent to England with the 18th draft of his unit, embarking from Halifax on 10 May and arriving in London about two weeks later. He was transferred to the 18th Reserve Battalion and he trained with them for six months. In June and July he was in the Canadian Hospital at Etchinghill for about four weeks getting treatment for vd again. On 8 November he was drafted to the 8th Battalion and sent to France.
The Armistice ended hostilities on the Western Front on 11 November and Blake joined his unit in the field a few days later. In December the battalion took part in the March to Rhine then spent several weeks in Germany as part of the occupying forces. Blake had two weeks leave in the UK in February 1919 and when it ended he was kept in England and transferred back to the 18th Reserve Battalion. Starting in April he was in the hospital at Etchinghill again for his recurring vd, this time for seven weeks. He embarked for Canada on 16 August on the SS Belgic and he was discharged on demobilization on 25 August in Toronto. His proposed residence was Seattle, where his mother was still living.
Blake was married in Winnipeg on 17 November 1920. His wife, Grace Evelyn Chute, was born in Saskatchewan but her family had settled in Dauphin, Manitoba when she was just a baby. Her parents were Herbert and Ruth Chute and her older brother, Archie Chute, had served in France with the 46th Battalion. Blake and Grace lived in the Dauphin area and took up farming. They had six children: Thomas Blake, Freeman Bruce, Stella Evelyn, Leona Ruth, Viola Blanche and Grace Emily. Freeman served in the navy during the Second World War.
Blake passed away in Dauphin on 24 October 1939, at age 49, and he had a Legion funeral two days later. Grace died on 18 April 1944, at age 51. They are both buried at Riverside Cemetery in Dauphin along with members of Grace’s family.
By Becky Johnson