Kenora Great War Project

 

Personal Details
Date of BirthApril 16, 1891
Place of BirthLisnaskea, Fermanagh
CountryIreland
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinFather: Thomas Knox, Lisnaskea, Ireland
Trade / CallingBank Clerk
ReligionPresbyterian
Service Details
Regimental Number418
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion8th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Address at EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentAugust 9, 1914
Age at Enlistment23
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathMay 26, 1950
Age at Death59

Knox, Thomas Robert

Robert Knox was born in Linaskea, Fermanagh, Ireland, the son of Dr. Thomas Knox and Louisa Sandels.

A bank clerk, in 1913 he immigrated to Canada, arriving at St. John New Brunswick aboard the Letitia. He was bound for Toronto where he’d gained a position with the Imperial Bank, and he was then transferred to bank’s branch in Kenora.

When war broke out the following year he, along with fellow bank clerks Jeffrey Vereker and Athol McLean, were among the first Kenora men to enlist for overseas service. Vereker had joined the local militia, the 98th Regiment, earlier in the year, while McLean and Knox joined in early August. Knox noted on his attestation paper he’d served three months with the Ulster Volunteers at home in Ireland.

The friends went through training at Valcartier with the other Kenora men and shipped overseas with the 8th Battalion (Winnipeg Rifles) with 30 other Kenora volunteers.

Knox was assigned as driver in Company C.

Once overseas the three were selected for officer training, however only Vereker and McLean were transferred to the British Army for the training, Knox remained with the 8th Battalion and went to France with them in February 1915. McLean would be killed the following year while serving with the Suffolk Regiment. Vereker served in the Royal Field Artillery and the Royal Flying Corp.

Knox was badly wounded in one of the first major battles for the Canadian 1st Division and the 8th Battalion. At Ypres on Apr. 24, 1915 he was gassed and shot in the head. The bullet entered his forehead and exited just below and behind his left ear, severing the optic nerve to his left eye.

Hospitalized in France, he was deemed unfit for service at the end of May and transferred to England for further treatment. Over the next three years he remained in the army’s reserve battalion system and was hospitalized several times for further treatment of his head wound and once for fractured ribs after falling while on Christmas furlough visiting his parents in Ireland in December 1916.

He was returned to Canada in November of 1918 and formally discharged from the army on Jan. 21, 1919 at Victoria B.C.

Knox passed away Feb. 28, 1950.

by Bob Stewart

 


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