|Date of Birth||May 28, 1892|
|Place of Birth||Eagle River, Ontario|
|Next of Kin||Nettie Nabishe, wife, Swan Lake, Malachi PO, Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||Labourer|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Place of Enlistment||Kenora, Ontario|
|Address at Enlistment||Eagle River, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||May 26, 1916|
|Age at Enlistment||24|
|Theatre of Service||Canada|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||April 10, 1957|
|Age at Death||65|
|Buried At||Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario|
As given on his attestation papers, Thomas Nabishe was born on 28 May 1892 in Eagle River, Ontario. Little is known about his life before he enlisted as a Private with the 141st Battalion on 26 May 1916 in Kenora. According to his son Wilfred’s WW2 service record, Thomas had married his wife Nettie that April in the Eagle Lake Reserve. Upon enlisting Thomas’ occupation was given as labourer, his residence as Eagle River, and his wife ‘Nettlie” in Swan Lake, Malachi PO, Ontario. Further in his service record Nettlie’s address was given as Eagle River and his parents, still living, were given as Mr and Mrs Charles Nabishe. Being illegally absent for a period of 21 days, Thomas was struck off strength as a deserter by a board of inquiry on 5 October 1916 in Port Arthur.
According to his son Wilfred’s record, Thomas and Nettie gave birth to eight children, years of birth approximate: Wilfred and Lillian (1922), Sarah Kelly (1924), Irma (1928), George (1932), Joseph (1934), Charlie (1941-1942), and Charlie (1943-1943). Thomas was a member of the Kenora Branch of the Canadian Legion, his membership card giving his WW1 service as well as service with the Veteran Guard in Canada during WW2. No other details of his life are known.
Thomas died of natural causes on 10 April 1957 on the Bigstone Bay Road just west of Kenora. At the time he had been living on the Pine Portage Reserve and had been into town the previous day. Thomas is interred in a military plot in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora. His original gravemarker was replaced in 2016.
Son Wilfred enlisted on 19 September 1941 in Kenora. As a Rifleman with the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, Wilfred was reported as killed in action on 6 June 1944 at Juno Beach. A telegram reporting his death was sent to his father Tom Nabish, Box 544 St Mary’s School in Kenora. Wilfred is interred in the Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery, Calvados, France.
Thomas and Wilfred and commemorated for their war service on the Anishinaabe War Veterans plaque.
By Judy Stockham