Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthMarch 29, 1883
Place of BirthBolton, Lancashire
Marital StatusMarried
Next of KinMrs. Mary Carrie (wife), Winnipeg Manitoba
Trade / CallingPainter and Glazier
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number500323
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion1st Army Troops Company
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Engineers
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentWinnipeg, Manitoba
Date of EnlistmentSeptember 16, 1915
Age at Enlistment32
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathMay 20, 1963
Age at Death80
Buried AtGlen Eden Memorial Gardens, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Carrie, Thomas

Sapper Thomas Carrie joined the Canadian Engineers in September 1915 and served overseas for three and a half years. While he was away his wife and young son moved to the UK and lived there for two years.

Thomas was born on 29 March 1883 in Little Bolton, Lancashire, England. His parents were John Sobieski Stuart Carrie and Eliza Ann Mann. They were married in Bolton in 1878 and they had at least five children: John Jr., Eliza (died as a child), Thomas, Douglas and Gladys. John was a grocer and tea merchant and the two oldest boys worked as assistants in his shop. In 1907 John, Eliza, Douglas and Gladys immigrated to Canada, arriving in March on the Empress of Britain with their destination listed as Keewatin, Ontario. Thomas had immigrated a few years earlier and he was probably living in Keewatin by then. He later made his home in Winnipeg where he worked as a painter and glazier.

Thomas was married in Winnipeg on 23 March 1912 to 21-year-old Mary Elmore. Mary was born in Ireland and came to Canada in 1910, where she found work in Winnipeg as a house maid. Thomas and Mary’s first child, Thomas Elmore, was born in December 1912. The war entered its second year in August 1915 and Thomas enlisted a month later. He signed up in Winnipeg on 16 September, joining the Canadian Engineer Training Depot. He embarked for England in November and he was attached to the Canadian Engineer Training Depot at Shorncliffe. His wife and young son had moved to the UK in August and they lived there for two years, first in Edinburgh, Scotland then in Oldham, Lancashire and Rock Ferry, Cheshire.

On 18 January 1916 Thomas was sent to France and attached to the 1st Army Troops Company, Canadian Engineers. Before joining his new unit he spent six months on command at the Royal Engineers Park near Steenwerck, France. In early August he joined the 1st Army Troops Company in the field and he served with them for the next two and a half years. Army troop companies worked with the engineers to construct and repair defences, buildings, roads, bridges and water supply systems. They set up and operated blacksmith, carpenter, painting and motorized vehicle shops. They also built heavy gun emplacements and often worked close to the front within range of artillery and machine gun fire.

Thomas had ten days leave in England in the fall of 1916 and in Paris a year later. In November 1917 his wife and son returned to Canada. He was given two weeks leave in the UK starting on 22 October 1918 and when he rejoined his unit in mid-November the Armistice had ended hostilities. His company stayed in France for three more months. They left Bethune by train on 16 February, heading to the coast, and they were back in England in early March. The troops embarked on the SS Belgic on 16 April and arrived in Halifax on 23 April. The unit had been organized in Ottawa and the men arrived at the Ottawa train station to a warm welcome on 25 April. Thomas was discharged two days later. His brother Douglas served with the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force in Canada and the U.S. He was discharged in December 1919.

Thomas returned to Winnipeg after his service and he and his wife had another son, Ernest John, born in May 1920. Both of their sons served in the Second World War. Thomas had a long career as a painter and decorator for the T. Eaton Company, retiring in 1953. He passed away in Deer Lodge Veterans Hospital on 20 May 1963, at age 80. Mary died in 1968 and they are both buried at Glen Eden Memorial Gardens in Winnipeg. Thomas Jr. passed away in Winnipeg in 1960 and Ernest died in Vancouver in 2000.

Thomas and his brother Douglas are commemorated on the Municipality of Keewatin For King and Country 1914-18 roll of honour.

By Becky Johnson

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