|Date of Birth||April 26, 1891|
|Place of Birth||Sheen, Pontiac, Quebec|
|Next of Kin||Louis Hall, father, Manresa, Saskatchewan|
|Trade / Calling||Locomotive Fireman|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Battalion||No 129 Company, CFC|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Branch||Canadian Forestry Corps|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Address at Enlistment||Chapleau, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||April 3, 1917|
|Age at Enlistment||26|
|Theatre of Service||Great Britain|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||April 13, 1969|
|Age at Death||78|
|Buried At||Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario|
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