|Date of Birth||December 21, 1895|
|Place of Birth||Keewatin, Ontario|
|Next of Kin||Father: T. J. Cherry, Keewatin, Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||Clerk|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Address at Enlistment||Keewatin, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||November 17, 1915|
|Age at Enlistment||19|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||September 18, 1960|
|Age at Death||64|
|Buried At||Garry Memorial Park Cemetery, Winnipeg, Manitoba|
Thomas Cecil Cherry was born on 21 December 1895 in Keewatin, Ontario. His parents were Thomas Joseph Cherry and Caroline Hawkin. Siblings included John Joseph Roland, Agnes, Marion and Norah. Cecil’s father was born in Ireland and immigrated to Canada 1871. He was a Reeve for Keewatin in 1907 and 1908 becoming Keewatin’s first Mayor in 1909 and 1910. In 1911 Cecil’s father was a manager at the flour mill and his brother was a clerk in a bank. Cecil was likely still in school. By the time he enlisted, Cecil was a clerk in the Lake of the Woods Milling Company.
Cecil enlisted in Kenora on November 11, 1915, and was assigned to the 94th Battalion. His unit sailed overseas on the S.S. Olympic on June 28th, 1916, arriving in Liverpool on July 5th. He was transferred there to the 17th Battalion, and then to the 43rd Battalion when sent over to France on September 7th, 1916.
Cecil was on guard duty at the Somme, on October 9, 1916, when he was struck with shrapnel. From his records: ‘Wounded on Somme when on guard. Struck by shrapnel in left thigh. Treated at No. 10 Field Ambulance, then, CCS, and No. 6 Hosp. Rouen. Had operation at CCS and at Rouen pieces of shrapnel being removed. At Rouen had xrays and was told there was a compound fracture of left femur. CGA -huge inflamed wound on outer side of left thigh. ‘Admitted with Thomas splint. Has constant pain.’
Thus commenced a long road to recovery for Cecil, and the end of his active military duty. He underwent two operations and was sent to the London Military hospital, in Clapton, then the Ontario Military Hospital in Orpington. In January 1917, it was noted he could only walk with two sticks. He was invalided out to Canada on the S.S. Letitia on March 15, 1917 and was sent to convalesce in Winnipeg because his wound and fracture were not yet healed.
By March, 1918 he was still being treated. The notes from that time – ‘upon admission, had femur opened up, wound to be packed daily.’ In total, Cecil served in England and France for 5 months, and after being wounded, convalesced for 15 months. Upon discharge, it was noted that he was completely healed. That was on July 31, 1918, and he was declared medically unfit for further war service. He received one gold bar for his military service.
Thomas married Jean Gladys Stanton on 05 April 1921 in Winnipeg. They had one daughter, Mrs. N. R. Donegh. Thomas worked for two flour companies (Lake of the Woods Milling and Ogilvie) for 40 years. In WW2 he served with the 2nd Battalion, Royal Winnipeg Rifles. He was a member of the Canadian Legion (Fort Rouge branch), the United Services Institute and the K 40 Club.
Thomas Cecil Cherry died in Winnipeg, Manitoba on 18 September 1960. He was buried in Garry Memorial Park, Winnipeg.
by Penny Beal