|Date of Birth||February 7, 1900|
|Place of Birth||Rat Portage (Kenora), Ontario|
|Next of Kin||William Cox, friend, Box 977, Brandon, Manitoba|
|Trade / Calling||Farm labourer|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Address at Enlistment||Brandon, Manitoba|
|Date of Enlistment||April 8, 1916|
|Age at Enlistment||16|
|Theatre of Service||Canada|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||June 16, 1966|
|Age at Death||66|
|Buried At||Brookside Cemetery, Winnipeg, Manitoba|
Although he gave his birth date as 2 May 1897 on his attestation papers, James Thomas Alphonse Dubord was born on 7 February 1900 in Rat Portage (later named Kenora), Ontario. His father Jean Baptiste Alphonse Dubord had been born in Trois Rivieres, Quebec, the son of Joseph and Marie Louise Hedwige (Hamelin) Dubord. By the 1881 census Alphonse, his parents, and some of his siblings had moved to the Selkirk area of Manitoba to farm. Thomas’ mother Isabella (Bella) Park was the daughter of George and Mary (Sinclair) Park, a Metis family with roots in the Red River Settlement/Selkirk/St Clement area where they were also found in the 1881 census.
Alphonse and Bella married on 14 April 1895 in Elm Bay in northwestern Ontario where Alphonse was working as a labourer. Bella, along with some of her siblings, had been residing in nearby Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora). Their first born child was a girl they named Alice, followed by a son George in 1897, and then Thomas. At some point after his birth the family unit disintegrated, with Bella and the children returning to Manitoba where the children were eventually put in the care of the Children’s Aid Society and/or foster homes. Bella entered a relationship with Archie Halcro and gave birth to children Joseph (1903-1916), Emily (1905), and Greta, birth registered as Annabella, in 1907. It appears that these children also found their way into the foster care system, later assuming the surname of Dubord.
Thomas Dubord signed his attestation papers with the 181st Battalion in Brandon, Manitoba on 8 April 1916 giving friend William Cox of Brandon as next of kin (none living). Thomas had been lodging with the Cox family as a farm labourer in the 1916 census. With light brown hair and gray eyes, he was only 16 years of age. A week later he was discharged from service as ‘being under age and enlisting without the consent of his Guardian’.
An age appropriate Thomas Dubord was found working as a farm labourer in Maple Bush in the District of Swift Current in Saskatchewan in the 1921 census. On 26 July 1922 Thomas married Miriam Elizabeth Cook in St Andrews Presbyterian Church in Quebec City. Miriam, daughter of Frederick and Ellen Cook, was born in Epsom, Surrey, England. She had worked as a nanny and had crossed the ocean to Canada a number of times with the family before settling on her own in Quebec. After the marriage it appears that the couple first lived in Carman, Manitoba before moving to Winnipeg. Children born to the family were Ellen, Greta, Sybil, and Evelyn.
With the advent of WW2 Thomas answered the call, enlisting in Winnipeg in November of 1939 and arriving in Liverpool, England in June of the next year to serve with the RAF. He served as a Wireless and Electrical Mechanic and was with several different squadrons in the UK. Thomas received two promotions while serving, from Aircraftman to Corporal and then to Flight Sergeant in January of 1943. Discharged at Halifax in June of 1945, he had served for fifteen months in Canada and four years three months in the UK. He was awarded the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and Clasp.
Having returned to Canada Thomas was found on the passenger list of the Ariguani that arrived in Liverpool in early August of 1945. With his first marriage ending in divorce, Thomas married Marion Fletcher Rogers on 30 August 1945 in Islington, Middlesex, England. Marion, daughter of farmer Samuel and Susan (Fletcher) Rogers, had been born in December 1905 in Duns’ Tew, Oxfordshire. Thomas’ occupation on the marriage registration was given as cafe proprietor.
Thomas and Marion gave birth to three children while still in England, Louise, George, and Jane. They lived for a while in the registration district of Aylesbury before returning to Winnipeg in the 1950s. As found on Voters Lists for Winnipeg, over the years Thomas worked as a TV technician, eventually owning his own business.
Thomas Dubord died in Deer Lodge Hospital in Winnipeg on 16 June 1966. He was survived by his wife Marion, son George of Winnipeg, daughters Jane at home, Mrs JS (Louise) Kaye, Mrs Jim (Greta, aka ‘Bumps’) Stewart, Mrs R (Sybil) Baggot, all of Winnipeg, Mrs A (Ellen, aka ‘Snooks’) Wilson of Vancouver, and Mrs Evelyn Zelkie of Prince George, British Columbia. Thomas is interred in the Military Field of Honour in Brookside Cemetery, Winnipeg. Marion later died on 1 February 1996 in Langley, British Columbia and is interred in the Langley Lawn Cemetery in Langley.
Thomas’ brother George had enlisted in Winnipeg in late December of 1915 and went overseas with the 53rd Battalion in April of 1916. He was transferred to the 28th Battalion and was first reported as missing and then as killed in action on 15 September 1916 at Flers-Courcelette, the Somme. Along with 11 000 other Canadians who were posted as ‘missing, presumed dead’, his name is inscribed on the Vimy Memorial in Pas de Calais, France.
by Judy Stockham
Thomas’ obituary is from the Kenora Miner and News.
Marion’s grave marker photo courtesy of Herbert Rickards on findagrave.com