Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthSeptember 29, 1898
Place of BirthKeewatin, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMrs. Lea Kinney (mother), Kenora, Ontario
Trade / Callinglabourer
ReligionRoman Catholic
Service Details
Regimental Number198686
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion94th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentJanuary 4, 1916
Age at Enlistment17
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathSeptember 17, 1940
Age at Death42
Buried AtMountain View Cemetery, Thunder Bay, Ontario
PlotIODE Lot #2, grave 56

Kinney, Thomas James

Thomas was the son of Lea (Villeneuve) and Joseph Kinney and was born in Keewatin in 1898. He grew up in a large family of 2 sisters and 4 brothers including two who also saw service in WW1. Before recruitment, he worked as a call boy with the CPR.  To be old enough to enlist, Thomas gave his date of birth as   September 1897 rather than September 1898.  He deployed with the 94th Battalion, first to the Lakehead, then Valcartier Quebec, finally departing from Halifax for England on the RMS Olympic.  In July 1916 Thomas was transferred to the 17th Reserve Battalion.  There are several references in Thomas’ service file to his smaller size, underdeveloped lungs and his inability to walk long treks with a pack on his back.  As a result of this, Thomas was assigned to work at bases. Thomas was overseas for four years, mostly in the position of driver.  When he returned home, he worked as a trainman for the CPR.  He is shown on the 1921 census, living as a lodger at 100 Second St. S., Kenora Ontario and is age 22 and a trainman on the CPR. He correctly is shown as being born in Ontario but the information about his parents’ birthplaces is incorrectly shown as Ontario and Thomas’s nationality is shown as Irish!  Thomas lived in Thunder Bay from about 1923 until his death on 17 September 1940.   Thomas is buried in Mountain View Cemetery Thunder Bay Ontario in a military plot.

Thomas married Isabel Maud Skinner on 15 September 1924 in Kenora Ontario.  They had a daughter Marjorie Fern and a son Irvin James.   Thomas was a member of the Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen, the Army and Navy Veterans Association, and a parishioner of St. Luke’s Anglican Church.    After Thomas’s death, his widow Isabel was living in Brandon in April 1945 when  Irvin James was shot down over Germany.  He was an air gunner on a Lancaster Bomber.  Later that year, Isabel married Frederick L. McLeod.  By 1953 Isabel, Marjorie and Frederick moved to New Westminster BC. Marjorie married ‘Ted’ Edwin W.D. Hiscock.  Isabel passed away on 22 July 1970 in New Westminster.

By Rhonda Glofcheski

Kinney-Thomas-James-2 Kinney-Thomas-James-3 Kinney-Thomas-James-4

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