Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthApril 9, 1897
Place of BirthBuckingham, Quebec
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMrs H Proudlock, mother, 469 Lipton Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Trade / CallingClerk
Service Details
Regimental Number74283
Service Record
Battalion28th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at Enlistment469 Lipton Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Date of EnlistmentMarch 24, 1915
Age at Enlistment18
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJanuary 9, 1951
Age at Death53
Buried AtMountain View Cemetery, Vancouver, BC

Proudlock, Thomas Hamilton

Thomas Hamilton Proudlock was likely born on 9 April 1897 in Buckingham, Quebec. His father Harral Hamilton (Harry) Proudlock was born in 1863 in the Township of Litchfield, Pontiac, Quebec, now known as Campbell’s Bay. A family tree suggests Harry married Sarah (Sadie) Bigelow on 18 January 1887 in Buckingham, Quebec. Born on 14 March 1866 in the Buckingham area, Sarah was the daughter of farmers Adam Chester Bigelow and Julia Ann Londsdale. The 1891 census found Harry and Sarah living in Buckingham where Harry was working as a miner. They had given birth to two children, Cora Edna (1888) and Mae (1891). By the time of the 1901 census the family had moved to Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) in northwestern Ontario where Harry found work in the gold mines. Children born in Rat Portage were William David (1898), Marvel George Chester (1902), and Marshall James Reginald (1908). Also living with the family in 1901 was Harry’s half brother William. By the time of the 1911 census Harry was working on the construction of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway north of Kenora. Sadly, David died in 1898 followed by Cora in 1899, both interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora.

With occupation given as clerk, Thomas enlisted with the 28th Battalion in Winnipeg, Manitoba on 24 March 1915. His date and place of birth were given as 9 April 1895 in Ottawa, Ontario and his next of kin as his mother on Lipton Street in Winnipeg. As a Private with the battalion, he embarked for England aboard the Northland on 29 May 1915.

Shortly after arriving in France that September, Thomas was admitted to the No 3 Stationary Hospital in Rouen with tonsillitis on the 23rd. He was transferred to the Convalescent Depot in mid October but would spend most of November 1915 to early February 1916 in a number of hospitals in France (vds). Upon discharge he was first transferred to the Base Depot and then on to the Canadian Section of the 3rd Echelon General Headquarters in Rouen as a clerk in early March. In mid May Thomas was returned to Base Depot, transferring a few days later to the Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre, taken on strength of the administration staff and graded for pay as clerk. He was promoted to Acting Sergeant on escort to Canada that November, leaving England in mid December.

Once back in Winnipeg, according to his service record Thomas spent time hospitalized suffering from neurasthenia caused by shell shock. He had also injured his knee while in France, apparently due to being blown up by a mine although elsewhere in his record it stated it was caused when stepping off of a wagon he had caught his toe in the wheel and twisted his knee. Thomas was discharged from service as medically unfit on 19 April 1917 in Winnipeg.

Thomas signed a second set of attestation papers on 15 March 1919 in Winnipeg with the Canadian Army Service Corps. His occupation was given as mechanic, his mother in Winnipeg as next of kin, and date and place of birth as 9 April 1895 in Ottawa. Reinjuring his knee playing baseball, Thomas received treatment for it in Winnipeg. He was discharged from service as medically unfit on 25 September 1919 in Winnipeg.

Thomas’ father Harral enlisted with the 63rd Battalion in Edmonton, Alberta on 16 October 1915, discharged from service as medically unfit on 4 April 1916. His brother Marvel, age 14, enlisted on 2 August 1917 in Winnipeg with the Canadian Army Service Corps. He was discharged as a minor on 10 October 1917. His uncle Duncan Proudlock, living in Kenora at the time, enlisted in Winnipeg in April of 1916, discharged as medically unfit on 22 June 1916 in Ottawa.

On 17 December 1919, in Winnipeg, Thomas married Margaret Isabelle Parke. Born in 1899 in the RM of Oakbank in Manitoba, Margaret was the daughter of Robert Parke and Jessie Wishart Wilkie. Thomas and Margaret lived for a while in Stonewall, Manitoba but had moved to Brandon, Manitoba by 1922 where they gave birth to son Robert Hamilton. The marriage failed a short time later, with Thomas entering a relationship with Margery Bowen. Born in 1908 in Hadley, Hertfordshire in England, Margery was the daughter of William John Bowen and Alice Marie Little. After the death of her father in 1910, Margery and her mother immigrated to Canada in 1912. They arrived in Quebec aboard the Lake Champlain on 7 May and would make Winnipeg their home.

Thomas and Margery married on 11 November 1931 in Winnipeg. They gave birth to three children, June Cherie (1930), William Thomas, and Jerry Rod (1934). Sadly, June died in 1932 in Vancouver. Going by the names of Rod and Cherie Desmond, by the mid 1920’s Thomas and Margery had joined vaudeville groups, touring Canada and 37 of the United States with the RKO, Pantages, and InterState circuits. For a number of years they played their distinctive ‘island music’ over radio stations in Canada and the United States. In 1933 they returned to Winnipeg to perform on the CKY station, marking their seventh tour of radio stations across Canada. Around 1940 the family moved to Vancouver, with Thomas and Margery listed as musicians on Voters lists. By 1949 Thomas was working as a music teacher at the Western Academy of Music in Vancouver.

Thomas died on 9 January 1951 in St Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife Margery and their two sons, his son Robert, his mother Sarah and siblings Marvel and Reginald, all in British Columbia. He was predeceased by young siblings in Rat Portage, his father Harral in 1930 in Coleman, Alberta and by his sister Mae (Charles) Matheson in 1943 in Vancouver. His mother died in 1952, brothers Reginald in 1975 and Marvel in 1977, all in Vancouver. Thomas’ wife Margery later married Anthony Pawlicki. Predeceased by Anthony in 1958, she died on 1 February 1999 at Parkdale Place in Summerland, BC. Thomas is interred in Mountain View Cemetery in Vancouver.

By Judy Stockham

Grave marker photo: SusanR on
Obituary: provided by Mike Melen

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