Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthMay 9, 1887
Place of BirthDerby, England
Marital StatusMarried
Next of KinMrs. Annie Ellen White, Wife, Keewatin, Ontario
Trade / CallingPacker
Service Details
Regimental Number1038019
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion238th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentKeewatin, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentAugust 12, 1916
Age at Enlistment29
Theatre of ServiceGreat Britain
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJanuary 1, 1968
Age at Death80
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario
PlotRC B - 4-15

White, Thomas William

Thomas William White was born to Joseph and Ann White in Derby, England on May 9th, 1887. He immigrated to Keewatin, Canada in 1911, with his wife Annie Ellen following in 1912. Their son, Thomas William was born in 1913 or 1914.

Thomas enlisted on August 16th, 1916 and was assigned to the 238th Battalion. He departed for England on the S.S. Scandinavian on September 22nd, 1916 arriving at Liverpool. By December, he was SOS to the Canadian Forestry Corps, and in January, 1917 was sent to Edinburgh, Scotland. Later that year, he suffered an accident in which a log fell on his right leg causing a fracture of the tibia. He convalesced at the Military Hospital in Inverness until November 19th, when he was assigned to light duty in Nairn, Scotland.

There are many war diaries of the various Forestry Corps available on the Canadian Great War Project which are very entertaining, as well as educational. One entry for Scotland: ‘operation in the famous Spey valley, latitude 57 degrees….The whole country is so rich in legend, story and historic interest that it is beyond the scope of this diary to give any adequate account of it.. this section is well timbered, and produces large crops ‘sheep almost innumerable, whiskey the best ever, by the millions of gallons…

Thomas next appeared in Stirling, Scotland, at the B. Depot Canadian Forestry Corps in February 1918. His next transfers were in 1919, until May when he was sent SOS to Canada aboard the S.S. Aquitania, and received his discharge certificate on May 28, 1919. The document  Military History of an Invalid  in 1919 report noted: ‘In bed 3 weeks, in hospital leg in splints.  No operation. Leg is grad. getting stronger & pain is disappearing. Has not been to France on account of old fracture  ‘ and further in the document ‘Old fracture lower segment projects forward and underneath upper fragment ‘cannot march more than 5 miles on account of pain, weakness and limp in right leg.

It also stated that he would be able to return to his former profession of ‘packer’ with no disability, with which Thomas agreed.  In the 1921 census, Thomas is indeed working as a packer, and living with his wife Annie and son Thomas. Upon retirement in 1957, Thomas had worked for the Lake of the Woods Milling Company for 40 years. Thomas was a member of St. James Anglican Church in Keewatin. He died on June 16,  1968, and is buried with his wife in the Lake of the Woods cemetery. She had died in 1966. Their son Thomas, who lived in Winnipeg, had three children. Thomas and Annie’s grave can be found in Section B, Row 4, Grave 15.

by Penny Beal

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