|Date of Birth||February 8, 1888|
|Place of Birth||Birmingham, Warwickshire|
|Next of Kin||Mrs Florence Bull, wife, Kenora,Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||Steam Crane Operator|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Battalion||No 2 Railway Construction Draft|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Branch||Canadian Railway Troops|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Address at Enlistment||Kenora, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||February 23, 1917|
|Age at Enlistment||29|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||January 7, 1954|
|Age at Death||66|
|Buried At||Resthaven Memorial Gardens, Scarborough, Ontario|
Thomas Richard Bull was born on 8 February 1888 in Birmingham, Warwickshire, England. His parents were John Albert and Emma (née Talbot) Bull who had married during the last quarter of 1881 in Aston, Warwickshire. The family was found in the England 1891 census living in the inner-city of Sparkhill, Birmingham, occupation of John given as train driver. Other household members were Emma, age 28; Alice, age 8; John, age 4; and Thomas, age 3. By the 1901 England census the family had moved to Greet, another inner-city in Birmingham. John’s occupation was given as train locomotive driver, and there were two new additions to the family, Hilda, age 5, and Albert, age 4.
The Bull family was next found on the passenger list of the Victorian that arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia on 19 April 1907, destination listed as Winnipeg, Manitoba. Alice was not travelling with the family. By the 1911 Canada census the family was living at 417 4th Avenue in Kenora, Ontario. Household members were John who was working as a hostler, Emma, John junior who was working as a steward, Thomas who was working as a car repairer, Hilda, and Albert. Also with the family was ‘Lottie’ Bull who was actually Thomas’ wife Florence. Thomas and Florence Julia Meadows, daughter of Samuel and Emily (née Print) Meadows, had married on 8 June 1910. At the time of Emma’s death on 7 October 1913 the family was living at 416 3rd Street North.
Thomas Bull enlisted in Winnipeg on 23 February 1917, occupation given as steam crane operator. His next of kin was listed as his wife Florence back in Kenora. By mid May he had arrived in England as a member of the No 2 Winnipeg Draft to the Canadian Forestry Corps Base Depot at Sunningdale. On 9 July 1917 he was struck off strength to the No 50 Company, Canadian Forestry Corps (No 5 District, Jura Group) in France. In March of 1918 Thomas was granted a 14 day leave to the UK followed by a 14 day leave to Paris in late November. During his service Private Thomas Bull drew technical pay as an engineer. In early February of 1919 Thomas returned to England, and aboard the Belgic, arrived back in Canada on the 1st of March.
Thomas and Florence remained in Kenora up until Thomas’ retirement due to poor health from the CPR in December of 1948. The couple had three children, two sons, Thomas and Raymond, and a daughter, Hilda. Thomas died on the 7 January 1954 in Sunnybrook Hospital, Toronto, Ontario. His Veteran Death card listed his wife, Florence Julia Bull, of Toronto Ontario as his next of kin. Florence died in 1966 and is interred with Thomas in Resthaven Memorial Gardens, Toronto.
Thomas’ brothers Albert and John Bull also served during the war. Private Albert Bull was reported as killed in action on 11 May 1917 and is commemorated on the Vimy Memorial in Pas de Calais, France. John returned to Kenora after the war, married and raised his family in the area.
by Fred Betton and Judy Stockham
gravemarker photo: courtesy of Laura Langmaid