The People

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These are the stories of Kenora participants in the First World War.

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  • Turner, Thomas Image
  • Turner, Thomas

  • Acting Corporal Thomas Turner was 35 years old, married and the father of three children when he enlisted in March 1917. He served overseas with the Canadian Forestry Corps for two years, returning home in April 1919.

    Thomas was the son of Jonah and Caroline Turner of Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, England. He was born in Wolverhampton on 23 February 1882 and he had two younger sisters, Elsie Gertrude and Elizabeth. Several other siblings died as infants. His father Jonah worked as a wrought iron stamper and stamper foreman. When the 1901 census was taken Thomas was 18 years old, living at home and also working as a stamper. He married a local girl, 23 year old Laura Dudwell, on 1 August 1908 and two weeks later they immigrated to Canada. They settled in Kenora, Ontario where Thomas found work with the Canadian Pacific Railway, first as a boilermaker’s helper then as a trainman. He and his wife had three children, all born in Kenora: Thomas (1909), Florence Irene (1912) and Clarence (1916).

    By the spring of 1917 the war was in its third year. Britain put out a call for more Canadian foresters and Thomas went to Winnipeg to enlist, signing up with the No. 2 Forestry Draft on 29 March. Just a month later his unit left for the east coast, embarking from Halifax on 1 May and arriving in Liverpool on 14 May. Thomas was attached to the Canadian Forestry Corps Base Depot, headquartered in Sunningdale, Berkshire, and he served with the depot for almost two years. He was promoted to Acting Corporal with pay on 1 January 1918. In early February 1919 Thomas developed a lump on his right foot and he was admitted to No. 16 General Hospital in Orpington. He was diagnosed with osteoma and he had surgery to remove the growth. He was discharged from the hospital on 11 March and five weeks later he embarked for Canada on the SS Belgic. He landed at Halifax on 23 April and was officially discharged on 27 April in Winnipeg.

    After the war Thomas returned to his family in Kenora and resumed his job with the CPR. He worked for them as a boilermaker and boilermaker’s helper for another 28 years, retiring in March 1947. He became a member of the Kenora branch of the Canadian Legion and the International Association of Boilermakers. His son Clarence served with the Royal Canadian Engineers in the Second World War.

    Thomas passed away at Pinecrest Home in Kenora on 3 November 1962, at the age of 80. He was survived by his wife Laura, his sons Thomas and Clarence, and his daughter Irene (Mrs. Don Gregor). Laura died in 1964 and she is buried beside Thomas in Lake of the Woods Cemetery.

    By Becky Johnson

    Turner-Thomas-89 Turner-Thomas-90 Turner-Thomas-91 Turner-Thomas-93

  • Regimental Number:
  • 2260369
  • Service Record:
  • Link to Service Record
  • Survived War:
  • Yes
  • Force:
  • Canadian Expeditionary Force
  • Branch:
  • Canadian Forestry Corps
  • Battalion:
  • Canadian Forestry Corps Base Depot
  • Place of Birth:
  • Wolverhampton, Straffordshire
  • Country:
  • England
  • Next of Kin:
  • Mrs. Laura Turner (wife), Box 199, Kenora, Ontario
  • Address at Enlistment:
  • Box 199, Kenora, Ontario
  • Date of Birth:
  • February 23, 1882
  • Trade or Calling:
  • Trainman
  • Marital Status:
  • Married
  • Place of Enlistment:
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Date of Enlistment:
  • March 29, 1917
  • Age at Enlistment:
  • 35
  • Religion:
  • Church of England
  • Enlisted or Conscripted:
  • Enlisted
  • Saw Service In:
  • Great Britain
  • Date of Death:
  • November 3, 1962
  • Age at Death:
  • 80
  • Buried at:
  • Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario
  • Plot:
  • 16E-10-1, Heavenly Junction
  • Prisoner of War:
  • No
  • Acting Corporal Thomas Turner was 35 years old, married and the father of three children when he enlisted in March 1917. He served overseas with the Canadian Forestry Corps for two years, returning home in April 1919.

    Thomas was the son of Jonah and Caroline Turner of Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, England. He was born in Wolverhampton on 23 February 1882 and he had two younger sisters, Elsie Gertrude and Elizabeth. Several other siblings died as infants. His father Jonah worked as a wrought iron stamper and stamper foreman. When the 1901 census was taken Thomas was 18 years old, living at home and also working as a stamper. He married a local girl, 23 year old Laura Dudwell, on 1 August 1908 and two weeks later they immigrated to Canada. They settled in Kenora, Ontario where Thomas found work with the Canadian Pacific Railway, first as a boilermaker’s helper then as a trainman. He and his wife had three children, all born in Kenora: Thomas (1909), Florence Irene (1912) and Clarence (1916).

    By the spring of 1917 the war was in its third year. Britain put out a call for more Canadian foresters and Thomas went to Winnipeg to enlist, signing up with the No. 2 Forestry Draft on 29 March. Just a month later his unit left for the east coast, embarking from Halifax on 1 May and arriving in Liverpool on 14 May. Thomas was attached to the Canadian Forestry Corps Base Depot, headquartered in Sunningdale, Berkshire, and he served with the depot for almost two years. He was promoted to Acting Corporal with pay on 1 January 1918. In early February 1919 Thomas developed a lump on his right foot and he was admitted to No. 16 General Hospital in Orpington. He was diagnosed with osteoma and he had surgery to remove the growth. He was discharged from the hospital on 11 March and five weeks later he embarked for Canada on the SS Belgic. He landed at Halifax on 23 April and was officially discharged on 27 April in Winnipeg.

    After the war Thomas returned to his family in Kenora and resumed his job with the CPR. He worked for them as a boilermaker and boilermaker’s helper for another 28 years, retiring in March 1947. He became a member of the Kenora branch of the Canadian Legion and the International Association of Boilermakers. His son Clarence served with the Royal Canadian Engineers in the Second World War.

    Thomas passed away at Pinecrest Home in Kenora on 3 November 1962, at the age of 80. He was survived by his wife Laura, his sons Thomas and Clarence, and his daughter Irene (Mrs. Don Gregor). Laura died in 1964 and she is buried beside Thomas in Lake of the Woods Cemetery.

    By Becky Johnson

    Turner-Thomas-89 Turner-Thomas-90 Turner-Thomas-91 Turner-Thomas-93

  • « Return to all stories
  • Turner, Thomas Image
  • Regimental Number:
  • 2260369
  • Force:
  • Canadian Expeditionary Force
  • Battalion:
  • Canadian Forestry Corps Base Depot
  • Place of Birth:
  • Wolverhampton, Straffordshire
  • Next of Kin:
  • Mrs. Laura Turner (wife), Box 199, Kenora, Ontario
  • Date of Birth:
  • February 23, 1882
  • Survived War:
  • Yes
  • Branch:
  • Canadian Forestry Corps
  • Country:
  • England
  • Address at Enlistment:
  • Box 199, Kenora, Ontario
  • Trade or Calling:
  • Trainman
  • Marital Status:
  • Married
  • Place of Enlistment:
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Date of Enlistment:
  • March 29, 1917
  • Age at Enlistment:
  • 35
  • Religion:
  • Church of England
  • Enlisted or Conscripted:
  • Enlisted
  • Saw Service In:
  • Great Britain
  • Date of Death:
  • November 3, 1962
  • Age at Death:
  • 80
  • Buried at:
  • Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario
  • Plot:
  • 16E-10-1, Heavenly Junction
  • Prisoner of War:
  • No
  • Turner, Thomas

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