Monday, November 18, 2013

30 Days of Remembrance - Day 20 - Austin Thomas

In memory of
Austin Thomas
who died on November 18, 1916 

Military Service:

Service Number: 127539
Age: 19
Force: Army
Unit: Canadian Infantry (British Columbia Regiment)
Division: 54th Bn.

Additional Information:

Date and Place of Birth: March 4, 1897
Son of the late Mrs. Kate M. Thomas.
VIMY MEMORIAL; Pas de Calais, France
Commemorated on Page 172 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.

Austin Thomas couldn't wait to join the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Forces. According to his Attestation papers he was 18 years and 8 months when he signed up on Nov 1 1915

His birth record however shows that he was actually born on March 4, 1900, to William Austin Thomas and Kate Everleigh, in Parry Sound ON. His true age at the time of joining was just 15 years old!

Austin's father William Thomas passed away in 1912 of a cerebral hemorrhage when Austin was just 12. As the youngest child of 4, Austin likely felt the need to grow up quickly and what better way to prove that you are capable of adult responsibility than to give your life for your country?

I didn't locate a Circumstance of Casualty record for Austin Thomas and his record in the CEF Commonwealth War Graves Registers, 1914-1919 only lists that he was killed in action and is listed on the Vimy Memorial.

 Austin Thomas died November 18, 1916. He was 16 years old.

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