Thomas Candible
Served as Thomas Callahan

Thank you to Bruce Kettles for providing the service file


Apr 19, 1880

Born in Manchester, England.


Sep 2, 1912

Embarked the SS Mongolia in Liverpool


Sep 15, 1912

Disembarked in Halifax, Nova Scotia

On disembarkation, he stated that he intended to join the army in Halifax.


Mar 15, 1915

Attested into the 21st Battalion in Lindsay, Ontario 

Ø      Number 59130 (temporary number 1343)

Ø      Next of kin given as Elizabeth Callahan (actual name Candible), mother, 5 Zachariah St., Manchester, England

Ø      Previous occupation given as Steamfitter

Ø      Previous military experience given as 16 years in the King’s Liverpool Regiment

Ø      Religion given as Roman Catholic

Ø      Assigned to the reorganized “D” Company


Apr 20, 1915

Fined $2.00 (the offence is not recorded in the file)


May 6, 1915

Embarked the RMS Metagama in Montreal, Quebec


May 15, 1915

Disembarked in Devonport, England and proceeded to West Sandling, near Hythe, Kent


Jun 1, 1915

Fined $6.00.  (the offence is not recorded in the file)


Jun 29, 1915

Declared to be AWL (Absent Without Leave).


Jun 30, 1915

Reported for duty and forfeited 2 days pay in addition to being sentenced to 5 days detention for his absence.


Aug 9, 1915

Forfeited 3 days pay and sentenced to restricted half pay for 2 months for being absent from August 4 to August 6, 1915.


Sep 14, 1915

Embarked the St. Seiriol in Folkestone


Sep 15, 1915

Disembarked in Boulogne, France and proceeded to St. Omer.


Nov 10, 1915

Transcribed from the 2nd Canadian Division Assistant Provost Marshall’s War Diary. 

Report received that two cows had been shot on a farm near Dickebusch by Canadian Soldiers.  Capt. Steele will investigate this case. 


Nov. 11, 1915

Also from the Provost Marshall's war diary:

The “cow shooting case” develops interestingly.  Capt. Steele reports that two soldiers of the 21st Battalion got drunk and thought that they would have some big game hunting.  There being nothing bigger than cows around they promptly proceeded to make a bag – result one cow killed, one wounded.  Just as they were about to polish off cow No. 2, an NCO and some men of the 18th Battn. rudely interrupted their sport, as it was feared that they might also bag the owner’s son, who had rushed into the field and was gestulating wildly over the body of the slain animal.  The sportsmen were finally arrested and a complaint and claim for 400 Francs – value of the afore mentioned cow- was forwarded to my office.  These cows are the property of the Burgomaster of Dickebusch.  Charge sheets, with complete evidence of three witnesses and statement of Burgomaster’s son and Capt. Steele’s report, were at once prepared and were about to be sent in, when I was informed by Lord Brooke, Brigadier 4th Infantry Brigade, that these men had already been tried and sentenced to 28 days Field Punishment No. 1.  In the light of the evidence secured by Capt. Steele, I considered that the men had not been sufficiently punished and forwarded all the papers in the case to the D.A.A. and Q.M.G., with a request that these men be re-charged. 

Needless to say the account given by the troops several years later was quite different.  Below is from the August 1954 issue of the Communiqué, the 21st Battalion Association post war newsletter:


Nov 17, 1915

Sentenced to 28 days Field Punishment No. 1 for 

Ø      Drunkenness

Ø      Discharging his firearm

Ø      Killing a cow belonging to the Burgomaster of Dickebusch

Ø      Wounding a cow which was the property of the same owner

He was also sentenced to a stoppage of pay to the value of 100 francs, for compensation to the owner of the cows. 

Pte Candible was not alone in this episode.  Pte William Core   was also involved and suffered the same punishment.


Dec 13, 1915

Sentenced to 28 days Field Punishment No. 1 for 

Ø      Absence from 1.30 pm parade

Ø      Found drunk at 2.30 pm 

It is worthy to note that this took place while the battalion was in billets in La Clytte and that several men were punished for the same or similar offences for actions on the same day, including his friend, Pte. William Core.


Jul 14, 1916

Attached to the 1st Canadian Tunneling Company.


Aug 25, 1916

Rejoined the 21st Battalion from the 1st Tunneling Company.


Sep 15, 1916

Private Candible was killed in action during the attack on the sugar refinery at Courcelette.  He was initially reported as missing in action, but later it was determined that he had been killed between September 15 and September 17, 1916.  His remains were never recovered from the battlefield and consequently he is honoured on the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, Vimy Ridge, France.



Following the war, the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medals were sent to his sister, Teresa Candible, 5 Zachariah St., Manchester, England. 

A Memorial Cross, Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny) and Scroll were sent to his mother, Elizabeth Candible, at the same address.


Jul 27, 1917

A letter from the Officer i/c the Estates Section sent to the Officer i/c Records regarding 59130, Pte. T. Callahan, states:

Please note that the deceased soldier named in the margin enlisted under an assumed name, and that his real name was Thomas Candible. 


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