Thomas Sylvester Connaghan

Thank you to Bruce Kettles for providing the service file


Jul 11, 1899

Born in Madderville, Ontario to Manus (Mandy) and Mary Elizabeth (nee Ellis) Connaghan.  Thomas had a twin brother, Hugh Ambrose Connaghan

His birth registration spells his middle name Sylvester, while on most documents, he used the spelling Selvester or Silvester.


Apr 12, 1917

Attested into the 254th Battalion in Bancroft, Ontario

Ø      Number 1093415

Ø      Next of kin given as Mandy Connaghan, father, Wilberforce, Ontario

Ø      Previous occupation given as Farmer

Ø      No previous military experience given

Ø      Religion given as Roman Catholic

His older brother, Leo, number 1093414, attested into the same battalion 2 days later.


Jun 2, 1917

Embarked the SS Olympic in Halifax, Nova Scotia


Jun 9, 1917

Disembarked in Liverpool, England and the battalion proceeded to Seaford.  On arrival in Seaford, the entire battalion was absorbed into the 6th Reserve Battalion for training.


Nov 14, 1917

Transferred to the 21st Battalion and joined the No. 2 CIBD (Canadian Infantry Base Depot) in Etaples, France, as part of a draft of 39 reinforcements from England and TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion, along with his brother Leo.


Nov 17, 1917

Left the CIBD and joined the CC Rein C (Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp) in Calonne Ricouart.


Nov 24, 1917

Left the CC Rein C and joined the 21st Battalion in the front lines at Passchendaele

Both Leo and Sylvester joined the battalion on the same day.


Nov 29, 1917

Attached to the 4th Field Company of the Canadian Engineers for duty


Dec 11, 1917

Rejoined the 21st Battalion in the Cellars Camp as part of the 4th Brigade Reserve.


Aug 8, 1918

During the battalion’s advance on Marcelcave, Private Connaghan received shrapnel wounds to his left leg and was admitted to the No. 1 CFA (Canadian Field Ambulance) for first aid.  Due to the severity of the wounds, he was transferred to the CCS (Casualty Clearing Station) for further treatment.

His brother, Leo, was wounded earlier in the summer and had been invalided to England, and eventually back to Canada.


Aug 9, 1918

Transferred to the No. 2 Canadian General Hospital, Le Treport, France


Aug 11, 1918

Transferred to the No. 3 Convalescent Depot, also in Le Treport for rehabilitation and recovery.


Aug 26, 1918

Discharged to the Base Depot for conditioning prior to returning to the front lines


Aug 31, 1918

Left the Base Depot and joined the CC Rein C


Sep 3, 1918

Left the CC Rein C to join his battalion


Sep 5, 1918

Rejoined the 21st Battalion in the reserve trench on the Droucourt Queant Line


Oct 11, 1918

During the battalion’s advance at Avesnes-le-Sec, west of Cambrai, Private Connaghan was killed in action.

Niagara Cemetery
Iwuy France

Following the war the British War Medal, Victory Medal and Memorial Cross were sent to his mother, Mrs. Mandy Connaghan, Highland Grove, Ontario. 

The Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny) and Scroll were sent to his father, Mandy Connaghan, at the same address.


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