Thomas Albert Cornforth



Jan 21, 1883

Born in Breadsall, Derbyshire, England to Charles Samuel and Emma (nee Shepherd) Cornforth


Sep 15, 1909

Married to Mary Alice Delaney in Ottawa, Ontario


Apr 15, 1916

Attested into the 207th Battalion in Ottawa, Ontario 

Ø      Number 246212

Ø      Next of kin given as Mrs. Maria Walsh, mother-in-law, 243 Carruthers Ave., Ottawa, Ontario

o       Maria Walsh was the guardian of his children while he was in the army

Ø      Previous occupation given as Labourer

Ø      No previous military experience given

Ø      Religion given as Roman Catholic 

The battalion trained in the Rockcliffe Camp, Ottawa


Apr 30, 1916

His wife, Mary, died of Pneumonia in their home at 118 Florence St., Ottawa


Nov 29, 1916

Married to Agnes Mary Ellitot Knowles in Ottawa.  He stated that he was a widower at the time of the marriage


May 28, 1917

Embarked the SS Olympic in Halifax, Nova Scotia


Jun 10, 1917

Disembarked in Liverpool, England and proceeded to the Seaford Camp.  On arrival, the battalion was absorbed into the 7th Reserve Battalion


Sep 12, 1917

Transferred to the 21st Battalion


Sep 13, 1917

Arrived at the No. 2 CIBD (Canadian Infantry Base Depot) in Etaples, France as part of a draft of 42 reinforcements from England and TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion


Sep 27, 1917

Joined the CCRC (Canadian Corps Reinforcement Centre) in Villers au Bois


Oct 18, 1917

Joined the 21st Battalion in billets in Ourton, north west of Arras


Nov 3, 1917

On this date the 21st Battalion moved into the front line at Passchendaele and the first night were subjected to fierce enemy fighting and artillery barrages.  Private Cornforth was killed by the explosion of a shrapnel shell.  When the fighting had ceased, his body was buried in a temporary cemetery nearby.

When the war ended, his remains could not be located and he is commemorated on the walls of the Menin Gate for those WW1 soldiers who were killed in Belgium and have no known grave.

Following the war the British War Medal, Victory Medal, Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny), Scroll and Memorial Cross were sent to his widow, Mrs. Agnes M. Cornforth, RR #1 Britannia Bay, Ontario.


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