In Memory of


Private 426144
31st Bn., Canadian Infantry (Alberta Regt.)
who died on
Monday, 7th May 1917. Age 29.

Son of Mr. and Mrs. G. Theaker, of Denison Square, Mickletown, Methley, Leeds, England.


Thomas Theaker emigrated to Canada sometime before the Great War.
Thomas enlisted at Weyburn, Sask., Canada just before Christmas 1914.
It seems Thomas was working in the mines at Bienfait, Sask. at the outbreak of the war. Conditions in the mines were not very good - search Google etc for Bienfait, mines, unions - to see how poorly the miners were treated.
Thomas was unmarried at the time of his death, he had probably never been married.
I have his service papers from the Canadian Archives.

Commemorative Information

Memorial: VIMY MEMORIAL, Pas de Calais, France

Canada's most impressive tribute overseas to those Canadians who fought and gave their lives in the First World War is the majestic and inspiring Vimy Memorial, which overlooks the Douai Plain from the highest point of Vimy Ridge, about eight kilometres northeast of Arras on the N17 towards Lens. The Memorial is signposted from this road to the left, just before you enter the village of Vimy from the south. The Memorial itself is someway inside the memorial park, but again it is well signposted. The Memorial does more than mark the site of the engagement which Canadians were to remember with more pride than any other operation of the First World War. It stands as a tribute to all who served their country in battle in that four-year struggle, and particularly to those who gave their lives. At the base of the Memorial, these words appear in French and in English: TO THE VALOUR OF THEIR COUNTRYMEN IN THE GREAT WAR AND IN MEMORY OF THEIR SIXTY THOUSAND DEAD THIS MONUMENT IS RAISED BY THE PEOPLE OF CANADA Inscribed on the ramparts of the Memorial are the names of over 11,000 Canadian soldiers who were posted as "missing, presumed dead" in France. The land for the battlefield park, 91.18 hectares in extent, was (as stated on a plaque at the entrance to the Memorial) "the free gift in perpetuity of the French nation to the people of Canada". Eleven thousand tonnes of concrete and masonry were required for the base of the Memorial: and 5,500 tonnes of "trau" stone were brought from Yugoslavia for the pylons and the sculptured figures. Construction of the massive work began in 1925, and 11 years later, on July 26, 1936, the monument was unveiled by King Edward VIII. The park surrounding the Memorial was created by horticultural experts. Canadian trees and shrubs were planted in great masses to resemble the woods and forests of Canada. Around the Memorial, beyond the grassy slopes of the approaches, are wooded parklands. Trenches and tunnels have been restored and preserved and the visitor can picture the magnitude of the task that faced the Canadian Corps on that distant dawn when history was made.

Below is an extract from the relevant War Diary, which lists the officers by name with all the others lumped together as other ranks!
Thomas is listed by Bienfait, Sask., as one of their war dead - .
Doug Gent was very helpful and the following is an extract from an email he sent to me:
It appears the Estevan Mercury started in 1903, now I am not sure if they have the paper on micro film back that far? You can check with the Estevan Library, as they have all the copies there. or the Estevan Mercury itself might be able to help you both have email links Yes Bienfait was a big Coal mine town, and lots of English gentlemen ended up there in the underground mines. Going to war for your country, would have taken precedent over work I am sure. Plus pay in the mines was very poor back then I would imagine. As far as knowing he was in Bienfait, I imagine I got his name from the Bienfait Honour roll, which was printed in an old 1955 history book of Bienfait.
Below is the page from the Canadian War Memorial book which lists Thomas Theaker.

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