Monday, 6 November 2017

Military Challenge - John Thomson Tait

I have taken up Patricia Greber's 11-day challenge of posting about one of my military ancestors every day until November 11th. 

Day 6 of the 11-day Military Challenge


No 1 Section Skilled Railway Employees

John Thomson (Tom) Tait Jr enlisted CEF 21 January 1917. His Regimental Number was 2124892. He had been an electrician and steamfitter. Tom was assigned to the No 1 Section Skilled Railway Employees

Tom sailed from Halifax on the SS Ansonia on March 1917 and arrived in England on March 15. Soon after the unit was renamed the 58th Broad Guage Operating Company.

The railway troops played a crucial role in the war, laying track, moving men, horses and supplies to the front lines and taking wounded to clearing stations and hospitals.   

There are no War Diaries for this unit. Possibly it is under the Canadian Railway Troops diaries. Most of the papers in his service file are pay sheets. His war record sheet shows only arriving and leaving, no interim activity. 

Tom left England April 17, 1917 and landed in France on April 19th.  The railway units worked all over Europe and John was there for the remaining of the war... except for a one-time fourteen day leave, departing 27 July 1918 and returning 10 August 1918. 

At the end of the war Tom left France on 17 April 1919. He then sailed from England on the Aquitania 18 May 1919 and arrived in Halifax 25 May 1919. 

Tom was discharged on 28 May 1919 at Montreal.

Tom worked as an Electrician.
He was my great  uncle. 

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