In Memory of

Thomas Otto Stewart

Private

Who Died on June 6, 1916

Age 27

Service Number 73958

Regiment/Unit: No. 1 Platoon, 'A' Company, 28th (North-west) Battalion

Citation: N/A

Additional Info: Information and photo provided by his Grandnephew, Rob Harris.

Thomas Otto Stewart was born on December 3, 1888, in Ottawa, Canada. He grew up in Fort William, a small city in northwestern Ontario. His parents, Thomas and Catherine Mary Stewart, had a big family.

Thomas enlisted in the Canadian army in October 1914, in Fort William when he was 26 years old.

He had already served in the local militia, the Lake Superior Regiment, for three years. According to his enlistment papers he was 5 feet five inches tall; he had red hair and blue eyes; he was in fit condition; he was a carpenter by trade, like his father; and he was unmarried.

Thomas was assigned to the 28th (Northwest) Battalion, 2nd Division, of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. His battalion left Canada in May 1915, and by the fall he was in France. By April 1916 he and the rest of his division were sent to the Ypres Salient in Belgium. For a short time he worked as a carpenter, his pre-war occupation, but was then re-assigned duty as a rifleman.

In June 1916, Thomas and his battalion were stationed in front line trenches near the village of Hooge, outside of Ypres. Unknown to the Canadians, German troops had excavated tunnels under the trenches, and filled the tunnels with explosives. In the afternoon of June 6, 1916, the explosives were detonated. 200 yards of the trenches were destroyed, and two companies of the 28th Battalion suffered heavy losses. Thomas Otto Stewart was never seen again.

Initially, he was listed as missing. Within a year he was officially declared dead and his medals were awarded to his parents. At the time of his death he had been in the Canadian army for under 2 years, and had been in Europe for less than one year. Thomas Otto Stewart is a soldier with no known grave, and he lies somewhere in Flanders fields. His name is inscribed on the Menin Gate memorial.

Honors and Awards: He was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

Burial Information: His body was never recoverd; he is listed as a soldier with no known grave.
His name is inscribed on the Menin Gate memorial.

28th (North-west) Battalion Headquarters is © Copyright 2001 Robert Lindsay. All Rights Reserved