Thomas Alexander Park was born in Hurou County, Ontario on 5th March 1886.
The 1891 census for Canada on Ancestry.co.uk shows that the Park family was living in South Hurou, Ontario. Head of the household Andrew Park was 34 years of age. He was a native of Ontario who was born in 1855. He was recorded as being retired. His wife Martha was 27 years old and had been born in 1863. She was also a native of Ontario. They had three children listed at home. They were, Alexander aged 5, Ellen Jane 3 and Melvin who was 1.
Ten years in 1901 on we find the family still living in Ontario but the Head of the household was recorded as Martha Park aged 37. There had been some additions to the family as there were five children listed at home. These were, Alexander age 16, Helen J. (Ellen)was 13, Melvin H. 11, Norman 9 and Fergus was 6. In addition there was a boarder by the name of Robert McLaughlin aged 17.
The 1911 census reveals that the Head was once again Andrew Park aged 55. His trade was recorded as ‘Ship’s Carpenter’. There were six children listed at home with Andrew and his wife Martha. Alexander aged 25 was a Labourer. Ellen 23 was a Stenographer. Melvin 21 was a Dairyman. Norman 19 was a Teamster and Fergus 16 was also a Dairyman.
Thomas Alexander Park’s army records tell us that he enlisted into the 68th Brigade of the Overseas Field Battery at Vanderhoof, British Columbia, on 15th August 1916. He named his next of kin as Fergus Park, Brother, of Vanderhoof, B.C. Thomas’s trade was ‘Farmer’. His medical examination form dated 22nd August 1916 reveals that he was 5ft 9 inches tall with a dark complexion, blue eyes and black hair.
During basic training in Canada, Thomas Alexander Park was hospitalised twice which delayed embarkation to U.K. He eventually embarked for London on 10th September 1918 aboard the HMT Themistocles arriving on 25th September 1918 when he was posted to Whitley Camp to complete training.
On 1st October 1918, Thomas was transferred to Kinmel Park Camp, Rhyl, in readiness for repatriation as hostilities were coming to an end. Sadly, whilst there, Thomas Alexander Park contracted Bronchial Pneumonia. He was admitted to the Canadian General Hospital on 18th October 1918 and died on 23rd October 1918.
(From Library of CanadaArchives)
Kinmel Park Camp was a segregation camp used to house Canadian Soldiers awaiting repatriation to Canada after the end of WW1. Unfortunately the conditions at that time were extremely harsh with a lack of every kind of commodity, the camp was overcrowded and the services were poor, there were shortages of clothing, food and blankets. As a result of this situation, a vast number of servicemen and women became ill and many succumbed to the Influenza Epidemic or complications associated with this infection.
Thomas Alexander Park is buried in St. Margaret’s Cemetery, Bodelwyddan.
He is commemorated on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.