The turn of the 20th century saw many a young Englishman come to our area to make a new life for himself. Thomas Richard Young was among those who ventured forth from Bournemouth, Hampshire, to the Aylmer area here in Elgin County in the spring of 1909. By 1911, he was working on the farm of Leslie and Helen Cameron in Bayham Township south east of Aylmer. Tom then took up the challenge of going west and on October 23, 1915 he enlisted for service overseas.
His mention of the horrors of the Somme are compelling and the toll on his body led to a Voluntary Aid Hospital near Chester in England. It is from this location that he writes to old friends in Canada. Interestingly, although he was about 29 when he left England for Canada, he refers to himself as a Canadian. His letter appeared in the Aylmer newspaper under the title Calton Man was in the Battle of the Somme as set out below (with images added for the reader of today)
The Elgin Military Museum has a vast collection of letters, articles, poems and pictures of veterans and others who served their community over a period of two hundred years.. This blog is our way of sharing them with you.