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.
Time Weighs Heavily While Recuperating
Dear Mrs. James -
I guess you will be surprised to hear that I am in old England. After being in a hospital in France for rather over eleven weeks they sent me here last Friday. They are keeping me in bed for a time. My long sickness in France pulled me down rather much and the doctors said they would send me over here for a good change and rest. I am in a beautiful spot eight miles out in the country from Chester. It is one of the Voluntary Aid hospitals and everything is kept up and provided for by ladies. They do all the work and wait on us. There are some of the best families of England here and they all take their share in the work in turn. We have two ladies that come here and look after us who are daughters of one of the millionaires of this country and they take delight in doing all they can for us. The war[d] which is beautiful, is in a large private home. There are just two of us Canadians here.
Canadian Red Cross Ladies
It's Hard Lines to see your Chums Fall
It's a Fearful and Trying Life
Nursing Sisters in France
The first time we went over the top, I mean our battalion, we lost 16 officers and of course men in proportion to that, but I’m glad to say we all went with a good heart, and when sickness or wounds befall us and they can get us back, they certainly look after us. The Nursing Sisters work in the hospitals in France, a work we cannot speak too highly of. I received splendid care during my stay there.
Remember me to ...
Your old friend, Tom R. Young
No. 160806, 102nd Canadians, Tattenhall Hospital, Chester, Eng.
Thomas returned from overseas in 1917, arriving in Quebec on August 27.
No further information is known.
Tom's comments regarding nursing sisters would not have gone unnoticed by the readers of the Aylmer paper as at least three young women from that small village were nursing in France at the time: Gertrude Turner, and Nina and Daisy May Copeman.