21 September 2014

The first Ottawa WW1 death

Thomas Hardingham, the first WW1 Ottawa soldier buried at Beechwood cemetery, died exactly 100 years ago today.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission entry gives his name as Thomas William Hardingham which is also the name in his entry in the burial record at Beechwood Cemetery, cause of death is gunshot wound.
His civil death certificate gives the additional information that his age was 27 and that he lived for 6 hours following the wound.
There is a report in the Ottawa Citizen for 22 September of Pt Thomas Hardingham receiving a wound on the Rockcliffe range. The Ottawa Journal for the following day records his death with the name Thomas Hardingham.
I was unable to locate an attestation paper for him!
He appears in the 1911 Canadian census in Quebec with immigration in 1908. There are two records of voyages to Canada, the original in 1908 and a return after a visit in 1912. He appears in the 1901 and 1891 census with his family including father Charles and mother Jane,

There is an entry in the civil registration birth index for Thomas William Hardingham in the March quarter of 1888 in (Great) Yarmouth, Norfolk.

He is included as T W Hardingham on the war memorial at Great Yarmouth, the tenth person associated with that town to die in the war. His parents contributed 2 guineas to the erection of the memorial.

There are two Beechwood gravemarkers in section 29, plot 122; a standard CWGC stone and the original which reads:
In sacred memory of Thomas William most dearly loved and only son of Charles and Whippertie HARDINGHAM of Gt Yarmouth, Norfolk, England, killed in machine gun practice Sept 21,1914 aged 26 yrs “One of the best”

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