Coming to Canada, Going to War

January 1916

The war which had begun on August 2, 1914 had not ended by Christmas, as some had confidently predicted. Losses mounted in France, and the throngs of keen volunteers had dwindled. When Prime Minister Robert Borden promised in January 1916 that Canada’s troops would number half a million, recruiters drew on every appeal they could invent to bring young men to enlist. The possibility of conscription loomed. It was impossible for a young man not to be acutely aware of the war overseas.

Toronto portrait 001

The young Percy in Toronto

Percy Frederick Theobald turned twenty-four on January 4, 1916. He had been in Canada for less than four years, having emigrated from Britain in 1912, arriving in Quebec on July 19th, and then making his way to Toronto.

His older brotherTed (Edward George) had emigrated five years earlier at the age of twenty-five, accompanied by his wife and infant son. By the time Percy arrived in Toronto, Ted was well established with the Canadian Northern Railway in Joliette, Quebec.

Copyright 2016. See “About this Project.”








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