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Thomas Leonard Henderson (1887-1933)

Sunderland man served with the Canadian Army Service Corps in France

Thomas was born in 1887. He was the second son of George Henderson and his second wife, widow Harriet Henderson nee Liddell, formerly Best, who had married in 1885. Harriet had two sons, Mark and John, from her first marriage. In 1891 they were all living together in Harriet’s old home in Hylton Street, Bishopwearmouth, Sunderland. Ten years later Harriet was a widow again and she and her second family were living in Cleveland Road taking in boarders to make ends meet. In March 1907, aged 19, Thomas sailed from Glasgow, Lanarkshire to Halifax, Nova Scotia on board the SS Laurentic intending to start a new life as a farm labourer in Canada. By 1913 he was living in Manitoba.

In February 1916 Thomas enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) in his home town of Winnipeg where he had spent three years as a member of the active militia the 90th Regiment (Winnipeg Rifles). Leaving his job as a moulder, Thomas gave his mother in Sunderland as his next of kin, made his will out in favour of his brother Cecil, and became Private 186835 of the 90th Battalion (Winnipeg Rifles). He embarked for England on 31 May 1916 where the 90th was absorbed by the 11th Reserve Battalion on 19 July to provide reinforcements to the Canadian Corps in the field. However, Thomas was transferred to the Canadian Army Service Corps (CASC) Training Depot at Witley Camp near Godalming, Surrey. The main duties of the CASC in France centred on the transport and supply of food, ammunition, equipment and stores; whilst in England, the CASC were also responsible for feeding the troops.

A year after his enlistment Thomas was transferred to the newly created 5th Divisional Train of the CASC and then in April 1918 he was posted to France with the 3rd Divisional Train. He remained with them until being transferred to the 4th Divisional Train in February 1919 and then back to England on 17 May 1919. His return to Canada was delayed by a stay in the Canadian Special Hospital at Witley with gonorrhoea and he eventually returned in mid-August for demobilisation on 27 September 1919. Thomas remained in Winnipeg and found work as a merchant. He died on 8 June 1933 and is buried in Brookside Cemetery, Winnipeg.

Civil Parish: Sunderland

Birth date: 20-Aug-1887

Death date: 08-Jun-1933

Armed force/civilian: Army

Residence: 29 Hylton Street, Bishopwearmouth (1887 birthplace)
40 Cleveland Road, Sunderland (1901 census)
403 Furby Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada (1916 enlistment papers)
385 Aikins Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada (1921 Canadian census)
182 Langside Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada (service record)
45 Hargrave Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada (service record)

Religion: Church of England

Employment: Moulder (1916 enlistment papers)
Merchant (1921 Canadian census)

Family: Parents: George Henderson, Harriet Henderson nee Liddell formerly Best
Siblings: Cecil George Henderson
Step-siblings; Mark Liddell Best, John M Best

Military service:

90th Regiment (Winnipeg Rifles) (pre-war militia)
90th Battalion (Winnipeg Rifles) Canadian Expeditionary Force
11th Reserve Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force
Canadian Army Supply Corps Training Depot
5th Divisional Train, Canadian Army Supply Corps
3rd Divisional Train, Canadian Army Supply Corps
4th Divisional Train, Canadian Army Supply Corps

Medal(s): British War Medal
Victory Medal

Gender: Male

Contributed by Jean Longstaff, Durham

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