649266 L/Cpl. Louis Pilkington was born in February 1892, in Preston, Lancashire, England, to William and Anne (née Brown, originally from Dublin) Pilkington. Louis, aged 20, and his brother, Alfred, aged 23, left England for Canada in September 1912, to join their father, William, and siblings, Fred, Harry and Mary, who were already living in Ontario.

One of nine known sons (Arthur, Frederick, George, Walter, William, Harry, John, Alfred and himself, it is believed that Louis decided to join the army after Alfred was killed in a poison gas attack [Ed. 27390 Pte. Alfred Pilkington was with the 15th Battalion, and was caught in the first gas attack of WW1, near Ypres in April 1915. He died a few days later]. Signing on in New Liskeard, Ontario, a year later, in April 1916, Louis was a printer by trade at the time and had served time with the militia, the 97th Regiment, prior to attestation.

Assigned to the 159th (1st Algonquin) Battalion, Louis arrived in England in November 1916 and after further training was transferred to the 8th Reserve Battalion in January 1917. From there he was transferred the 4th CMR, and joined them in the field in France on March 6th, 1917.

Wounded twice, Louis received a shrapnel wound to the left thigh in October 1917, in the infamous assault at Passchendaele, and was gassed in August 1918, at Feuchy, near Arras. Never fully recovering from that, Louis was transferred to the 1st Canadian Overseas Regiment back in England and eventually, after treatment, was invalided back to Canada in February 1919, where he was demobbed on the 22nd.

After he left the army Louis returned to Ontario where he married Ethel Claire Slade. After her loss, shortly after childbirth, Louis, still a printer, moved to Washington, USA, and later married Gerda Nelson (my mother). Sadly Gerda passed away following a long fight with TB. Louis married a third time, to Doris Whitty. He lived an active life, despite the continued after effects of being gassed in 1918, and latterly passed away, still in Washington, in 1980, aged 88 years.

Many thanks and credit go to Nancy Collins for her father's biography, and further thanks and credit got to Amber Coupe for the image of Louis.