838304 Pte. Thomas James Hanbury was born in Williamsford, Ontario, on October 28th, 1887, to Elisha and Jane Hanbury.

The twenty-eight year old Thomas was living in Chatsworth, Ontario, and listed his occupation as that of an agent with 8 years previous military experience with the 31st Regiment, when he attested to the 147th Battalion, in Owen Sound, on December 17th, 1915.

As the unit was being billeted locally over the winter, Thomas would have been housed in Owen Sound until the unit left in the following spring. The 147th, centralized in Owen Sound in May to finalize the administration and organization of the unit, just prior to their departure for Camp Niagara later that month. As the conditions in the Camp were wanting the unit moved to the new training facility of Camp Borden in late June.

The unit received their orders to proceed overseas in September, but while en route to Halifax an outbreak of diphtheria detained the unit in Amherst, Nova Scotia, for over a month. The unit finally sailed for Great Britain, on November 14th 1916 aboard the SS Olympic.

On January 1st, 1917, the 147th Battalion ceased to exist when it became the nucleus for the 8th Reserve Battalion, whose task it was to supply reinforcements to the 58th Battalion and the 4th C.M.R. Thomas was taken on strength of the 4th C.M.R. on April 1st, 1917, and was immediately assigned to the Field Engineers to assist in work parties in support of the First Battle of Arras, where the Canadian Corps stormed Vimy Ridge.

Though not recorded at the time, it is evident that Thomas was very slightly wounded by shrapnel pieces, some time in August 1917, which grazed his left eye (causing complications requiring a minor operation in early 1918) and hand. However, whilst Thomas survived the first day of the Battle of Passchendaele, October 26th, 1917, he was more severely wounded by a bullet or piece of shrapnel, which fractured his right knee as it passed right through his leg, on October 27th, 1917. Evacuated through the medical system to England, Thomas had received his "Blighty" and did not return to the front.

838304 Private Thomas James Hanbury was discharged as being medically unfit on January 13th, 1919. Thomas passed away on February 3rd, 1954.

Credit and many thanks go George Auer for the above biography.