According to his attestation papers dated May 15, 1915 at Toronto, Thomas Kirkham was born on October 15, 1889 at Blackburn, Lancashire, England. He listed his mother Mary Ann Kirkham, Mimico, Ontario as his next of kin. He listed his occupation as labourer and indicated that he had no previous military experience. He was 25 years and 7 months of age and stood 5 feet 7 1/2 inches tall. He had brown eyes and dark hair and complexion. He was a Presbyterian.
According to the 1914 Toronto City directory he was a steam fitter living with his mother Mrs. Mary Kirkham on Mimico Avenue, Mimico.
His brother William also enlisted.