Monday, October 25, 2010

Mimico and the First World War

The old municipality of Mimico is now located in the City of Toronto.  It was originally located in the Township of Etobicoke west of the City of Toronto.  It became a Police Village in 1905 which gave it limited autonomy from the Township of Etobicoke.  Further growth resulted in it becoming a full fledged separate municipality - the Village of Mimico in 1911.  As a result of further growth in its population it became the Town of Mimico in 1917.  It would remain a separate municipality until 1967 when it was forced to amalgamate with the Borough of Etobicoke.

The boundaries of the Town were a line from Lake Ontario up Dwight Avenue, over the railway tracks and along St. George Street up to Evans Avenue on the west; along Evans Avenue to Church Street (present day Royal York Road) then along Algoma Street to Grand Avenue then north one block and along Manitoba Street on the north; Mimico Creek at the north east corner then westerly along the railway track to a line extending south to the end of Victoria Avenue (which was originally a short distance east of Louisa Street), across the Lake Shore Road to Lake Ontario on the east; and, Lake Ontario.

According to Harvel Currell in The Mimico Story:

Mimico men...were soon to know the horrors of world war, and Mimico families were to become acquainted with the anxiety and grief that were to be Canada's lot for the next four years.

A large part of Mimico's population was made up of natives of the British Isles, most of them not too long removed from their native soil.

The ties of homeland and Empire were strong. Soon after war broke out, scores of young Mimico men had hurried to enlist. After brief training periods in quickly-erected army camps like Camp Bordon or Valcartier, they were hurried overseas and in the fighting before the end of 1914.

First Mimico victim of World War 1 was Albert Riddlesworth, of Manitoba Street.

Throughout the war, a steady stream of Mimico boys joined the colors as soon as they were old enough to enlist. Many were killed, many more wounded or disabled.

The following list of names is from the Honour Roll which was published in The Mimico Story by the Mimico Library Board in 1967. It is difficult to determine how this list was made. Most lived in Mimico at the time of their enlistment but some also lived outside of Mimico, or enlisted in Mimico, or may have lived in Mimico but their next of kin lived elsewhere (or vice versa), or may have moved to Mimico shortly after the war. It looks like some enlisted directly in the British forces or transferred into them at a later date.

It is unfortunate that the local paper The Advertiser, which was founded in 1917 by Edwin Eland, is missing for the critical years of the war and is only available starting in 1925.

I have done my best to find the various individuals but some remain blank, especially for those with a more common last name that makes searching difficult. I would be grateful for any assistance to make the biographical information here as complete as possible.

I can be reached at mimicohistory at

All information and photographs on this site, other than those already attributed, are copyrighted and may not be used without my permission.

© Copyright Michael Harrison 2010.  All rights reserved.


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