Canadian Virtual War Memorial

John Thomas Thornton

In memory of:

Private John Thomas Thornton

August 12, 1918

Military Service


Service Number:

193386

Age:

20

Force:

Army

Unit:

Canadian Infantry (Quebec Regiment)

Division:

42nd Bn.

Additional Information


Born:

August 29, 1897

Son of John Thomas and Matilda Jane Thornton, of 215, Brock Avenue, Toronto.

Commemorated on Page 513 of the First World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page.

Burial Information


Cemetery:

VIMY MEMORIAL
Pas de Calais, France

Grave Reference:

N/A

Location:

Canada's most impressive tribute overseas to those Canadians who fought and gave their lives in the First World War is the majestic and inspiring Vimy Memorial, which overlooks the Douai Plain from the highest point of Vimy Ridge, about eight kilometres northeast of Arras on the N17 towards Lens. The Memorial is signposted from this road to the left, just before you enter the village of Vimy from the south. The memorial itself is someway inside the memorial park, but again it is well signposted. At the base of the memorial, these words appear in French and in English:

TO THE VALOUR OF THEIR COUNTRYMEN IN THE GREAT WAR AND IN MEMORY OF THEIR SIXTY THOUSAND DEAD THIS MONUMENT IS RAISED BY THE PEOPLE OF CANADA


Inscribed on the ramparts of the Vimy Memorial are the names of over 11,000 Canadian soldiers who were posted as 'missing, presumed dead' in France. A plaque at the entrance to the memorial states that the land for the battlefield park, 91.18 hectares in extent, was 'the free gift in perpetuity of the French nation to the people of Canada'. Construction of the massive work began in 1925, and 11 years later, on July 26, 1936, the monument was unveiled by King Edward VIII. The park surrounding the Vimy Memorial was created by horticultural experts. Canadian trees and shrubs were planted in great masses to resemble the woods and forests of Canada. Wooded parklands surround the grassy slopes of the approaches around the Vimy Memorial. Trenches and tunnels have been restored and preserved and the visitor can picture the magnitude of the task that faced the Canadian Corps on that distant dawn when history was made. On April 3, 2003, the Government of Canada designated April 9th of each year as a national day of remembrance of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

Send us your images
  • Memorial– His name as it is inscribed on the Vimy Memorial. Over 11,000 fallen Canadians having no known place of burial in France, are honoured on this Memorial. May they never be forgotten. (J. Stephens)
  • Press Clipping
  • Newspaper Clipping– First part of the War Diaries about the operation on August 12 that led to his death
  • Document– Second part of the War Diaries about the operation on August 12 that led to his death
  • Document– Where he is buried
  • Badge– Cap badge 92nd Bn (48th Highlanders of Canada). Pte Thornton  originally enlisted in this unit but was sent to the 42nd Bn  as a reinforcement.  Submitted by Capt (ret’d) V. Goldman,  15th Bn Memorial Project Team.  DILEAS GU BRATH
  • Patch– Shoulder Patch 42nd Bn (Royal Highlanders of Canada). Pte Thornton  originally enlisted in the 92nd Bn but was sent to the 42nd Bn  as a reinforcement.  Submitted by Capt (ret’d) V. Goldman,  15th Bn Memorial Project Team.  DILEAS GU BRATH
  • Badge– Cap Badge 42nd Bn (Royal Highlanders of Canada). Pte Thornton  originally enlisted in the 92nd Bn but was sent to the 42nd Bn  as a reinforcement.  Submitted by Capt (ret’d) V. Goldman,  15th Bn Memorial Project Team.  DILEAS GU BRATH

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