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Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Manitoba's WWI Fallen: Thomas C. Dunwoody of Winnipeg

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, I am working on a series of blog posts and radio shows that will look at some of the Manitobans who died in action. For more about this project and links to other posts, follow this link.

July 17, 1917, Winnipeg Tribune

Lance Corporal Thomas Cosbie Dunwoody was born in Northern Ireland in 1894, one of three sons of Alexander and Annie Dunwoody.  The family came to Winnipeg in 1911, first settling at 322 Kennedy, then on to 3 Lenore Street. Alexander became a long-time accountant with the city's power and light department, eventually Winnipeg Hydro.

March 30, 1930, Winnipeg Tribune

Thomas immediately got a job with Shipman Electric but on his first job, the construction of Kelvin High School, he fell. After just two weeks in Winnipeg he found himself in hospital recovering from two broken wrists and an injured leg. 

His next job had less perils. He was an office clerk at the real estate firm of C. H. Enderton and Co. The company was founded in the early 1890s by Charles Henry Enderton and was an early developer of retail buildings along Portage Avenue after Eaton's announced it was building a department store there. In 1912 they began selling property in their new subdivision called Crescentwood.

Circumstances of Death Register Library and Archives Canada

Dunwoody, who was single, went overseas in 1916 as part of the Canadian Army Medical Corps but at the front was transferred to the 43rd Cameron Highlanders. He was wounded in June 1916 but was back at the front after a few weeks in hospital.

In the fall of 1916 he was in charge of a platoon at Regina Trench and ordered to infiltrate a German position. He went missing during that mission and was never found. In July 1917 he was declared officially dead on October 8, 1916. He was 22 years old.

Dunwoody's remains were later found and buried in the Regina Trench Cemetery at Somme, France.

James Dunwoody, ca. 1918

Thomas' brothers also fought in the war. 

James Moore Dunwoody served as a trooper with Fort Garry Horse and was wounded twice, both times requiring months in hospital recovering. He survived and remained in the military after the war, rising to the rank of colonel. He commanded the mounted troops that the government called in to quash the Winnipeg General Strike, and in 1921 created accounting firm Dunwoody and Company, a forerunner to BDO Canada.

The other brother, Harold Dunwoody, was serving with the Canadian Engineers when he was injured. The interview with James Dunwoody linked to below indicates that he was buried alive and suffered from shell shock for the rest of his life.

This message board entry notes that he married a war bride, Rosina Davis, and they had three children. His brief 1966 obituary states that Harold worked for the post office for thirteen years starting in 1927 and retired 1941. As he died at the age of 69, that meant he retired in his mid 40s perhaps an indication of his war injuries.


Sources
Canadian Great War Project entry
Attestation Papers Library and Archives Canada
Canadian Virtual War Memorial Veterans Affairs Canada
Circumstances of Death Register Library and Archives Canada
Dies leading Men Against Hun Army Winnipeg Tribune, July 7, 1917
An interview with James Dunwoody Manitoba Historical Society

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