Leaside connects to World War I

Paul Robert
Paul Robert

At least one Leasider, Paul Robert, Mallory Cres., answered the call back in July from the Great War Attic to share stories about what Leaside grandparents did during World War I.

At the Todmorden Mills Heritage Site early in October Robert talked about his great uncle, Paul F. McLaughlin, who enlisted in the Princess Patricia’s Infantry in 1915 and ended up in the Ypres area of Belgium. He became what was called a “bomber,” which meant that during attacks on enemy lines he carried grenades for throwing at their trenches.

In mid-June of 1916 he went missing in action. That is the only notice his family received. No remains were ever identified and nothing came from the searches, through the Swiss Red Cross, of prisoners in German camps.

During his military career, McLaughlin sent many letters home to be used for his writings. He intended to become a journalist.

The Great War Attic is a series of events across the city this fall to hear from, share and document stories, keepsakes and heirlooms with other Torontonians and Canadians.

At the upcoming session on Thursday, Nov. 13 2014 at  4 p.m. at the Joseph D. Carrier Gallery Columbus Centre, 901 Lawrence Ave. West., Robert Galway will include the Leaside Airport in his talk about the Aerodromes of Toronto.

About Geoff Kettel 194 Articles
Geoff Kettel is a community connector and advocate for “making places better”. He is currently Co-President of the Leaside Residents Association, Co-Chair of the Federation of North Toronto Residents‘ Associations (FoNTRA), member of the Toronto Preservation Board and Past Chair of the North York Community Preservation Panel. He writes a monthly column on heritage and planning in Leaside Life.