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Private Archibald Clement Thornton | by IWM Collections
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Private Archibald Clement Thornton

20 Battalion, Central Ontario Regiment, Canadian Infantry

 

Pte Thornton was educated at Wellington School and Clare College, Cambridge in England. At the outbreak of war in 1914, he was working in Canada and enlisted there as a private in preference to training for a commission.

 

A good linguist, Pte Thornton served as a listener on the Western Front, monitoring enemy activity and gathering intelligence. This was a particularly dangerous deployment as listening posts were usually sited some 30 yards ahead of the front line. Pte Thornton was wounded twice on 17 November 1915.

 

Efforts to treat his injuries, including the amputation of a leg, were unsuccessful and he died on 21 November. Pte Thornton is buried at Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension (Nord).

 

Faces of the First World War

The full story is not always known to us. If you know more, please tell us in the comments below.

 

Find out more about this First World War Centenary project at www.1914.org/faces.

 

This image is from IWM Collections.

 

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Uploaded on October 25, 2011