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Legacies of Lakeshore past

Volunteers added hundreds of new names to the Toronto Branch For King and Country database in 2018.

For King and Country is an ongoing Branch project to locate, photograph and transcribe memorials to students, former students and staff of Toronto schools who volunteered for active service during the two World Wars and other conflicts, and research the history of the schools themselves.

Our latest additions to the database are from memorials originally found in three Lakeshore neighbourhoods—once municipalities in their own right—Mimico, New Toronto and Long Branch.

The Mimico High School was the first secondary school in Etobicoke. It has been closed for 30 years now, but its original building still stands, on the corner of Mimico Avenue and Royal York Road. We’ve added close to 900 names from the Mimico High School Book of Remembrance.

The David Hornell Junior School, on Victoria Street in Etobicoke, is itself a memorial—to Flight Lieutenant “Bud” Hornell, who moved to Mimico as a boy. He died in the Second World War after his plane went down in the North Atlantic near the Faroe Islands at the end of an anti-submarine patrol mission, and was the first R.C.A.F. member to be awarded the Victoria Cross. The names of Hornell and his fellow crew members are now in our database.

WWI memorial fountain

Memorial fountain honours 19 New Toronto soldiers of the Great War.

Two illuminated honour roll lists, both designed by A.J. Casson, are displayed at the James S. Bell School, formerly the Long Branch Continuation School, on Thirty-First Street at Lakeshore Boulevard West. The names of more than 450 men and women who volunteered for active service from the school have been indexed.

About 225 names have been added from two illuminated lists that once hung in the Wesley Mimico United Church, at the corner of Station Road and Mimico Avenue. Although the focus of the For King and Country database is on school memorials, we have included these lists because the historic church building now houses a Montessori school.

And finally, 19 names have been added from an unusual memorial that has had several homes over the years but is currently located at Legion Branch 643, on Judson Street in Etobicoke—a seven-foot-tall, 600-pound fountain erected by the New Toronto Soldiers’ Comforts Association in honour of soldiers from the New Toronto community who fell in the Great War.

The total number of schools and other institutions researched and documented in our memorials database now stands at 121… and the number of names recorded at 47,232. What are your genealogy plans for the New Year? Take some time to explore the For King and Country website… and feel free to leave a comment if you find a connection!

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