a view looking out of a window: Adhesive reproductions of old photo negatives are attached to the windows overlooking a courtyard at U of T’s Trinity College. The college’s archives hold 210 glass-plate negatives of portraits from The War Memorial Volume of Trinity College, about 543 students and alumni who had served in the First World War. This picture shows William George Henry Bates.


© Richard Lautens
Adhesive reproductions of outdated photograph negatives are hooked up to the home windows overlooking a courtyard at U of T’s Trinity School. The faculty’s archives maintain 210 glass-plate negatives of portraits from The Struggle Memorial Quantity of Trinity School, about 543 college students and alumni who had served within the First World Struggle. This image exhibits William George Henry Bates.

The women and men within the home windows at Trinity School have a ghostly presence, rendered within the black and silvery white of a glass-plate damaging, like an X-ray. 

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They had been college students of one other time and place, united by loss of life and repair within the First World Struggle. Their Trinity School was situated in what’s now Trinity Bellwoods park, and had federated with the College of Toronto in 1904. College students didn’t transfer into the present location till 1925.

In 1922, two Trinity professors wrote a ebook concerning the 543 college students and alumni who had served within the battle. They wrote to the survivors, and households of the useless, asking for images. The Struggle Memorial Quantity of Trinity School was a “labour of affection,” Trinity archivist Sylvia Lassam says.



a man and a woman standing in front of a box: Trinity archivist Sylvia Lassam, left, and communications co-ordinator Sarah Kidd examine one of the original glass negatives of Reginald Wilkins.


© Richard Lautens
Trinity archivist Sylvia Lassam, left, and communications co-ordinator Sarah Kidd look at one of many authentic glass negatives of Reginald Wilkins.

The professors made copies of every photograph and stored the glass-plate negatives. A few yr in the past, Lassam got here throughout the images in containers marked “heavy.”

To honour the centenary of the Armistice, Lassam had 27 of the images — every one barely larger than a smartphone — developed, conserving the damaging publicity. They had been printed on clear backing, and Lassam and Sarah Kidd, the communications co-ordinator on the school, caught them on the paned-glass home windows that look to the quad. The small print of their faces solely sharpen if you take a look at them a sure manner.

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“He seems to be so younger,” Lassam says as she gazes at Henry Thomson, killed at Passchendaele at 23. “Like a child brother.”

Jeffrey Filder Smith grew up in Rosedale. He went to Higher Canada School and later studied within the College of Arts, 1903-05. Whereas the Globe stated he labored at a rubber producer’s head workplace earlier than the battle, he listed his occupation as “gentleman” when he signed up in 1916. He was 31, and took an officer’s course in England earlier than he arrived in France.

He was harm at Vimy Ridge however Lt. Smith was again in motion 10 days later. He went lacking on the finish of June 1917. His battalion, the 13th, Royal Highlanders of Canada, had dug a faux trench and arrange “dummy” troopers which they managed with string. On the appointed hour, the battalion historical past notes, they started shifting the faux troopers to trick the Germans into considering an assault was imminent. The Germans shelled the world — however the battalion seen the Germans had been shelling their very own line, too. The Canadians despatched out a patrol that evening to see if the Germans had deserted the world. Lt. Smith and eight different males went excessive, by the barbed wire. It was a lure. The Germans threw a bomb at them and opened fireplace with a machine gun. Smith yelled at his males to retreat. He and one other man stayed for protecting fireplace.

All of them made it again to the ditch, however Smith and one different man didn’t. When one other group got here out nearer to dawn to seek out them, the opposite man was crawling again with a shattered leg. He stated Smith had been hit by a bomb, however no person may discover him. In accordance with the Struggle Memorial Quantity of Trinity School, he was taken prisoner and “died of wounds in German palms,” on June 29, 1917.

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Leonora Gregory Allen studied at Trinity in 1906-07, and graduated from a nursing program in New York in 1910. She enlisted as a nursing sister in 1917. On the way in which to Europe, her passenger steamship turned army transport was torpedoed south of Eire. The 29-year-old was picked up by a minesweeper, in response to the Trinity battle memorial ebook.

She made it to France in late 1917, however her hospital in St. Omer was bombed and shelled within the German spring advance of 1918, so she was moved to a brand new hospital at Étaples alongside France’s northern coast. “Every thing dangerous that might occur to her occurred to her,” Lassam says. Allen nursed at Allied hospitals in France and England after the Armistice and was again in Canada in the summertime of 1919, the place she grew to become a supervisor and teacher at a hospital in Victoria. She married, and died in B.C. in 1957.

Reginald Prinsep Wilkins was a Trinity grad planning a legislation profession. He couldn’t wait to get abroad, and signed up in 1915 along with his good pal and Trinity alum Gordon Matheson. “Collectively they’d hoped and waited for his or her probability to enter the battle and, officers of the identical battalion, albeit in several firms, they nearly fell collectively,” the school newspaper wrote.

As a pupil, Wilkins was within the glee membership and by no means missed a Sunday morning choir look. He was editor-in-chief of the Trinity School Evaluate. In France, he was a lieutenant with the 44th Batallion. His pal Matheson died in August 1918. In late September, Wilkins wrote to his father. The Canadians had been advancing rapidly by France, and had been about to cross the Canal du Nord. “I really feel that every little thing will end up O.Ok., if the Almighty wills it,” he wrote.

In accordance with the battalion battle diary, early on Sept. 27, the boys crossed the canal. These main the cost had been pressed ahead due to the eagerness of all the crew, and lots of, together with Wilkins, had been killed or wounded because the Germans opened fireplace. The battle diary notes the 26-year-old confirmed “magnificent management and self-sacrifice.” He was “believed to be buried” on the close by Quarry Wooden cemetery.

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Richard Arthur Mitchell was learning within the College of Arts, planning a future in ministry, when he enlisted in November 1914. The 20-year-old served with Canadian Military Medical Corps, and was stricken by rheumatism, abdomen hassle and influenza, in response to his service file.

In 1915 he wrote his will in a military recreation hut in England. He left his “common military knife” to a pal in Toronto, $700 to his mom, and $300 to his uncle. In accordance with his file, he was given three days’ area punishment for neglecting to obey a lawful command earlier than Christmas 1915. That type of self-discipline usually meant a soldier was tied to a set object for 2 hours a day in a crucifixion pose.

In 1916, Mitchell served with a machine-gun brigade on “water element.” The army file keepers misplaced monitor of him that November, and when inquiries had been made, the reply was a grim one. He had been killed within the Somme that September. In accordance with the College of Toronto Honour Roll, Mitchell had gone to assist two males who had been wounded in Courcelette, solely to seek out they had been already useless. As he hurried again to the trenches, a sniper shot him in. He’s believed to be buried in close by Adanac Navy cemetery. The cemetery’s identify is a reverse of Canada — it was created after the Armistice, when close by Canadian graves had been centralized in a single location.

Katie Daubs is a reporter and have author primarily based in Toronto. Comply with her on Twitter: @kdaubs

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