WW I medals lead Scottish man on a hunt for P.E.I. soldier's family
John Cunningham says his grandfather and Cpl. Thomas Warburton Hooper served in the same cavalry regiment
A man from Scotland hopes to track down descendants of a Charlottetown man who fought in his grandfather's regiment during the First World War.
John Cunningham stumbled across Cpl. Thomas Warburton Hooper's war medals on an auction website while doing computer searches on his grandfather's war history.
He purchased the medals and now wants to reunite them with Hooper's family.
I just had to have them.- John Cunningham
Cunningham's grandfather and Hooper both served in the Lord Strathcona Canadian cavalry regiment. His grandfather signed up in Valcartier, Que. Cunningham's mother always told him his grandfather came to Canada to serve as a Mountie, but he said he hasn't been able to prove that.
The men fought in the same battle in 1918 in France where Hooper was killed, the Ludendorff Offensive.
Cunningham didn't hesitate to buy the medals.
"It was an impulse, partly because so few people were there that day that died. There was only about six Strathconas died that day, and it's also because of the closeness of it to my grandfather," said Cunningham.
"My grandfather had been there where he fought, and, you know, he was very lucky to get away with it, as I wouldn't be talking to you now. And so I just had to have them."
Cunningham applied to get Hooper's service file from the Canadian government. From those documents, he learned Hooper had lived at a residence on Weymouth Street in Charlottetown at the time he enlisted. He also found his parents' names and address.
Cunningham said a distant relative of Hooper's contacted him after he submitted a letter to the editor in the paper last week. He has agreed to send the medals and the war documentation to that family member if a closer descendant doesn't come forward.