Major Thomas Elmitt, D.S.O.
21st (Eastern Ontario) Battalion
From the “jumping-off” place to the refinery was one thousand yards and as it was known to be strongly held, this together with the distance of the advance, severe casualties were expected and although the battalion suffered heavily they were quite successful in attaining their objective.
(Elmitt to Ottawa Citizen, 2 Jan 1917, 2)
Born in Ottawa on 24 January 1871, Thomas Francis Elmitt was a lumber merchant with fifteen years’ experience in the 43rd Duke of Cornwall’s Own Rifles Regiment. He enlisted with Lieutenant Colonel W. St. Pierre Hughes’ 21st Battalion in November 1914 and was promoted to major in February 1915. Elmitt assumed temporary command of the battalion from 7 May until 6 July 1917.
He was slightly wounded in June 1916 while in command of “D” Company. After Lieutenant Colonel Elmer Jones was wounded at Vimy Ridge, Elmitt took command until his recovery. In October 1917, Elmitt put his lumber experience to good use when he transferred to the Canadian Forestry Corps. He received the Distinguished Service Order in January 1918.
A crack marksman before the war, Elmitt had been a member of Canada’s Bisley Team. At the 1908 tournament, he hit twenty-three consecutive bull’s-eyes and scored 98 out of 100. Elmitt participated in the 1919 shooting contest and became adjutant of the 1920 Canadian Bisley Team
He died in Ottawa on 25 February 1938. His pallbearers included Lieutenant Colonel Harry Pense of the 21st Battalion and Major Robert Manion, leader of the Conservative Party.