Private David Toomath

 

 

David Toomath was born on 13 April 1898 at 21 Evelyn Avenue, Belfast, the sixth of fourteen children of foreman labourer (later works superintendent) Richard Toomath and his wife Anna (nee Sinclair). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 7 Dundela Drive, Belfast, with his parents and ten surviving siblings.

Toomath enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 23 November and 7 December 1916 (No.2315). On 30 April 1917, however, he was one of ten North Irish Horsemen who transferred to the Machine Gun Corps (No.105374). Soon after, they embarked for France, where Toomath was posted to the corps' cavalry section.

Toomath remained with the MGC (Cavalry) until the end of the war. On 20 February 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.

In 1920 Toomath emigrated to Canada, three years later marrying Ethel Maud Lyons in Toronto. He initially worked as a jockey and horse trainer, before joining the USL Battery company, remaining with the firm for 35 years. On his retirement he moved to California, where he died on 10 May 1980.

Three of Toomath's brothers also served during the war. Samuel Toomath of the Royal Irish Rifles was wounded in July 1916. William served in the Army Service Corps. Second Engineer James Toomath of the Mercantile Marine was on board the SS Eveleen when it disappeared between Ayr and Belfast on 6 May 1918, possibly sunk by a German U-Boat.

 

Image courtesy of Brian Walker, Toomath's nephew.