Thomas Mears Waumsley was born on July 2nd 1896 in a little town in northeast England, called Grimsby. He came to Canada in 1913, with his mother, Kate (Bett) Waumsley, two brothers and three sisters. They sailed on the steamship 'Empress' out of Liverpool, and landed in Quebec. The family settled in Oakville, and operated a bakery there for a few years before expanding their business and moving to Burlington. The new “Waumsley's Bakery” was opened on Brant Street in Burlington and was run by Kate and her husband.
Tom, the oldest son, enlisted in the army on February 7th 1916. He served overseas in the 164th Battalion during WWI as a telegraph operator. After the war, Tom continued to serve his country in the reserves making weekly trips to train at the armories in Hamilton. From 1920- 1926 he was the Burlington President of Branch 60 of the Great War Veteran Association. He also began a drill band in Burlington, which played in many parades and at official functions. Every Remembrance Day, he played a beautiful rendition of Taps on his bugle in remembrance of the soldiers who fought proudly for their country. He also served his community as a volunteer fire fighter for many years, and was a member of the Fire Brigade band.
After his return from the war he found work Tom Joceyln’s stationary & Variety Store and married Edythe May Miller in November 1924. You could get books and magazines, newspapers, tobacco, candy and all sorts of toys and other things there. In 1925, he took over ownership of the book store at 12 Brant Street and ran that shop which was a mainstay of business on lower Brant Street until his retirement in 1965.
As well as being a successful businessman and active in the community Tom was also an amateur photographer. In his spare time he would take pictures throughout the community, noting interesting landmarks and buildings as well as disasters such as the Brant Inn Fire. The museum is fortunate to have a large collection of negatives that belonged to Tom Waumsley in its collection. The collection was donated by a member of the Waumsley family.