Lorne Ethelbert Whaley was born in Esquesing Township on December 9, 1893, the son of Robert J. Whaley, a farmer, and his wife, Florence Johnston. In the 1901 census the family is listed in Chinguacousy Township, while in the 1911 census they are living in Esquesing Township, Halton County.
Robert James Whaley was the grandson of William Whaley, the founder of Whaley’s Corners, a little village which no longer exists but was located at the intersection of present day Winston Churchill Boulevard and Steeles Avenue. This intersection marks the boundary among Esquesing, Trafalgar, Chinguacousy and Toronto Townships. Whaley’s Corners may be said to be a village with an identity crisis! About all that remains to mark the location of the village itself, however, is Mount Zion Cemetery, just a short distance north of the intersection on the east side. It is there that Lorne’s parents are buried, with their daughter Eileen.
Lorne Whaley enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force on February 6, 1916 at the Canadian Army Service Corps Depot at Shorncliffe, Kent, England. His regimental number was 3560. Shorncliffe Camp was near to Folkestone, in Kent, and had originally been built as a Napoleonic earthworks fort. It was used as a training camp in World War I and Canadian troops began arriving there in the spring of 1915.
Lorne gave his mother, Florence Whaley of R.R. 2, Streetsville, Ontario, as his next of kin and his occupation as gas engineer. He was described as 5 feet 10½ inches tall, with fair complexion, blue eyes and light hair.
Lorne was promoted to Corporal and awarded the Military Medal, a new medal instituted by Royal Warrant on March 25, 1916. It was “awarded for acts of gallantry and devotion to duty performed by non-commissioned officers and men of our army in the field”.
Lorne Whaley returned from the war on June 13, 1919 on board the SS Olympic, sailing from Southampton, England to Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Records show that he crossed the border from Victoria, British Columbia to Seattle, Washington in June of 1921. He gave his destination as Tacoma, Washington, and his father, Robert Whaley of Streetsville, as his next of kin. His occupation was given as auto mechanic. He seems to have stayed in the United States as he is listed in the 1930 Federal Census for Los Angeles, California with his wife, Freda. He does not appear in the 1940 census for that state but Freda is there as a widow, so Lorne Whaley must have passed away sometime between 1930 and 1940.