William Perkins Bull, From Brock to Currie
Peter John Chormann was born on January 6, 1892 in Toronto, the son of Peter John Chormann, a baker of 199 Spadina Avenue and his wife, Maggie O’Brien. Peter John Chormann, Sr. was born about 1858 in New York and came to Toronto in 1882, where he married Margaret O’Brien on April 15, 1885. She had immigrated to Canada from Ireland. Before Peter John Junior was born, Margaret Chormann gave birth to twin boys, Fred and Peter John who were born on September 2, 1890 but both died within four weeks, so Peter was the eldest surviving child of his parents, born two years later. In the 1901 Census the family lived in Hamilton, and by 1911 they had moved to Toronto, and later to Cooksville.
Peter John Jr. was drafted by the terms of the Military Service Act in September 1917 and was attested on January 7, 1918. The Military Service Act was promoted by Prime Minister Robert Borden and was highly controversial throughout the country. Wilfrid Laurier, the Leader of the Liberal Opposition, refused to endorse it. By the terms of the Act, which passed into law on August 19, 1917, all male citizens 20 to 45 were subject to conscription to military service. Peter John was 25 years old when called up. He was described on his form as 5 feet 8¾ inches in height with medium complexion, blue eyes and brown hair. He gave his mother, Margaret Chormann of Cooksville, as his next of kin, and his occupation as photo engraver. He was single and had had no previous military experience. He was given regimental number 3032325 and assigned to the First Depot Battalion.
Peter arrived in England on February 16, 1918 aboard the SS Scandinavian and was taken on strength in the 12th Regiment. On May 11, 1918 he was transferred to the 20th Battalion in France. On June 17, 1918 he was diagnosed with lymphadenitis or infection of the lymph nodes in his groin and hospitalized. He was discharged to duty on June 30, 1918.
Peter was reported missing on September 14, 1918 and then reported missing in action on October 26. His service file indicated that he was presumed for official purposes to have died on or about August 28, 1918. The following notice appeared in the Toronto Star of September 26, 1918:
“Pte. Peter Chormann, formerly of 80 St. Patrick street, is reported among the missing. He went overseas with a Hamilton battalion and transferred to the 20th Battalion before going to France last April. He is 26 years of age, was born in Toronto, and received his education at St. Patrick and De La Salle schools. He was a photo engraver by trade, and formerly manager of the Herald Press office, Toronto. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. P.J. Chormann, of Cooksville, formerly of 80 St. Patrick street, which is now 428 Dundas street.”
Peter is commemorated on the family monument in Mount Hope Cemetery, Toronto, Ontario and on the Vimy Memorial.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission