Youngest Peter­bor­ough Sol­dier to Die in WWI

The Peterborough Examiner - - Lest We Forget - El­iz­a­beth Bower-Gordon

The youngest Peter­bor­ough and area sol­dier to die fight­ing for the Al­lies dur­ing the First World War was only 16.

Pte. An­thony “Tony” Skar­rizi, of the 21st Bat­tal­ion, had lied about his age to en­list at the age of 14 and died dur­ing en­emy at­tack dur­ing the Bat­tle of Pass­chen­daele.

This in­for­ma­tion is pre­sented in a new on­line war mu­seum (www. pe­ter­bor­ough­ww1­mu­seum.ca), cre­ated by Trent Univer­sity stu­dents un­der the guid­ance of Prof. Daniel Travers.

The ex­hibit about Pte. Skar­rizi, re­searched by stu­dents Jes­sica Parsons and Abi­gail Brown, states he had been born in Italy and em­i­grated with his fam­ily to Canada in the early 1900s.

The fam­ily lived at 656 Reid St. in an apart­ment above a fruit shop, which the fam­ily owned.

“The Skar­rizi fam­ily lived a sim­ple life in a time with no cen­tral heat­ing, lim­ited ac­cess to in­door plumb­ing and elec­tric­ity, and few automobiles roam­ing the streets,” the ex­hibit states.

Pte. Skar­rizi, who had been work­ing as a labourer, en­listed at the Peter­bor­ough Ar­moury on Aug. 16, 1915.

On Nov. 3, 1917, Skar­rizi went miss­ing dur­ing en­emy at­tack and was later pre­sumed dead.

“Al­though Skar­rizi’s body was never found, it is likely that he was the vic­tim of a di­rect hit from an en­emy shell,” the ex­hibit states.

Photo cour­tesy of Trent Univer­sity

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