Youngest Peterborough Soldier to Die in WWI
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.