Lieutenant Thomas Herbert Sneath was born in Toronto, Ontario on 9 October 1894, the only son of Dr. Charles Robert and Sarah (Appleby) Sneath. He had four sisters, Isabelle, Annie, Christiana and Dorothea. Their father was a physician who practiced in Toronto. Sneath was living with his family at 385 Broadview Avenue in Toronto when he enlisted.
Sneath graduated from Riverdale Collagiate Institute in 1913 and was admitted to the Law Society of Upper Canada as a student in the Spring of 1913. Law Society records show that he was articling with John D. Montgomery of the firm McMaster, Montgomery, Fleury & Co., in Toronto.
Sneath enlisted in September of 1915 with the 83rd (Queen’s Own Rifles) Battalion. The 83rd Battalion was authorized in August of 1915 and sailed from Halifax, Nova Scotia on SS Olympia on 28 April 1916. In England, the 83rd Battalion provided reinforcements to other CEF Battalions, including the 3rd (Toronto) Battalion. In July of 1916, Sneath joined the 3rd Battalion and was immediately – the day after he was taken on strength with the 3rd Battalion – attached to the newly-formed 1st Canadian Trench Mortar Battery. The 3rd Battalion and the 1st Canadian Trench Mortar Battery fought with the 1st Canadian Infantry Brigade, 1st Canadian Division. Law Society of Upper Canada students Private Henry Kelleher, and Lieutenants George Lawrence MacKenzie and Henry Errol Platt also served in the 3rd Battalion.
Sneath took part in the fighting for the Ypres Salient from 1 July to 9 August 1916. He was shot on 5 September 1916 during the Battle of the Somme and suffered a compound fracture to his left arm. He died of his wounds on 9 September 1916 at 2300 at No.49 Casualty Clearing Station. He was 21. He is buried at Contay British Cemetery (II.A.2.) in France.
Prior to enlisting with the CEF, Sneath served in the Militia with The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada.
Sneath’s sister Christiana served as a Nurse Masseuse in the Canadian Army Medical Corps and worked at the Strathcona Military Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta. Their cousin, Major Thomas D’Arcy Sneath, MC, also enlisted. He was killed in action on 15 March 1918. Their cousin, Lieutenant Edwin Sneath was a law student in Saskatchewan when he enlisted. Edwin Sneath survived the War and went on to practice law in Regina, Saskatchewan. Their uncle Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Sneath served in the Militia in Canada during WWI. He was injured in a train accident and died of his injuries in July of 1915.
Shea, E. Patrick; Gowling, Lafleur, Henderson (Firm); and Highlanders Foundation, “The Great War Law Student Memorial Project” (2014). Digital Texts. 2.