British War and Victory Medal Pair, 2nd Lieutenant Thomas Donat Vezina, Royal Air Force.
Thomas Donat Vezina was born on 2nd November 1895 in Ontario, Canada. The son of Georges Joseph Vezina and Rosana Beliveau, he spoke French and English.
During WW1, Vezina was a member of the Canadian R.N.A.S. and was posted to England for service, being posted to Greenwich R.N.A.S. Station first on 8th December 1917, followed by Chingford on 9th March 1918 then Vendome 19th March 1918.
On 1st June 1918 he was then moved to No 10 Group for duties as a Flying Instructor, followed by No 22 Group on 10th September 1918 as a Pilot.
He then spent the rest of his service in Dundee at the Seapleane Station before joining the Repat Camp on 16th April 1919 to return to Canada.
Following the war in 1919, Lieut Vezina was the subject of an award of bravery when his life was saved by a fellow 2nd Lieut Donald K Falkner earning Falkner the Royal Humane Society Bronze Medal.
Aberdeen Press and Journal 5th April 1919:
FLYING OFFICERS’ NARROW ESCAPES
Captain-Observer Macintosh Walker, Cameron Highlanders, attached R.A.F.; Lieut-Pilot Falconer, R.A.F.; and Second Lieut F. Vezina R.A.F., attached to the seaplane station at Dundee, had a narrow escape from drowning in the river Tay. They had gone out for a sail in a dinghy, which capsized in a squall. Captain Walker was rescued by two labourers, who swam out and brought him ashore. The other two were rescued in an exhausted condition by means of a boat. All the officers were conveyed to the sick bays.”
Dundee Evening Telegraph 22nd May 1919:
The Royal Humane Society have made the following awards:-…… Bronze Medal to Second-Lieutenant Donald K. Falkner, R.A.F. for rescuing Second-Lieutenant T.D. Vezina from the Tay at Dundee, the boat in which they were having capsized about 100 yards from land.”
By 1921 he had returned to Toronto, Canada and later married Annette Mercier on 7th September 1927 in Riviere-du-Loup, Quebec.
He died on 28th APril 1969 in Quebec City, QUebec.