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Eldon, Frank Irving, 1895-1969


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Biographical Sketch or Administrative History

Frank Irving Eldon (Frank) (1895-1969) was born in Toronto and studied chemistry at the University of Toronto, served in World War 1, and worked in a lumber camp before becoming a teacher in London, Ontario.

Frank Irving Eldon (Frank) was born in Toronto, the son of Robert Henry Eldon (1861-1945) and Mary Hannah Mitchell (Min) (1864-1915). Frank married Daveda Elinor Louise Ridley (1896-1990) on August 23, 1924. They had one son, Walter Donald Ridley Eldon (Don) (1926- ).

Throughout his life, Frank Eldon was a poet and much of his work has been published as War Poems of Frank I. Eldon : Reflections at the Front and after World War I (2008), edited by his son, Don. The poems in this book date from 1914 to 1967 and cover subjects including a war, logging, and after the War. As a teacher, Eldon wrote poetry for his school's variety shows and for his family including his grandchildren.

His early days were often spent at the family's cottage on Lake Rosseau in Muskoka.

Later on, he attended the University of Toronto where he studied chemistry. Frank put his education on hold when he decided to enlist in the army in 1916 after his mother's death. Frank was part of the University of Toronto's 67th Battery, Canadian Field Artillery and served in France, Belgium, and Germany. He was gassed and seriously wounded in 1917. He recovered in hospital in England and returned to the Front in October 1918. On May 9, 1919, Eldon was discharged from the army in Toronto.

He initially returned to his studies at the University of Toronto but decided to work in a British Columbia lumber camp during the summer of 1920 to recuperate from the war. Eldon returned to the University of Toronto and graduated with both a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Arts degree. He then taught chemistry at a high school in Toronto. In 1924, he married Daveda Ridley and the next year, he applied for a teaching position in London, Ontario. In 1925, their only son Don was born.

In 1954 Frank took early retirement, and he and his wife spent much of their time travelling, including visiting Alaska, England, Switzerland, Norway, and Spain, until Frank's health declined. Frank died on July 13, 1969.

Source Note

War Poems of Frank I. Eldon : Reflections at the Front and after World War I (2008), editor: W. Donald R. Eldon.


Archival Records Linked to this Creator

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Reference Code Series Title

F 4597

Eldon family fonds