Frank McCutcheon during a rare moment off from farming in a mid-1920s photo.

Frank McCutcheon, the father of Expositor publisher emeritus Rick McCutcheon, was a World War One veteran, sort of.

“He was born in 1893 so he certainly was of age when Canada joined the rest of the then-British Empire, declaring war on Germany,” Mr. McCutcheon noted.

Frank’s older brother enlisted in 1915. His younger brother was suffering from tuberculosis, the disease that eventually claimed his life.

That left Frank, and his aging father, to farm the 270-acre family farm in the present-day City of Vaughan (then Vaughan Township), just south of the village of Nobleton. Their farm constituted the township’s extreme northwest corner.

Of course, when conscription was introduced in 1917, he was called up and, according to Rick McCutcheon, “he had to go before a board and explain the circumstances; that without him, the farm wouldn’t be viable.”

He did serve after that as a member of the Home Guard. That was how the members of the board handles his (and other similar) petitions. He told his son Rick that for the duration of the war, he reported periodically to the York County district armoury in Aurora where he and other farm folks were drilled in marching and the use of weapons.

His older brother returned at war’s end, badly wounded and an RAF pilot officer and Frank McCutcheon continued farming to the end of his life, in 1960.

He did, however, volunteer at the beginning of the Second World War and once again began reporting to the Aurora armoury periodically for more marching and drilling.

Rick recalls him saying once how much he had enjoyed these two interruptions as a ‘Soldier of the Soil.’