Soldier Spotlight: Major John Anderson

Image: note about John’s Military Cross from his military service file (Library & Archives Canada)

Regimental Number: 1958
Rank: Major
Branch: 19th Alberta Dragoons; 5th Battalion

John was born on January 19, 1885 in Glasgow, Scotland. He filed on a homestead at 22-74-8-W6 in 1914, but joined up later that year. John was awarded the Military Cross on October 8, 1915 “For conspicuous gallantry near Messines on 8th October, 1915, when he went out with Private Wythe to a German sap. Lieutenant Anderson entered the sap, and Private Wythe crept along the edge. They met and shot two Germans, exchanged shots with three others, and brought back the rifles of the men they had killed. Next day they returned to the sap, and attacked another party of Germans, who retired, leaving a clock, some bombs, a periscope, etc., behind. These they brought in. Much valuable information was gained.” On April 9, 1917 at Vimy Ridge, John received shrapnel wounds to his left jaw, which chipped the bone, and also to his neck. He was killed in action at Passchendaele on November 10, 1917, the final day of a 102-day battle.

Sources: Buffalo Trails p. 220

Soldier Spotlight highlights veterans from the Archives’ online Soldiers’ Memorial. Each week, our volunteers select a remarkable individual to showcase in this blog series. The Soldiers’ Memorial commemorates more than 1,100 WWI veterans and 2,300 WWII veterans from our region. Three dedicated volunteers have contributed over 1,200 hours to this project by researching and writing biographies. Our goal is to have all South Peace soldiers acknowledged for their service. If you know of someone who lived in the South Peace and should be listed on the Memorial, or would like to get involved by researching a local veteran, please contact the Archives.

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