Kenora Great War Project

 

Personal Details
Date of BirthJune 9, 1890
Place of BirthSan Francisco, California
CountryU.S.A.
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinStuart Lohman (brother), Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingFarmer
ReligionBaptist
Service Details
Regimental Number115943
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion8th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentPortage la Prairie, Manitoba
Address at EnlistmentMeota, Saskatchewan
Date of EnlistmentFebruary 8, 1916
Age at Enlistment25
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathMarch 24, 1942
Age at Death51
Buried AtThe Evergreens Cemetery, Brooklyn, King's County, New York
PlotBethel Slope - Grave 5676

Lohman, John Burgess

Private John Burgess Lohman was from the U.S. but living in Saskatchewan when he enlisted in February 1916. He was wounded in August 1917 at the Battle of Hill 70 and invalided back to Canada six months later.

John was the older of two sons of John Benjamin Lohman and Susan Burgess. He was born on 9 June 1890 in San Francisco, California. His brother Stewart Henry was born in May 1892, also in San Francisco. At the time of the 1900 census both boys were inmates at the Orphan Asylum Society in Manhattan, New York. The Society had been founded in the early 1800s and it took in children who were orphans or who had only one parent. In 1902 the orphanage moved to a new location north of Manhattan in Hastings-on-Hudson, Westchester County. The children lived in small residential units or ‘cottages’ on the 140-acre riverside property. Stewart was still there when the 1905 New York state census was taken but John was living in Brooklyn with an uncle and aunt, John and Isabella Burgess, and working as a grocery clerk. His mother, Susan Burgess, passed away in July 1907 at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan. Her record of death gives her age as 46 and her parents’ names as John Burgess and Elizabeth Stewart. She was born in Ireland and came to the U.S. as a child.

When the 1910 census was taken John was living in McAlester, Oklahoma where he was employed as a department store window trimmer. Stewart moved to Canada around 1910 and John followed about five years later. Stewart enlisted in Kenora, Ontario in December 1914, four months after the war started, and by February 1916 he was in France. John enlisted on 8 February 1916 in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. He listed his occupation as farmer and his address as Meota, Saskatchewan. He joined the 10th Regiment Canadian Mounted Rifles, which was organized and based in Regina. He left for the east coast in late April, as part of the 3rd reinforcing draft, embarking from Halifax on the SS Olympic and arriving in England on 10 May. On 12 June he was transferred to the Canadian Cavalry Depot then on 7 October to the 11th Reserve Battalion.

At the end of October John was drafted to the 8th Battalion and sent to France. The Canadians had been at the Somme Offensive that fall but when John joined the 8th Battalion in late November the troops had recently been moved north to the Lens-Arras sector, across from Vimy. After the capture of Vimy Ridge in April 1917 they stayed in the area holding the new front line. By July plans were underway for an offensive operation near Lens and after a few delays the date for the attack was set as 15 August. In early August John was ill with influenza and he spent five days at a field ambulance, rejoining his unit on 11 August.

When the Battle of Hill 70 started on 15 August the 8th Battalion was southeast of Loos, on the right flank of their brigade. During their advance that day they suffered about 400 casualties out of a strength of 720 men (55%). John was hit in the left arm, sustaining a wound to his wrist and a fractured radius. He was evacuated to a field ambulance then to No. 58 Casualty Clearing Station. On 16 August he was admitted to No. 3 General Hospital in Le Tréport. A week later he was evacuated to England and sent to the Duchess of Connaught Canadian Red Cross Hospital. On 13 October he was moved to the convalescent hospital in Uxbridge, where he recovered for a further three weeks. This was followed by two months at Woodcote Park Convalescent Hospital in Epsom, from 6 November 1917 to 5 January 1918.

In January John was moved to No. 5 General Hospital in Liverpool to await his return to Canada. He embarked on the Llandovery Castle on 15 February and in March he was admitted to the Manitoba Military Convalescent Hospital in Winnipeg, where he spent six weeks. According to medical reports he was anxious to return to work and his discharge came through on 18 June. Stewart had been wounded at the Somme Offensive in 1916 and he was invalided back to Canada in March 1917. After further treatment at the Manitoba Military Convalescent Hospital Stewart returned to Kenora and to his job with the CPR. John spent some time in Kenora too, his address listed as the Railway YMCA and later Crow Lake, which was southeast of the town.

In 1920 John moved back to the U.S. and by 1935 he was living in Manhattan, New York, where he worked as a railroad porter. He passed away at the Metropolitan Hospital in Manhattan on 24 March 1942, at age 51. He was a restaurant worker at the time and his address was 237 Grand Street. His funeral was held on 27 March and he’s buried at The Evergreens Cemetery in Brooklyn. His brother Stewart died in Kenora in 1961, at age 69, and he’s interred in Lake of the Woods Cemetery.

By Becky Johnson


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