Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthJuly 6, 1861
Place of BirthCambridge
Marital StatusMarried
Next of KinMrs. Ada Jessie Page (wife)
Trade / CallingClergyman
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental NumberNA
ForceBritish Army
BranchArmy Chaplains' Department
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathMay 25, 1938
Age at Death76
Buried AtAll Saints Church Cemetery, Kesgrave, Suffolk, England

Page, John Walter Bowden

Reverend John Walter Bowden Page was born in England in 1861 and lived in Canada for more than twenty years. He moved back to the UK before the war and served as a British army chaplain during the war.

John was the youngest son of Joseph and Mary Jane Page of Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England. Joseph, a clergyman, was born in Essex and his wife Mary Jane (née Leach) was from Somerset. They were married in 1853 and they had three sons (Joseph, Robert and John) and two daughters (Elizabeth and Fanny). John was born in Cambridge on 6 July 1861 and his father died in 1865, when he was four years old. His mother was left financially secure and in the 1871 census the household included a governess for the children. In 1875 John was sent to Haileybury College in Hertford Heath, about 40 km south of Cambridge. Haileybury was a boarding school and John was a student there for four years, graduating in 1879. When the 1881 census was taken he was 19, living in West Clandon, Surrey and attending a Land Agency school. The following year he immigrated to Canada, arriving in Quebec in September 1882 on the SS Sardinian.

John studied at St. John’s College in Winnipeg and he was ordained there as an Anglican priest. In 1885 he accompanied some of the British troops during the North West Rebellion and he was awarded the North West Canada Medal for his services. He returned to Winnipeg where he was married on 4 September 1889 to Ada Jessie Adams. Ada was born in 1868 in Jubbulpore, India, the daughter of William and Charlotte Adams. Her father served in India as an officer in the British army. Her parents returned to England when she was about three and she spent her childhood in London. In 1884 her family immigrated to Canada and settled in Winnipeg, where her father worked for the Hudson’s Bay Company.

John and Ada had one child, their daughter Gladys Mary who was born in Winnipeg in July 1890. John was serving at Holy Trinity Anglican Church at the time. Early in 1892 St. Alban’s Anglican Church in Rat Portage, Ontario was destroyed by fire. A short time later John became the Rector there and he moved his family to Rat Portage (later called Kenora). Construction was started on a new church and by the fall of 1892 services were being held in the basement. The new church was completed by the following summer. It was located on First Street North, across from Notre Dame Catholic Church, and John served there for about fourteen years. In the winter of 1905-6 he and his family had an extended holiday in England and afterwards they decided to move back to England permanently.

At the time of the 1911 England census John was the Rector at the parish church in Clopton, a small village near Ipswich in the county of Suffolk. During the First World War he joined the British Army Chaplains’ Department. An item published in the Kenora Miner and News in May 1917 said that Reverend Page was in France and was ‘much beloved and very popular with the men.’ In early 1918 John was serving at No. 3 Stationary Hospital in Rouen. He was 56 years old by then.

John returned to England after the war and his daughter Gladys was married a few months later. Her husband, Frank Charles Treacher, was a war veteran who had served in France with the Honourable Artillery Company. Frank was born in Argentina and shortly after getting married he and Gladys moved to Chile.

John passed away on 25 May 1938, at age 76. He was living at 76 Bixley Road in Ipswich at the time, serving as the Canon of Ipswich and St. Edmundsbury. Ada survived her husband by 24 years. She died in Ipswich on 1 April 1962, at age 94. John and Ada are both buried  at All Saints Church Cemetery in Kesgrave, Suffolk.

By Becky Johnson

Page-John-Walter-Bowden-1 Page-John-90 Page-John-91

« Back To Soldier Biographies