Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthDecember 14, 1882
Place of BirthGrey County, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinJohn R Bullivant, Dundalk, Ontario
Trade / Callingbarber
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number529528
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion10th Field Ambulance
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Army Medical Corps
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Date of EnlistmentAugust 2, 1915
Age at Enlistment32
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathAugust 6, 1962
Age at Death79
Buried AtChapel Lawn Memorial Gardens, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Bullivant, John Robert

John Robert Bullivant was born on 14 December 1882 in Artemesia, Grey County, Ontario. His father John Bullivant was from Artemesia while his mother Mary Ann Scott was from Owen Sound. The couple married in Artemesia in 1877. Over the years John Sr worked as a farmer, sawyer, and labourer. From various censuses children born to the family were William, Thomas, Mary Frances, John, Margaret, Isaac, and Charlotte.

Working as a barber, John signed his attestation papers in Kenora, Ontario on 2 August 1915. He gave his father John in Dundalk, Ontario as next of kin and his date of birth as 18 February 1888.  With what was called at the time the Royal Army Medical Corps, he trained in Winnipeg for a number of months for the 10th Field Ambulance. In late February of 1916 a train passed through Kenora on its way east on the first leg of the journey to France. On board was John Bullivant along with a number of other local men. The No 10 Canadian Field Ambulance left Saint John, New Brunswick 2 March 1916 aboard the Scandinavian, arriving in England on the 12th, strength 9 officers, 180 other ranks. By 8 April they were in France.

The Field Ambulance was a mobile front line medical unit (it was not a vehicle). Most came under command of a Division, and had special responsibility for the care of casualties of one of the Brigades in the Division. Each Division had three Field Ambulances. The theoretical capacity of the Field Ambulance was 150 casualties, but in battle many would simply be overwhelmed by numbers. The Ambulance was responsible for establishing and operating a number of points along the casualty evacuation chain, from the Bearer Relay Posts which were up to 600 yards behind the Regimental Aid Posts, through the Advanced Dressing Station (ADS), to the Main Dressing Station (MDS). It also provided a Walking Wounded Collecting Station, as well as various rest areas and local sick rooms. The Ambulances would usually establish 1 ADS per Brigade, and 1 MDS for the Division.  (

In late July of 1917 John was granted a ten day leave to Paris. On the 14th of November he himself was admitted to the No 10 Canadian Field Ambulance, diagnosis pericarditis due to shell gas poisoning. Six days later he was transferred to the No 24 General Hospital in Etaples and then on to the 1st London General Hospital St Barts on the 1st of December. In January of 1918 he was transferred to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital Bear Wood in Wokingham and then on to the Kings Canadian Convalescent Hospital Bushy Park. John was discharged in late March but his health issues were not over. He was admitted to the No 14 General Hospital in Eastbourne in late April, suffering from influenza, discharged in May. By June he was back in the same hospital, diagnosis hematuria. Upon discharge from the hospital John went through a series of transfers in England before being found medically unfit for further service due to the condition of his lungs and heart. He embarked from Liverpool for Canada aboard the Northland on 15 December 1918.

While he was overseas John had a portion of his pay assigned to Miss Henrietta Hicks in Kenora. Born at Badger Silver Mine near Port Arthur, Ontario, Henrietta was the daughter of miner Joseph Hicks and his wife Mary Jane Ashmore. By the 1901 Canada census the family was found at the Mikado Gold Mine near Kenora and by 1911 were living in Kenora itself. John and Henrietta were married on 20 March 1922 in Winnipeg where they were to make their home. John continued to work as a barber, retiring in 1952. Henrietta was a long time employee of the Hudson’s Bay Company.

John died on 6 August 1962 in Winnipeg. His Veteran Death card listed his wife, Henrietta, of Winnipeg as his next of kin. At the time of his death he was survived by Henrietta and his sister Charlotte Hie of Galt, Ontario. Henrietta died in 1978 in Winnipeg. John and Henrietta are interred in Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens, Winnipeg.

Henrietta’s brother Leonard Hicks enlisted in Kenora in May of 1915 with the 52nd Battalion. Reported as killed in action at Courcelette on 16 September 1916, his name is listed on the Vimy Memorial and the Kenora Cenotaph.

John  is commemorated on the St. Alban’s Pro-Cathedral First World War Roll of Honour in Kenora.

by Judy Stockham