Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthMarch 1, 1900
Place of BirthLangruth, Manitoba
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinFather, Gisli Johnson, Langruth Manitoba
Trade / CallingFarmer
Service Details
Regimental Number2147848
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion34th Fort Garry Horse
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Cavalry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentLangruth, Manitoba
Date of EnlistmentMay 6, 1918
Age at Enlistment18
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathMarch 31, 1983
Age at Death83
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

Benson, Bjornstjerni

Bjornstjerne Benson (alias Johnson) was born in Langruth, Manitoba. He had five brothers: Ben, Chris, Karl, Bladur and Carl, and two sisters, Gudny and Margaret. His parents were Bjorn Benedictson and Sigridur Jonsdottir. He was born 01 March, 1900, and his father was a farmer.

Just after his 18th birthday, Bjorn attested with the Fort Garry Horse in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  He signed as Bjornstjerne Johnson, in order not to be separated from his brother, Carl, who was adopted at age one by Gisli Johnson. This is explained in a legal affidavit  attached to his military records.

His troop arrived in England on September 22, 1918 on the SS Thongwa. By October 17th he was struck off strength to the Fort Garry Horse, arriving in France on October 18th. His war duties were not long, and on June 21st, 1919, he returned to Canada.

In WWII, he served in Canada with the Veteran’s Guard from December 4th, 1942 to September 14th, 1945.

Burnie, as he was nicknamed, married Ruth Price in Plumas, Manitoba in 1925. They had three daughters, Eunice (m. Fred Mingeston), Audrey (m. Doug Craig), and Margaret (m. Cliff Eden). His sons were Oliver, Herbert, and Oscar. Burnie’s obituary mentions that he lived in McCreary, Manitoba, then Redditt, Ontario and finally Kenora, where he was well known to the Evergreen Community Club as a caretaker and skate tier.

Burnie died on 31 March 1983 in Kenora and is buried in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery.

by Penny Beal


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