Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthOctober 31, 1895
Place of BirthMitchell, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinJohn Roger, father, Mitchell, Ontario
Trade / CallingCivil Engineer
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number3137569
Service Record
BattalionCanadian Engineers Railway Pool
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Engineers
Enlisted / ConscriptedConscripted
Address at EnlistmentBox 115, Mitchell, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentMay 31, 1918
Age at Enlistment22
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathMarch 12, 1964
Age at Death68
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

Roger, John Gillen

John Gillen Roger was born on 31 October 1895 in Mitchell, Perth, Ontario. His father John Roger was from Fullerton, Perth while his mother Mary Ann Gillen was from St Paul, Minnesota.  The couple likely married in St Paul, with daughter Alice born there in 1887. By the birth of John the family was living in Mitchell where daughter Jean was born in 1901. John Sr was a civil engineer/surveyor, the same occupation John Jr would also choose. First educated in Mitchell, John later attended the University of Toronto.

With the onset of conscription in the latter part of the war, John signed his recruitment papers on 31 May 1918 in London, Ontario. His address was given as Mitchell, his occupation as civil engineer, and his father in Mitchell as next of kin. Previous military service was given as one year with the 48th Regiment. First a Private with the 1st Depot Battalion Western Ontario Regiment, John arrived in England with the 85th Draft Canadian Engineers aboard the Pannonia on 15 August 1918. Upon arrival he was taken on strength with the 2nd Canadian Engineers Railway Battalion, then transferred as a Sapper to the Canadian Engineers Railway Pool in France in mid November. In January of 1919 John, suffering from laryngitis, was invalided to England and posted to the Canadian Engineers Railway Depot. He spent 6 days in the Military Hospital in Nottingham before transferring to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital Woodcote Park, discharged on 3 February. By mid February John was admitted to the No 11 Canadian General Hospital Moore Barracks at Shorncliffe (vdg), discharged on 27 May. He embarked for Canada aboard the Belgic on 23 June and was discharged from service on 3 July 1919 in Kingston, Ontario.

John returned to Mitchell and on 25 June 1920, in nearby Elma, he married Luella Edith Hiles. Born on 8 July 1901 in Elma, Luella was the daughter of contractor Martin Hiles and his wife Elizabeth Jane McCourt. The 1921 census found John, Luella, and their four month old daughter Mary Beth living in Mitchell where John was working as a engineer/surveyor. At some point the couple gave birth to a second child, daughter Jeannie.

According to his obituary, John was employed by the Department of Highways at Mitchell and Hamilton, Ontario before moving to The Pas, Manitoba. Around 1954 the family moved to Kenora, Ontario where John worked as a construction clerk with the Department of Highways. He was a Past Noble Grand of the Oddfellows Lodge and a member of St Albans Pro Cathedral in Kenora. An ardent hockey enthusiast, he played hockey in his younger years.

John died suddenly at his home on Second Street South in Kenora on 12 March 1964. At the time of his death he was survived by his daughters Mary Beth (Charles) Pinder of Winnipeg and Jeannie (George) Taylor of Pembroke. He was also survived by his sister Jean (James) Pilon who later died in 1988 in Volusia Florida, and by four grandchildren. He was predeceased by his mother Mary Ann (1925) and father John (1932), both in Mitchell, his sister Alice (Algernon) Charlton (1962) and by his wife Luella on 27 January 1964. John and Luella are interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora.

By Judy Stockham



« Back To Soldier Biographies