|Date of Birth||February 18 or 19, 1892|
|Place of Birth||Brockville, Ontario|
|Next of Kin||Mrs. Josephine A. Bann, 392 Kennedy Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba|
|Trade / Calling||Bookkeeper|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Place of Enlistment||Winnipeg, Manitoba|
|Address at Enlistment||Winnipeg, Manitoba|
|Date of Enlistment||December 22, 1914|
|Age at Enlistment||22|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||March 25, 1936|
|Age at Death||44|
|Buried At||Brookside Cemetery, Winnipeg, Manitoba|
Sergeant Edward “Hugh” Bann, aka Edward Edwin Bann, enlisted with the 44th Battalion in December 1914 and served with them for four and a half years in Canada, the UK, France and Belgium.
Hugh was born on 18 or 19 February 1892 in Brockville, Leeds County, Ontario. His father, John Charles Bann, was a saloon and hotel keeper who was born in Prescott, Ontario. Hugh’s mother, Josephine Augusta Seaman, was also born in Ontario. Hugh had at least three older brothers: Charles Skiff (1880), Murray Martin (1884) and John Stanley (1890). When the 1901 census was taken the family was still living in Brockville and John was operating a hotel. He died in an accident the following year, at age 56. When the 1911 census was taken Josephine was a patient at a hospital in Brockville but it’s not clear where the children were staying. Josephine was 55 years old and her occupation was housekeeper. Sometime after that she moved her family to Winnipeg, Manitoba.
The war started in August 1914 and Hugh enlisted later that same year, signing up in Winnipeg on 22 December with the 44th Battalion. His occupation was bookkeeper and next of kin was his mother in Winnipeg. He gave his birth date as 18 February but his Ontario birth registration and the 1901 census both list it as 19 February. Hugh trained with his unit in Manitoba for ten months. He spent most of May 1915 on duty in Portage la Prairie and on 1 July he was appointed Lance Corporal. His brother Murray enlisted in the 44th Battalion in August 1915. The two brothers left Winnipeg with their unit on 18 October, sailing from Halifax on the SS Lapland about five days later and arriving in England at the end of the month.
Hugh was promoted to Corporal on 7 January 1916 and went to France with his battalion on 10 August. That fall the Canadians were at the Somme Offensive and his brother Murray was killed by an artillery shell on 25 October. He’s buried in the Adanac Military Cemetery in the Somme and commemorated on the Next of Kin Monument in Winnipeg. On 16 November, just as the Somme Offensive was ending, Hugh was appointed Lance Sergeant. He was promoted to Sergeant on 20 January 1917. The Canadians were at the Battle of Vimy Ridge in April 1917, Hill 70 in August and Passchendaele in October-November.
In late January 1918 Hugh reported ill at a field ambulance. He had an infected lymph node and adenitis. On 26 January he was admitted to No. 83 General Hospital in Boulogne and diagnosed with an abscessed cervical gland. On 13 February he was sent to a rest camp and he rejoined his unit two weeks later. The Canadians were heavily involved in the final months of the war, starting with the Battle of Amiens in August. On 21 September Hugh had two weeks leave and he was back with his unit on 10 October for the final month of hostilities.
After the Armistice the 44th Battalion stayed in Belgium and France for five months, returning to England on 27 April 1919. In mid-May Hugh fractured his ankle and he recovered at No. 12 Canadian General Hospital in Bramshott. He was back on duty in early June and sailed for Canada on the SS Caronia on 9 August. He arrived in Halifax on 17 August and was discharged in Winnipeg three days later.
After the war Hugh worked for several different companies in Winnipeg as a clerk, bookkeeper and accountant. He also worked for a short while in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In the mid-1930s he was employed as an accountant for the Assiniboia Construction Company in Keewatin, Ontario. The company had a contract to build the section of the Trans-Canada Highway between Keewatin and the Manitoba border. Hugh became ill in early March 1936 and he was admitted to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Kenora. He was suffering from pneumonia and he passed away on 25 March, at age 44. His funeral was held in Winnipeg two days later and he’s buried in the military section at Brookside Cemetery. His mother died the following year, on 28 March 1937, and she’s also interred at Brookside.
By Becky Johnson