Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthAugust 19, 1890
Place of BirthKeewatin, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinCaroline - Mother
Trade / CallingBank Clerk
Service Details
Regimental NumberNA
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion141st Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentPort Arthur, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentAugust 18, 1916
Age at Enlistment26
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathOctober 21, 1958
Age at Death68
Buried AtChapel Lawn Memorial Gardens, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Cherry, John Joseph Roland

John Joseph Cherry was born on 19 August 1890 in Keewatin, Ontario. His parents were Thomas Joseph Cherry and Caroline Hawkin. Siblings included Cecil, Agnes, Marion and Norah. John’s father was born in Ireland and immigrated to Canada 1871. He was a Reeve for Keewatin in 1907 and 1908 becoming Keewatin’s first Mayor in 1909 and 1910. In 1911 Thomas was a manager at the flour mill and John was a clerk in a bank.

The 141st Battalion was a unit in the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First World War. Based in Fort Frances, Ontario, the unit began recruiting in late 1915 in the Rainy River district of northern Ontario. John attested with the 141st Battalion on 19 April 1916 in Fort Frances. He passed his medical exam on 18 August 1916 in Port Arthur and the next day was appointed provisional Lieutenant with the unit. He was detailed for recruiting and placed in charge of the recruiting office in Keewatin. This was located in the Bank of Ottawa building.

On 27 December 1916 John married Doris Green in Kenora, Ontario. She had been born in England and immigrated to Canada in 1913.

In March of 1917 John attended a wire entanglement course in Winnipeg. The next month the 141st Battalion, with John aboard, embarked from Halifax for England. When they arrived in Liverpool on 07 May, John was transferred to the 18th Reserve Battalion.

On 09 November 1917 he was then transferred to the 52nd Battalion and sent to France. John spent a week at the Canadian Corps Gas School at the end of November. On 17 January 1918 he was admitted to #1 Casualty Clearing Station suffering from trench fever. Four days later he was sent to #20 General Hospital in Camiers for treatment. He was discharged on 05 February but a medical board approved a three week sick leave to England to help his recovery. John returned to the base depot of the 52nd Battalion in Etaples on 03 March 1918 and was back with his unit by the beginning of April. In August 1918 he was on command to do traffic control. John had a two week leave in October 1918 rejoining his unit on 03 November. He was returned to England in February 1919 and shipped back to Canada in March 1919. John received his official discharge due to demobilization on 04 April 1919. He returned to Keewatin and was honoured in a ceremony held by the town in August 1919.

John and Doris moved to neighbouring Kenora and the 1921 Canadian Census finds them living at 16 Main St. South and John working as an accountant. At some point they moved to Winnipeg where John was an accountant for the Lake of the Woods Milling Company. He would have worked in the company’s offices in Lake of the Woods Building on McDermot Avenue. John and Doris had two daughters – Doreen, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Home Economics in 1947 and worked at the Winnipeg General and Misericordia Hospitals until she moved to Orangeville, Ontario upon her marriage to John Nesbitt in 1960; and Carolyn who graduated as a nurse and married Sigurdur Johannson of Arborg, Manitoba in 1959.

John Cherry worked with the Lake of the Woods Milling Company for thirty-one years. He was a member of the Valour Legion.

John died on 21 October 1958 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He is buried in Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens, Winnipeg. His wife, Doris, passed away in 1963 and is interred beside John.

John’s brother, Cecil also served in WW1. He was wounded at the Somme while serving with the 94th Battalion in 1916.

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