Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthJuly 20, 1898
Place of BirthWoerden
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMrs Tryntje Groeneveld (mother), Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingClerk
Service Details
Regimental Number199005
Service RecordLink to Service Record
Battalion94th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentFebruary 21, 1916
Age at Enlistment17
Theatre of ServiceCanada
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of Death19861129
Age at Death88

Groeneveld, John

Private John Groeneveld joined the 94th Battalion in February 1916 in Kenora, Ontario. He served in Canada for four months and was discharged in June 1916 for medical reasons.

John or Johannes was born on 20 July 1898 in Woerden, Holland (the Netherlands). His parents were Herman Groeneveld, a carpenter, and Tryntje Timmerman. Herman and Tryntje were married in Holland in September 1897 and John was their oldest child. He had three brothers (Dirk/Richard, Hendrik/Harry and Herman) and three sisters (Cornelia/Cora, Catharina/Katherine and Tryntje/Kathleen). John’s mother and the six oldest children immigrated to Canada in 1910, arriving in Halifax on 23 September on the Siberian. They were going to the Rainy River area to join Herman, who was already living there. The family settled in the town of Kenora and Kathleen, the youngest child, was born there in April 1912.

By the fall of 1915 the war was in its second year and in November a new unit, the 94th Battalion, was organized in northwestern Ontario. John enlisted with the 94th on 21 February 1916 in Kenora. He was 17 years old, 5’11” with blue eyes and fair hair and he was working as a clerk in a drug store at the time. His medical on 26 February found him fit for overseas service. The 94th Battalion was based in Port Arthur and the Kenora recruits were sent there on 25 May to train with the rest of the unit. The men had a huge sendoff from family and friends when they left the Kenora train station that day. The troops headed to Quebec on 9 June and spent a short time at Valcartier Camp, near Quebec City. While John was there he had another medical exam on 23 June. Due to a childhood accident he was missing a finger and he had scar tissue on one hand that affected his grip. Because of those conditions plus a problem with his feet he was found medically unfit for service. He was discharged at Valcartier on 25 June.

John’s father moved from Kenora to Detroit, Michigan in October 1916 and the rest of the family joined him there the following April. John was married in Detroit on 24 June 1920. His wife, Marion Baumgartner, was the daughter of John Baumgartner and Athopia/Allie May. She was born in Michigan in March 1899 and she had five brothers and sisters. John and his wife made their home in Detroit and he worked as a salesman in the grocery business. They raised two children, Lorne and Maxine.

John passed away in Orange County, California on 29 November 1986, at age 88. Marion died there six years later, in 1992.

By Becky Johnson


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