Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthJuly 1, 1893
Place of BirthRM of St Francois Xavier, Manitoba
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMadam Demerise Lavery, mother, St Norbert, Manitoba
Trade / CallingFarmer
ReligionRoman Catholic
Service Details
Regimental Number288226
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion78th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentWinnipeg, Manitoba
Address at EnlistmentSt Norbert, Manitoba
Date of EnlistmentMarch 27, 1916
Age at Enlistment22
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathMarch 28, 1972
Age at Death79
Buried AtMount Royal Cemetery, Montreal, Quebec
PlotMM 169-D

Lavery, John

Joseph Pierre Jean Baptiste (John) Lavery was born on 7 January 1893 in the RM of St Francois Xavier in Manitoba. His parents Joseph Arsene Lavery and Marie Demerise St Armand were both from Quebec, marrying on 16 July 1888 in St Aubert, L’Islet. Arsene had previously been married to Beatrice Pelletier who died in 1884. By the time of the birth of their first child Joseph in 1889, the couple had moved to Manitoba, eventually settling in St Francois Xavier to farm. Other children born to the couple were Ernestine (1890), Rosanna (1892), John, and Jeanne (1894). Sadly Arsene died in 1895 and it appears that Demerise married Pierre Campeau around 1902. Pierre had previously been married and had at least five children from the marriage.

John’s sister Rosanna, marrying Oliver Dumouchal, moved to Norman, Ontario, a village a couple of kilometres west of Kenora. It appears that John lived there for a while, working in the local sawmill at the time of the 1911 census.

With occupation given as farmer, place of birth as St Eustache, Manitoba, residence as St Norbert, Manitoba, and his mother Demerise in St Norbert as next of kin, John signed his attestation paper on 27 March 1916 in Winnipeg. As a Private with the 221st Battalion, John embarked from Halifax on 18 April aboard the Ausonia. First transferred to the 11th Reserve Battalion, John joined the 78th Battalion in the field in early July of 1917.

Suffering a severe shrapnel wound to the arm at Passchendaele, John was first admitted to the No 11 Canadian Field Hospital on 30 October 1917, transferred to the No 56 General Hospital in Г‰taples two days later, and then invalided to England on 12 November. The Kenora Miner and News edition of 17 December 1917 reported that his sister Rosanna had received word of his wounding and resulting amputation of his arm. Spending time in the No 2 West General Hospital in Manchester, the Military Convalescent Hospital Woodcote Park, Epsom, and the Granville Canadian Special Hospital, Buxton, John was invalided to Canada aboard the Llandovery Castle in June of 1918. Upon arrival in Canada, he was admitted to the Davisville Military Hospital in Toronto. John was discharged from service as medically unfit in Winnipeg on 4 October 1918. His character and conduct were described as very good and his intended residence given as St Norbert.

The 1921 census found John living with his mother and some of his siblings/step-siblings in Fort Garry on the outskirts of Winnipeg, his stepfather Pierre having died in 1917. On 12 September 1922, in Fort Garry, John married Marie Marthe Zenaide (Martha) Lord. Born in 1894 in the RM of Richot, Manitoba, Martha was the daughter of Octave and Alphonsina (Belanger) Lord.

John and Martha were to make St Boniface in Winnipeg their home where John worked for the Investigation Department of the Canadian National Railway until his retirement in 1957. The couple gave birth to daughters Lorraine and Pauline, and sons Larry, Paul, Mark, and John. After retiring, John and Martha moved to Montreal.

John died on 28 March 1972 in the Queen Mary Hospital in Montreal. He was predeceased by his mother Demerise in 1950 in Norman. She had been visiting John’s sisters Ernestine (John) LeBleu and Rose (Oliver) Dumouchal at the time. Never marrying, his sister Jeanne died in Kamloops, British Columbia in 1960 and is interred in the Kamloops Cemetery. Ernestine later died in 1962 followed by Rose in 1963. Demerise, Ernestine,and Rose are interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora. At the time of his death John was survived by his wife Martha, daughters Lorraine (Roger) Vadeboncoeur of St Boniface, Pauline (James) Hopkins of Anaheim, California, and sons Larry of Montreal, Paul of Toronto, Mark of Anaheim, California, and John of St Catharines, Ontario. He was also survived by seventeen grandchildren, his brother Joseph of Keewatin, Ontario, and stepsister Ann Campeau of Chicago, Illinois. John’s wife Martha died on 15 August 1973 and is interred with John in the Mount Royal Cemetery in Montreal.

By Judy Stockham

Grave marker photograph courtesy of Graceti on


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