Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthJuly 6, 1887
Place of BirthPinette, Prince Edward Island
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMrs. A. McLeod - mother, Pinette, Prince Edward Island, Canada
Trade / Callinggovernment policeman
Service Details
Regimental Number199294
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion46th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentSioux Lookout, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentApril 12, 1916
Age at Enlistment28
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarNo
Decorations and MedalsMilitary Medal
Death Details
Date of Death19170509
Age at Death29
Buried AtBarlin Communal Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France
PlotIII. A. 42.

McLeod, John William

John William McLeod (1887-1917) was born in Prince Edward Island and grew up there with his brothers and sisters, Malcolm (Monty) McLeod (1879-1951), Belle Marion McLeod (1881-1982), Cyrus Alexander McLeod (1883-1892) and Sarah (1899). His parents, Angus (Big Angus) (1837-1915) and Catherine (Katie) MacRae McLeod (1851-1926) farmed in  the Queen’s East District of the island near the village of   Glashvin. Like his father, John William McLeod grew to be a big man, standing 6’3″.

As young men John William and his brother Cyrus ventured west in search of opportunity. John William McLeod settled in Kenora where he was a mill foreman and Cyrus in Winnipeg, where he was a butcher.

John William McLeod then joined the newly formed Ontario provincial police force, moving to Sioux Lookout, where he was stationed when he enlisted April 12, 1916 with the 94th Battalion being raised from volunteers across the district.His brother Cyrus enlisted the same month, on April 24 in Winnipeg. Because of his trade as a butcher he was assigned to the Canadian Army Service Corp for overseas duty.

Like other members of the 94th battalion, John William McLeod trained in Kenora, Port Arthur and Valcartier before the battalion was shipped overseas in July of 1916. He was transferred to the 32nd Reserve Battalion for further training on arrival in England and then assigned to the 46th (Saskatchewan Regiment) Battalion in the field where he was promoted to corporal.

At Vimy Ridge in April of 1917, John McLeod was awarded a Military Medal for his actions and was promoted to Lance Sergeant. The medal citation for his action on April 12, 1917 praised his coolness under fire and noted his determination and leadership had inspired his men, qualities he had displayed in previous operations.

Less than a month later, on 03 May 1917, while on an inspection with two officers of the battalion’s outpost positions,  Lance Sergeant John McLeod  was hit by a sniper’s bullet in the neck. Taken to a medical aid station, he died of the wound on May 9, 1917 at No. 6 Casualty Clearing Station.

John William McLeod is buried at the Barlin Communal Cemetery, France. His name is on the IOOF (International Order of Odd Fellows) Great War Memorial at the Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora and on the Sioux Lookout Memorial.

by Bob Stewart

John’s grave marker photograph by Len,
Photographs of Sioux Lookout Memorial courtesy of the the Sioux Lookout Community Museum.

Research Notes:

According to the 1926 46th Battalion reunion booklet: ‘The 46th Battalion served during the Great War of 1914-1919 with the 10th Infantry Brigade of the 4th Canadian Division of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF). The unit has come to be known as ‘The Suicide Battalion’. The 46th Battalion lost 1,433 killed and 3,484 wounded – a casualty rate of 91.5 percent – and won 16 battle honours in 27 months.’


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