|Date of Birth||November 1, 1880|
|Place of Birth||Gateshead, Durham|
|Next of Kin||Elizabeth Jane Hutchison, wife, 19 Elwick Road West, Hartlepool, England|
|Trade / Calling||Locomotive Engineer|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Battalion||No 2 Section Skilled Railway Employees|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Branch||Canadian Railway Troops|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Address at Enlistment||YMCA, Kenora, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||January 30, 1917|
|Age at Enlistment||36|
|Theatre of Service||Canada|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||May 8, 1940|
|Age at Death||59|
|Buried At||Mountain View Cemetery, Vancouver, British Columbia|
John Hutchison was born on 1 November 1880 in Gateshead, Durham, England. His father John was from Edinburgh, Scotland while his mother Jane Buchanan was from Glasgow. The couple married in 1878 in Edinburgh. John had an older brother James who was born in Scotland before the family moved to Gateshead where John Sr worked as a printer compositor. Known children born in Gateshead were John, David (1884-1885), Agnes (1886), George (1895), and Lillie (1897). By the time of the 1901 census John Jr was working as a plumber.
John immigrated to Canada in 1903, arriving in Montreal aboard the Mount Temple on May 25th. His occupation was given as plumber on the passenger list and his destination as Toronto. According to his obituary, after living in Toronto for a year he moved to Kenora, Ontario where he found work with the Canadian Pacific Railway. John returned to England in March of 1912 aboard the Empress of Britain, and he married Elizabeth Jane Glendinning during the 2nd quarter in Hartlepool. Born in 1885 in Hartlepool, Elizabeth was the daughter of George Glendinning and Mary Baglee who had married in 1884 in West Hartlepool.
John and Elizabeth were to make Kenora their home where they gave birth to son John George in 1914. Elizabeth and John Jr returned to England in September of 1916. By the time John enlisted in January of 1917 he was living at the local YMCA located across the road from the railway station. Built by the CPR and then turned over to the YMCA, the building had two full floors of rooms capable of housing 65 men. It had a restaurant, billiard room, a reading and writing room, and in the basement a two lane bowling alley, a gym area for boxing, washrooms, and showers. Outside there was an area for lawn bowling as well as tennis courts.
Along with a number of fellow railroaders from Kenora that enlisted in the winter of 1917, John signed his attestation papers on January 30th in Winnipeg. His occupation was given as locomotive engineer and his next of kin as his wife Elizabeth Jane Hutchison in Hartlepool, England. The No 1 Section, Skilled Railway Employees had been organized in December of 1916 and recruited amongst railway men in all military districts east of Winnipeg and mobilized at Montreal. By the time the train passed through Kenora heading east on the first leg of the journey overseas, the local numbers had grown to thirty-two men. A large crowd gathered at the station in Kenora to wish them well and a safe return. John was transferred to the No 2 Section, Skilled Railway Employees but his service was to be very short. In Montreal John was found medically unfit for service due to flat feet and varicose veins and was discharged on March 10th. His brother George served during the war with the Durham Light Infantry, Royal Guernsey Light Infantry. It appears that he suffered a gunshot wound to the chest in 1917 and was returned to England where he served for the duration of the war. He later moved to New Zealand where he died in 1982.
In April of 1917 John travelled to England, arriving in Liverpool aboard the St Paul on the 30th. It appears that there were a number of trips back and forth to England before the family was reunited and living in Canada. The 1921 census found the family in Winnipeg but they soon returned to Kenora. They gave birth to daughter Kathleen in January of 1925 but sadly she died that March and is interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora. John was an ardent hockey fan, a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Pequonga Lodge.
John died on 8 May 1940 in the Kenora General Hospital. He had had surgery the previous fall and had appeared to be recovering. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife Elizabeth, son John in Vancouver, his father, two brothers and a sister back in England, and his sister Agnes Bryson in Schreiber, Ontario. John is interred in the Mountain View Cemetery in Vancouver. Elizabeth moved to Vancouver to live with her son and then later to Ottawa when he and his family did. She died in 1958 and is interred in Pinecrest Cemetery. John Jr died in 1995 and is interred with his wife Grace Walkure (Stern) Hutchison in the cemetery.
by Judy Stockham
photographs of John and Elizabeth as found on the public Hutchison-Glendinning Family Tree as well as others on ancestry.ca
grave marker photograph provided by Lorraine Speers, findagrave.com