Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthNovember 18, 1891
Place of BirthBantry, Cork
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMr M Sullivan, father, Clonee Farm, Durrus, Bantry, Ireland
Trade / CallingFarmer
Service Details
Regimental Number2000194
Service Record Link to Service Record
BattalionLord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians)
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentLord Strathcona's Horse (RC)
Date of EnlistmentOctober 1, 1916
Age at Enlistment24
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathDecember 25, 1962
Age at Death71
Buried AtForest Lawn Memorial Park, Burnaby, British Columbia
PlotGrave 1 - Lot 83, Section Benediction

Sullivan, John

John Sullivan was likely born on 18 November 1891 in the Registration district of Bantry, County Cork in Ireland. His attestation papers gave the date as 18 November 1892 and his British Columbia death record as 18 November 1890 but the birth indexes for the area had only one listing for a John Sullivan, registered in the last quarter of 1891. John’s parents were Michael Sullivan and Margaret (Maggie) Sweetnam who had married in the district on 18 November 1879. Over the years the family farmed at Clonee, Durrus East in the district of Bantry. John was their youngest child, having older siblings Lizzie, James, Avisia, and Mollie.

John immigrated to Canada in 1912, arriving in Boston, Massachusetts on 8 August on the Cymric. Travelling with him was Richard Barry and the two were on their way to the town of Keewatin in northwestern Ontario near Kenora. Once in Keewatin John found work with the Lake of the Woods Milling Company.

John signed his attestation papers on 1 October 1916 at Camp Hughes in Manitoba. His occupation was given as farmer and his father back in Ireland as next of kin. With a draft to Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians), John arrived in England a short time later aboard the Metagama on 28 October. In March of 1917 he was transferred to the Canadian Reserve Cavalry Regiment for training. In July he was struck off strength on posting to Lord Strathcona’s Horse in France, arriving at the unit on 30 September.

On 30 March 1918 John sustained a gunshot/shrapnel wound to his left wrist. He was invalided to England and admitted to the 3rd South General Hospital in Oxford on 3 April. John was transferred to the Canadian Military Convalescent Hospital, Woodcote Park, in Epsom on April 20th for further treatment and recovery. In early July he was transferred to the Granville Canadian Special Hospital in Buxton and then back to Woodcote Park in early September. Discharged from the hospital on 6 February 1919, the next day John was admitted to the No 5 Canadian General Hospital in Kirkdale with the diagnosis of hysteria. Discharged from the hospital on 24 February, John was invalided to Canada aboard the Essequibo. Arriving in Portland, Maine on 7 March, he was discharged from service on demobilization on 23 March in Winnipeg.

At some point John had made contact with a Salvationist, was converted, and enrolled in Kenora. He trained as a cadet with the Salvation Army in Winnipeg from 1922 to 1923. After his training John moved to Vancouver where he married Annie Sweetnam on 9 June 1926. Born in the Dunbeacon area in Bantry, Cork, Annie was the daughter of Richard Sweetnam and Dinah Levis. According to a later passenger list, Annie had immigrated to Canada in September of 1919. On the marriage record both John and Annie were listed as Salvation Army officers.

In October of 1927 John and Annie moved to South Africa to serve with the Salvation Army for seven years, giving birth to son John Harold in late 1929 or early 1930 in Durban. In 1935 the family made a return trip to Ireland, arriving back in Canada on 23 April aboard the Alaunia. According to his obituary, over the years John served with the Salvation Army in Edmonton, Calgary, Portage la Prairie, Dauphin, and Drumheller. He later transferred from field work to men’s social work, with the Sullivans working as superintendents at the Eventide Home in Brandon and the Men’s Social Centre in Regina. Following retirement in 1955, John served at the Mount Pleasant Corps in Vancouver.

John died on 25 December 1962 at the Vancouver General Hospital. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife Annie, son John of Toronto, a grandson, and a sister in Boston. Annie later died in 1988. Although John is interred in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Burnaby, BC, Annie’s grave marker in the Thornhill Community Cemetery in Thornhill, Ontario also has John’s name inscribed on it.

In August of 1919 the town of Keewatin held a demonstration to honour all who served, presenting badges and medals to the returning veterans and to the families of the fallen, John’s name included in the article about it in the local newspaper. He is commemorated for his service on the Lake of the Woods Milling Company Roll of Honour, the Municipality of Keewatin For King and Country plaque, and on the Town of Keewatin Roll of Honour.

Judy Stockham


John’s grave marker photograph by naisenu,
Anne’s grave marker photograph by Islington,

« Back To Soldier Biographies