Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of Birth1893
Place of BirthNewcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland, England
Service Details
Regimental Number69536
ForceBritish Army
BranchRoyal Garrison Artillery
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentTynemouth, Northumberland, England
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJune 1966
Age at Death72 or 73
Buried AtWoodlawn Cemetery, Cornwall, Ontario

Reavley, John William

Second Lieutenant John William Reavley was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland, England. His parents, John Reavley and Elizabeth Jones, were both born in Northumberland. They were married in Newcastle in 1883 and they had eight children: Mary Jane (1883), Phyllis Hewitt (1885), Catherine (1887), Christina (1889), Elizabeth (1891), John (1893), George Andrew (1896), and Albert Edward (1898). Three of the children died young.

When the 1901 census was taken the family was living in Newcastle and John Sr. was working as a drayman. He passed away in 1909, at age 54. At the time of the 1911 census Elizabeth was living in Newcastle with four of the children still at home: Phyllis, John, Catherine and Edward. John was 17 years old and working as a draper’s clerk. He was married in Newcastle in 1916 to Frances Emily Whaley. Frances was born in 1890 in Gateshead, County Durham, one of nine children of Joseph Whaley and Frances Hindson. When the 1911 census was taken she was living at home in Gateshead and working as a draper’s assistant.

During the First World War John enlisted as a gunner with a siege battery in the Royal Garrison Artillery. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant on 15 September 1917. According to his Canadian Legion membership application he was discharged after the war, on 16 January 1920, at Tynemouth, Northumberland, the same place he had enlisted. He was awarded the British War and Victory medals.

John immigrated to Canada in the fall of 1920, arriving in September on the SS Melita. Frances followed in December. They settled in Toronto and when the 1921 census was taken John was working as a bank clerk. Sadly, Frances died of pneumonia on 20 March 1924, at age 33. Her funeral was held two days later and she’s buried in Prospect Cemetery in Toronto.

By 1932 John was living in Kenora, Ontario and working as a Constable with the Ontario Provincial Police. He joined the Kenora branch of the Canadian Legion. He was married on 26 May 1932 in Oxdrift, Ontario, a small town about 120 km east of Kenora. His wife, Marjorie Edith Schneider (Snider), was the daughter of Conrad Schneider and Lucy Tuckey of Oxdrift, Aubrey Township. Marjorie was born in 1909 in Aubrey Township, where her father farmed.

John and Marjorie had a son, John Hewitt Reavley, who was born in Kenora in August 1935. During the 1940s John was a Constable in Arnprior, Ontario. In February 1948 he was promoted to Sergeant and transferred to Perth and by 1953 he was a District Inspector in Cornwall. He passed away in Cornwall in June 1966. Marjorie died in May 1985 and they are both buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in Cornwall. Their son John Hewitt passed away in Nanaimo, British Columbia in 2013.

By Becky Johnson

Reavley-John-William-90 Reavley-John-William-91

Grave marker photo courtesy of Kraye on

« Back To Soldier Biographies