Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthMarch 27, 1858
Place of BirthMiddlesex
Marital StatusMarried
Trade / CallingBusinessman
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental NumberN/A
Battalion161st Yorkshire
ForceBritish Army
BranchRoyal Regiment of Artillery
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Theatre of ServiceGreat Britain
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJanuary 2, 1940
Age at Death82

Vereker, Jeffrey Edward Pendergast

The Hon. Jeffrey Edward Pendergast Vereker was a member of the English-Irish aristocracy, the youngest son of the 4th Viscount of Gort — Standish Pendergast Vereker; brother to the 5th Viscount – John Gage Pendergast Vereker; and uncle to the 6th Viscount – John Standish Vereker and the 7th Viscount – Standish Robert Vereker.

A retired major from the British Field Artillery, JEP Vereker, had come to Rat Portage (later Kenora) in 1897-98 to establish a home and business. In England he’d committed the social sin of falling in love with another man’s wife and a child resulted.

Vereker likely chose Kenora to establish his new life in because his soon-to-be wife’s brother, well known Manitoban architect Edward Francis Head was living there at the time. Head designed the building for Vereker’s Rat Portage Cold Storage Company in 1898. Vereker also developed other business interests in the community and the area including the Vereker Block on Matheson Street.

In 1900 Susan Harriet (Head) McCutchan, known as Deno to her friends and family, joined JEP in Rat Portage along with their son Jeffrey and two children from her first marriage – daughter Gladys Rose and son Donald Robert McCutchan. Following the finalization of her divorce from Lt. Col. James Shaw McCutchan in 1901, she and JEP Vereker were married July 1, 1902 in Winnipeg.

A daughter, Lena, was born in 1903.

Another of Susan’s sons, Edward Head McCutchan and his family, joined the Vereker family in Kenora in 1912.

When war broke out, JEP’s son Jeffrey was among the first of the Kenora men to enlist, joining the CEF in late August 1914. JEP had also immediately offered his services to the British Army. Military service was long standing tradition with the family dating back to the 1st Viscount of Gort, a Brigadier with the British Army. JEP and Deno were well aware of what war could mean. One of JEP’s older brothers, Lt. William Vereker, had died at the Battle of Isandhlwana during the Zulu War in 1879, and Susan had lost her oldest son, 2nd Lt. Philip Andrew McCutchan, in 1900 during the Boer War.

In October 1914, JEP received word he’d been recalled to service and accompanied by his wife and daughter returned to England.

Once there, JEP Vereker was re-instated in the Royal Field Artillery at his old rank of major, then promoted in April 1915 to Lt. Col. and given command of the 161st Yorkshire Regiment, Royal Artillery. Although he did not see service in France, Vereker remained on active duty until August 1917 when he gave up his rank as a temporary Lt. Col. and was accorded the rank of Hon. Lt. Col.

Following the war JEP and his wife remained in England, settling in Camberly, Surrey, although he retained his home in Kenora and made frequent business trips in the 1920s to attend to his business interests there.

Susan (Head/McCutchan) Vereker passed away March 20, 1932 at Camberly, and JEP Vereker on Jan. 2, 1940.

by Bob Stewart

98th Regiment in front of Vereker Block - Kenora

98th Regiment in front of Vereker Block – Kenora


12 FEBRUARY 1916

Kenora Miner and News, 25 November 1914

Kenora Miner and News, 25 November 1914

Kenora Miner and News, 3 April 1915

Kenora Miner and News, 3 April 1915

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