John James Alexander

Thank you to Bruce Kettles for providing the service file


Mar 10, 1881

Born to John and Hannah Mariah (nee Lennox) Alexander at Elziver Township Ontario


Oct 6, 1910

Married to Emma May “Maggie” Alexander (nee Alexander) in Hastings County Ontario


Mar 21, 1916

Attested into the 155th Battalion at Madoc Ontario 

Ø      Number 636877

Ø      Next of kin given as Emma Alexander, wife, of Queensborough Ontario

Ø      Previous occupation given as Farmer

Ø      No previous military experience given

Ø      Religion given as Church of England 

It appears that he could not write as he signed his Attestation Papers with an X and it is witnessed as “his mark”


Oct 18, 1916

Embarked the SS Northland at Halifax Nova Scotia


Oct 28, 1916

Disembarked at Liverpool England and proceeded to Bramshott


Dec 5, 1916

Transferred to the 21st Battalion


Dec 6, 1916

Arrived at the CBD (Canadian Base Depot) at Havre France and TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion


Dec 7, 1916

Left the CBD to join the Battalion


Dec 8, 1916

Joined the 21st Battalion at Bully Grenay in Divisional Reserve, carrying out training courses


May 9, 1917

Pte Alexander was killed by an enemy artillery shell

It would appear that he received a direct hit with the shell and his remains could not be located.  For that reason he has no known grave and is honoured on the Vimy Ridge Memorial

From the Battalion's War Diary

Following the war the British War Medal, Victory Medal, Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny), Scroll and Memorial Cross were sent to his widow at Queensborough Ontario 



During the Remembrance Day ceremonies in 2008, Veteran's Affairs Canada conducted a vigil each night for the week leading up to November 11.  This vigil consisted of projecting the names of every Canadian soldier who is listed with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission on various buildings and monuments across Canada, and in London England.  The photo below shows Pte John Alexander's name being projected on the outside wall of Canada House in London England.


For the 7 nights leading up to November 11, 2010, the names of all Canadian soldiers were projected onto the Belgian War Memorial in Ypres.  At the same time, the same names were being broadcast via the internet to schools across Belgium and Canada.  The image above shows the opening ceremonies at the Belgian War Memorial on November 4, 2010. 

Below on the left is the name of John Alexander being projected on that wall.  Below right shows the name being broadcast to the schools.  Each name appeared for 25 seconds and each night 9,700 names were shown.

Return to Tribute list