John Nathaniel Lake

Oct 13, 1886

Born in Hastings County, Ontario to Christopher T. and Matilda (nee Boomhower) Lake


Apr 10, 1916

Attested into the 155th Battalion in Bancroft, Ontario

Ø  Number 637038

Ø  Next of kin given as Christopher Thompson Lake, father, Monk Road, Hastings County, Ontario

Ø  Previous occupation given as Labourer

o   This was later recorded as Farmer

Ø  No previous military experience given

Ø  Religion given as Church of England

 The battalion trained in the Kingston, Ontario area

 His brother, Herman Denis Lake, attested into the battalion the same day.  His older brother Hercules Ross Lake had volunteered a week earlier


Oct 17, 1916

Embarked the SS Northland in Halifax, Nova Scotia



Oct 28, 1916

Disembarked in Liverpool, England and the battalion proceeded to Bramshott


Dec 8, 1916

John’s brother, Denis, joined the 21st Battalion at the front


Jan 31, 1917

Transferred to the newly formed 6th Reserve Battalion at East Sandling to continue training.  Shortly after the transfer, the battalion moved to permanent quarters and training area in Seaford


Apr 9, 1917

During the 21st Battalion’s attack on Vimy Ridge, John’s brother Denis was killed in action and his other brother Hercules Ross Lake was wounded


May 10, 1917

Transferred to the 21st Battalion


May 11, 1917

Arrived at the CBD (Canadian Base Depot) in the Rouelles Camp, Havre, France as part of a draft of 97 reinforcements from England and TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion


Jun 4, 1917

After leaving the base depot, he joined the 2nd Entrenching Battalion in Hersin


Jun 12, 1917

After leaving the entrenching battalion, Private Lake joined the 21st Battalion in billets in Coupigny, France


Aug 16, 1917

After receiving shrapnel wounds to his right shoulder during an enemy counter attack at Hill 70, he was admitted to the 1st South African General Hospital in Abbeville for treatment


Aug 28, 1917

Transferred to the No. 5 Convalescent Depot in Cayeux to continue his recovery


Sep 6, 1917

Discharged from the convalescent depot and posted to the No. 2 CIBD (Canadian Infantry Base Depot) in Etaples and posted to “A” Company for those recovering from wounds and illness


Sep 18, 1917

After leaving the base depot, he joined the 2nd Entrenching Battalion in Hersin


Dec 5, 1917

After leaving the entrenching battalion he rejoined the 21st Battalion in the Suburban rest camp near Villers au Bois


Feb 4, 1918

Granted 14 days leave


Feb 20, 1918

Rejoined the battalion from leave


May 27, 1918

The 21st Battalion had moved into the support trenches in the Telegraph Hill Switch, near Neuville Vitasse.  In the early morning hours they came under a heavy artillery barrage and Private Lake received shrapnel wounds to his face, hands, legs and abdomen.  After receiving first aid, he was evacuated to the No. 56 CCS (Casualty Clearing Station) for treatment.  On arrival, he was declared to be dangerously ill.

 While at the casualty clearing station, Private Lake died of his wounds later the same day and was buried in the nearby Bagneux British Cemetery near Doullens, France


Following the war the British War Medal, Victory Medal and Memorial Cross were sent to his mother, Mrs. Matilda Lake, at Bancroft, Ontario

The Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny) and Scroll were sent to his father, Mr. C. Lake, at the same address

John Lake and his brother Denis are honoured on the Bancroft Ontario War Memorial

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