John Graham "Sandy" McNab

Nov 1, 1889

Born in Glasgow, Scotland to George and Annie (nee Carmichael) McNab


Nov 12, 1914

Attested into the 21st Battalion at Kingston Ontario

Ø  Number 59737 (temporary number 324)

Ø  Next of kin given as William McNab, 109 Plantation St, Glasgow Scotland

Ø  Previous occupation given as Railway Clerk

Ø  No previous military experience given

Ø  Religion given as Presbyterian

Ø  Posted to “C” Company

o   Later reorganized into “B” Company

o   Later posted to the Machine Gun Section


May 6, 1915

Embarked the RMS Metagama in Montreal, Quebec



May 15, 1915

Disembarked in Devonport, England and the battalion proceeded to the West Sandling Camp, near Hythe, Kent to continue training


While in West Sandling, he was placed in quarantine for a short time
for a Measles outbreak.  To break the boredom, the men took a
couple of crows as pets.  He is here with one of those crows with
Art Redpath looking on



Sep 14, 1915

Embarked the St. Seiriol in Folkestone



Sep 15, 1915

Disembarked in Boulogne, France and the battalion proceeded to St. Omer


Oct 30, 1915

While in the front line trench near Voormezeele, Belgium, Private McNab received shrapnel wounds to his right elbow and was evacuated to a field ambulance for first aid before being transported to a casualty clearing station for further assessment.


Nov 2, 1915

Transferred to the No. 1 Canadian General Hospital in Etaples, France


Nov 5, 1915

Invalided to England aboard the Hospital Ship Brighton


On arrival in England, he was admitted to the Bevan Military Hospital in Sandgate

Transferred to the 39th Reserve Battalion for pay purposes while in hospital


Nov 29, 1915

Surgery was performed to repair damage to his elbow


Dec 9, 1915

Transferred to the Bearwood Canadian Convalescent Hospital in Ramsgate

On admission it was noted that his elbow is painful when moving it and there is a marked tremor in his right hand.  Grip in right hand is greatly diminished


John McNab recovering from his surgery



Feb 15, 1916

Transferred to the CCAC (Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre) for pay purposes while in hospital


Mar 19, 1916

Transferred to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital in Woodcote Park, Epsom


Apr 6, 1916

Discharged from hospital and transferred to the 39th Reserve Battalion in West Sandling


Apr 10, 1916

Granted leave until April 24, 1916


Jun 17, 1916

Admitted to the Moore Barracks Hospital in Shorncliffe with a diagnosis that reads Hemorrhoids


Jun 22, 1916

Discharged to duty from hospital on refusing surgery for his Hemorrhoids


Aug 11, 1916

Ceased to be attached and Taken On Permanent Strength of the 39th Reserve Battalion


Sep 7, 1916

Transferred to the 21st Battalion


Sep 8, 1916

Arrived at the Canadian Base Depot in the Rouelles Camp, Havre, France and Taken On Strength the 21st Battalion


Sep 18, 1916

Rejoined the 21st Battalion in billets in Vadencourt, France


Sep 30, 1916

During heavy fighting at the Regina Trench near the Miraumont Road, John McNab received a shrapnel wound to his right foot and was evacuated to the No. 4 CFA (Canadian Field Ambulance) for first aid before being transported to the No. 9 CCS (Casualty Clearing Station) for further treatment


Oct 3, 1916

Transferred via the No. 17 AT (Ambulance Train) and admitted to the No. 22 General Hospital in Camiers, France


Oct 16, 1916

Discharged from hospital and reported to the No. 6 Canadian Convalescent Depot in Etaples


Oct 25, 1916

Discharged from the convalescent depot and reported to the Details Camp in Etaples


Oct 28, 1916

After leaving the base details he joined the CBD (Canadian Base Depot) in the Rouelles Camp, Havre and posted to “A” Company for those recovering from wounds and illness


Nov 5, 1916

After leaving the base depot, John McNab rejoined the 21st Battalion in the front line west of Lens, France


Nov 12, 1916

Awarded the Good Conduct Badge


Nov 26, 1916

Proceeded on the Lewis Machine Gun Course


Dec 3, 1916

Rejoined the battalion at the front west of Lens from the machine gun course and posted to the Machine Gun Section


Dec 17, 1916

Appointed to the rank of Lance Corporal


Apr 12, 1917

Promoted to the rank of Corporal


May 17, 1917

The awarding of the Military Medal to Cpl McNab for bravery was announced in the Brigade Routine Orders


May 19, 1917

Lieut Gen Sir J. Byng KCB, KCMG, MYO, inspected the 21st Battalion in Aux Rietz, France.  During that parade, Corporal McNab was presented with his Military Medal for bravery


Jul 9, 1917

Awarded the Military Medal per the London Gazette #30172 (originally announced May 17, 1917)




Aug 17, 1917

Proceeded on course


Sep 1, 1917

Rejoined the 21st Battalion in Villers au Bois, France from course


Sep 28, 1917

Promoted to the rank of Sergeant and appointed as Lewis Gun Sergeant


Oct 26, 1917

Granted 10 days leave

He was very fortunate in that he missed the mud and horror of Passchendaele


Nov 8, 1917

Rejoined the battalion resting in the Erie Camp near Brandhoek, Belgium


Nov 3, 1918

Proceeded to England and transferred to the Eastern Ontario Regimental Depot pending Officer Training


Nov 4, 1918

Attached to the 1st Reserve Battalion pending OTC (Officer Training Course)


Nov 26, 1918

Because the war had ended on November 11, 1918, the training of new officers was suspended

Transferred to the 6th Reserve Battalion in Seaford


Dec 19, 1918

Attached to the 3rd Reserve Battalion in Witley pending return to Canada


Jan 1, 1919

Transferred to the Eastern Ontario Regimental Depot and remained attached to the 3rd Reserve Battalion pending return to Canada


Mar 19, 1919

Embarked the SS Minnekahda in Liverpool



Mar 27, 1919

Disembarked at Halifax Nova Scotia and proceeded to Kingston Ontario


Mar 29, 1919

Discharged from the CEF in Kingston, Ontario

Ø  War Service Badge Class “A” issued number 91539

Ø  Rank on discharge Officer Cadet with the permanent grade of Sergeant

Ø  Proposed residence on discharge Kingston Ontario


Sep 17, 1919

Married to Grace Helena Wallace Auld in Kingston, Ontario




Following his discharge, the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medals were sent to him at Division St., Cobourg, Ontario

On discharge Sandy took up his old job in the freight office of the Grand Trunk Railway.  In 1929 he left that position and took a job with the Customs and Excise Staff at Cobourg, where he retired in 1955.

He served in several different positions with the Royal Canadian Legion and with the Masonic Lodge, holding the position there of District Deputy Grand Master.  He also served on the Board of Stewards for the Trinity United Church, Cobourg.

He also served on the executive of the 21st Battalion Association, rising to the office of President, from which he retired in 1963.

Jul 18, 1964

John Graham McNab died in Cobourg, Ontario and was buried in the Union Cemetery there



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