Wednesday, 11 November 2015

John Kenneth McLean - no longer forgotten

He was forgotten, but after a century he will be given his due.

blog post on 10 August, on the 100th anniversary of his death, mentioned Private John Kenneth McLean, buried in Beechwood Cemetery, Although he died while in service there has been no record of him in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission database, nor on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial, nor the book of Remembrance in the Peace Tower, and no CWGC headstone at Beechwood.

Strangely McLean's friend who died in the same accident, and is buried in the same grave, is commemorated. Neither young man had an attestation paper or service file usually found making it difficult to confirm service. They had been enlisted barely a couple of weeks.

I have now learned that the CWGC have accepted to add McLean to their database and erect a gravestone. That's thanks to Library and Archives Canada which was able to confirm McLean's service using other sources satisfactory to the CWGC.

McLean appears to have arrived in Canada on the Virginian in June 1913, age 16, giving his occupation as clerk. A possible 1901 census entry, RG13, Piece 168, Folio 35, Page 12 in Islington shows mother Alice, a 33 year old widow and John's younger sister Constance. CWGC is interested to locate any living relatives. Can you help?

On 11 November we remember the members of the armed forces who died in the line of duty. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission goes beyond that to remember members of the military who died in service, and civilians whose death was war-related.


Glenn W. said...

Congratulations John for your perseverance and research in seeing this through so that John K. McLean is indeed no longer forgotten ... well done!

Anonymous said...

Congratulation John, very kind on your part to see it through - no longer forgotten!