Saturday, 30 July 2016

New CWGC gravemarker at Beechwood Cemetery

A remote corner of Beechwood Cemetery, Section A, is the location of a new Commonwealth War Graves Commission gravestone.

More than a century after his death John Kenneth McLean has his name on the stone alongside that of his friend John Royston who died in the same swimming accident in the Ottawa River. I'd previously written an update on the situation here.

It appears the stone was installed without ceremony there being no close living relative. Here is a summary of the information I found while attempting to locate relatives.

John Kenneth McLean (JKM) with a birth registered in the March quarter of 1897 in Islington, 1b 197, is the only person with that name with a birth registration in all of England and Wales from the start of civil registration in 1837. The other information available correlates with him being the right person.

He appears to be the same person as JKM in the 1901 census in Islington with mother Alice E McLean, a widow age 33. Her daughter Constance B McLean, age 3, is also in the house and like JKM her birthplace is Holloway, London. The newspaper report of John's death mentions he had a living sister.

If that is the right entry then JKM's parents are likely John William McLean and Alice Ellen Raymond, married in the March quarter of 1896 in  Islington (1b 396), There is a birth registration for a Constance Beatrice McLean in Islington registered in the March quarter of 1898 (1b 232).

There is a death registration for a John William McLean, age 27, in Hackney in the March quarter of 1900.

There is a marriage entry for Alice E McLean in the September quarter of 1901 (1b 704) to either Albert Henry Rietiker or William Swain.

Alice Ellen Rietiker was buried on 14 January 1904 in Islington cemetery.

JKM and sister should be in the 1911 census in England; I've not found them nor any subsequent record of the sister.

There is an immigration record for John McLean, age 16, clerk, leaving Liverpool on 6 June 1913. for Quebec on the Virginian and a corresponding record on arrival.

Ancestry has a First World War report on enlistment for Albert Rietiker dated 26 August 1915 showing he had a deceased wife Alice Ellen McLean and daughter Alice Myrtle Rietiker born 23 Dec 1903 who would be a half sister to JKM. Her birth is registered as Alice Myrtle Rietiker in the March quarter of 1904 in Islington (1b 191). She is in the 1911 census with her father, a widower, and his two unmarried sisters.

There is an entry for John William McLean in the BIFHSGO home child death database referencing Report - Dr. Barnardo's Home - 1920, Annual Report. Barnardo Old Boys who died during WW1. Canadian Contingent.

Albert Henry Rietiker was buried on 28 July 1921 at Islington Cemetery.

Alice Myrtle Rietiker is in a 1930 electoral register for Islington at 206 Fairbridge Road together with Mary Jane Rietiker (one of her aunts).

There is no marriage for anyone named John K McLean in England until 1947 in Leeds, which would be late, and there are a couple of more likely John K McLean births that would be a better fit for that marriage.

Alice Myrtle Rietiker was not found in the 1939 National Registration or in a marriage after 1930.


1 comment:

Kat said...

Thank you, good job, those who served should be remembered!