Morrison, John Davidson

  • Township: East Nissouri
  • Rank: Private
  • Branch: 1st Depot Battalion
  • Regiment number: 4000006
  • Date of birth: April 5, 1891
  • Where born: Medina, East Nissouri Township, Oxford County, Ontario, Canada
  • Date of death: October 1, 1918
  • Burial location: Mill Switch British Cemetery, Tilloy-les Cambrai, France
  • Wars Served: World War I
  • Years of service: November 16, 1917 - October 1, 1918
  • Country enlisted with: Canada


John Davidson Morrison was the son of William Wood Morrison and Mary Anne Beattie of Lot 25 Concession 10 Medina. His father was a boot and shoe merchant in Medina.  He was drafted in 1917 to the1st Depot Battalion. where he received his training at Wolseley Barracks. In March 1918, he sailed to England aboard the SS Grampian. Arriving in England on April 4th  he was sent to the 4th Reserve Battalion at Bramshott. On April 23, he was transferred to the Canadian Machine Gun Depot at Witley and became a machine gunner. On August 18, he was transferred to the the 4th Machine Gun Battalion then serving in France with the 4th Canadian Division. On September 27, they attacked across the Canal du Nord. Private Morrison's company fired both direct and indirect fire missions in support of the 10th Infantry Brigade as they assaulted the villages of Raillencourt and Sailly on September 29 and 30th. Resistance was fierce and it was not until the afternoon of September 30th that Sailly was cleared of enemy. The 10th Brigade moved on to establish a defensive position about 900-1000 yards east of Sailly while elements of the 4th Machine Gun Battalion (including Morrison) moved up to occupy gun positions in and around Sailly itself. The following morning, October 1, German artillery shelled the new Canadian gun positions in Sailly. During this bombardment, Private Morrison was hit in the chest by shrapnel and killed instantly.  He is buried in Mill Switch British Cemetery at Tilloy-les Cambrai, France.

Private Morrison was predeceased by his mother Mary and brother David as well as a sister Bella. He was survived by his father William W Morrison, his stepmother Margaret of Medina and also by his sister, Mrs. Charles Neeves of Jones Street East in St. Marys, Ontario, Canada. -- Courtesy of St. Marys Journal Argus.



The Next of Kin Memorial Plaque which was also referred to as a Dead Man’s Penny was sent to families of those who had died in WW1 but it wasn’t done until 1922.  It is unique because it bears the name of the veteran as well as the figure of Britannia, a dolphin signifying life, the British Lion representing the Empire, and the British Lion killing the German eagle.




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