Gates, John Ransome

  • Township: Embro & West Zorra
  • Rank: Private
  • Branch: Royal Canadian Army
  • Regiment number: A104337
  • Date of birth: 1922
  • Date of death: 2001
  • Burial location: Townline Cemetery, West Zorra Township, Oxford County, Ontario, Canada
  • Wars Served: World War II
  • Years of service: September 1, 1942 - January 30, 1946
  • Country enlisted with: Canada


John Ransome Gates (1922-2001) was the eldest of 3 boys born to George D. and Sara Jane (nee McIntosh) Gates of Lot 25, Concession 1 West Zorra Township.  He attended Bennington Public School and St. Marys Collegiate Institute.  He joined the army in London, Ontario in September of 1942.  After basic training in Listowel and on the East Coast, he went overseas and was stationed in England and Belgium, where he spent much of his time on guard duty and in the military post office, from which he sent many letters of thanks to West Zorra and area organizations for their contributions to the war effort. One of his letters described the buglers doing a very good imitation of a cat that didn't get it's tail out of the way of a swinging door fast enough!  While they were stationed in England, every 3 months they would have 9 days leave.  On one occasion while on leave in London, England neither the Beaver Club or the Y.M.C.A. had a billet for them, so they spent the night in an air raid shelter, 125 feet below ground.  On another occasion  there was an air raid when they had to go to a shelter, however, he was quite thrilled to see and hear the Westminister Chimes.  After his discharge John returned to the family farm, which by then was on Lot 20, Concession 1 of West Zorra Township.  He earned the 1939-45 Star, France and Germany Star, Defence Medal, C.V.S.M. and Clasp.  His love of playing the violin gave him many pleasant times playing for local community presentations, the Bennington Junior Farmers Square Dancers and residents of Woodingford Lodge in Woodstock.  He spent his last five years as a resident of Parkwood Hospital in London, Ontario.  He is buried in the Townline Cemetery with his parents.