John Cushnie: his life after the war, death and funeral
Unknown: probably the Mount Forest Confederate published Thursday, June 07, 1923
Thursday, June 07, 1923
Transcribed by: Anne Hales
As an aftermath of the great war and following a long illness born with soldierly patience, John Cushnie , elder son of Mr. and Mrs. George Cushnie, died at his home in Mount Forest about mid-day on Friday June 1st. A shrapnel wound in the arm while on duty Sept 3, 1918, near Canal du Nord, cost him his life nearly five years later
He was born at Dromore on the 17th April, 1898, came with his parents to live in Mt. Forest when a few years old and received his public and high school education in town. He won the gold medal at the entrance examinations when twelve years of age and graduated from High School before joining the army a month before his eighteenth birthday. He enlisted with the signaling corps of the 153rd Battalion and served with that unit in France1 until he was wounded and sent to a hospital in England. He was only back in France2 two weeks when the armistice was signed, and returned to Canada with the first boat load of invalided soldiers shortly before Christmas 1918. In January he entered School of Faculty, Toronto, took the course in six months and graduated in June. In the fall of 1919 he entered the University of Toronto and graduated with the degree of B.A., in June, 1922.
In September of last year he returned from a summer spent with a government surveying party taking alkali tests in Saskatchewan, and accepted a position on the staff of the Arthur High School, a position which he held until compelled to give up early in December when he went to the Mt. Forest hospital to undergo an operation necessitated from the effects of Shrapnel poison. He made a fair recovery and was about his home and on the street a few times before returning to the hospital for a second very serious operation on 1st March. Since that time he had been confined to bed, gradually growing weaker but never complaining.
Such was the life course of one of the most promising of our young men – a good soldier, comrade and friend, a devoted son with high ideals of life and conduct, a clever student standing on the threshold of a life filled with every prospect of success. He was a member of Westminster church and since early youth a valued member of the choir. To the bereaved parents and younger brother, Wells, the sympathy of the entire community goes out in their loss.
The funeral on Monday afternoon was one of the largest ever seen in Mt. Forest and was attended with full military honors. The private service held in the home was conducted by Rev. Dr. D. N. MacRae. The pall-bearers were all but one members of the 153rd Bn.: Louis Ptaff , Archie Stewart , Thos. Padfield , James Cammidge , D. McNamara , Geo. Murphy. The bugler and firing squad from Harriston were in charge of Major Oliver Nickle , Croix de Guerre, whilst many veterans from town and vicinity paraded under command of Major Perry . Capt. Argue, M.C, and Lieut. Spence , assistant matron of the General Hospital were also in uniform and marched with the military procession, the latter in her Army Service uniform and 1914 ribbon and star. Harold Morrison , who gave him first aid when wounded, was also in attendance as were Capt. James Stewart, overseas chaplain, and Capt. Wilbert Gilroy , R. A.F.
The service at the cemetery was also conducted by Dr. MacRae and at its close three volleys were fired and the Last Post sounded.
The car of beautiful floral tributes from relatives and friends included a Red Patch from the veterans; wreaths and other designs from the Fergus signallers of the 153rd ; the Circle; the choir of Westminister church, the nurses of the General Hospital and the W.M. S. of Westminster Church.
Besides relatives and friends present from Dromore and vicinity, there were in attendance, Wm. Hastie of Webb, Sask.; John Cushnie and son, Cecil, from Toronto; Mr and Mrs I. Cruikshanks and Dr. R. and Mrs Tucker of Paisley; Mr . and Mrs T.D. McIntyre, Dundalk and Miss Rita Kinnell of Toronto. ;
1) Although John always associated himself with the 153rd Battalion, that unit was broken up in England as replacements. John served with the 1st Battalion in France.
2) He was actually in England, having just returned to the training depot in Whitley, when the Armistice was signed.