Genet, John Ernest

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John Ernest Genet
5 October 1891 – 24 June 1976
Genet studio portrait.jpg
Nickname Jakey
Place of birth Brantford, Ontario
Allegiance Canada
Service/branch Canadian Army
Rank Brigadier
Awards CBE, MC
Brigadier John Ernest Genet CBE, MC (5 October 1891 - 24 June 1976) was a Canadian soldier who played a significant role with the Signal Corps in the Second World War.

Early Life

Son of Harry and Fannie Genet of Brantford Ontario, he was exposed to military life through his father who served 18 years with the 38th Regiment (Dufferin Rifles). John worked as a bank clerk prior to enlisting in addition to serving six years with the 38th Regiment (Dufferin Rifles).


Genet enlisted with the 36th Battalion, CEF, in May 1915 and proceeded overseas. In October 1915 he became a qualified Signaller after completing a course at Shorncliffe. Subsequently he was transferred to the Canadian Engineers Training Depot in January 1916. On 16 May 1916 he joined 2 Canadian Divisional Signal Company as a supernumerary officer. He was slightly wounded in the left leg in September 1916 from an accidental gun shot wound but he quickly rejoined his unit. In January 1918 he attended a wireless course at the Army School of Signalling and, upon completion at the beginning of February he joined 1 Canadian Divisional Signal Company as the Officer in Charge of Divisional Artillery Signals and made an Acting Captain. In June 1918 he was hospitalized for a week with a perineum abscess but otherwise he seems to have remained healthy throughout the war. In February 1919 he was made a Temporary Captain in the Canadian Engineers prior to returning to Canada in April of that year. Upon his return to Canada he was made a Captain in the Canadian Signalling Corps.

In October 1935 Major Genet assumed the duties of "Traffic Superintendent" and the Officer Commanding the Northwest Detachment, RC Signals (precursor to the Northwest Territories and Yukon Radio System), a duty he held until July 1938.

1940 - 1941 Chief Signal Officer VII Corps

1941 - 1942 Chief Signal Officer I Canadian Corps, England

1942 - 1945 Chief Signal Officer 1st Canadian Army, England

Mentioned in Despatches in June 1945.[1]

Received the Legion of Merit (Degree of Commander) (USA) in 1946.[2]

Military Cross Citation

In 1916 Lieutenant Genet was awarded the Military Cross in recognition of his gallantry and devotion to duty in the field.[3]. His citation read:

For conspicuous gallantry in action. He personally successfully supervised and directed the maintenance of all signal communication to the rear, with great skill and determination, working under great difficulties and continual bombardments.

Commander of the Order of the British Empire Citation

Brigadier Genet was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1943.[4] His citation read:

This officer was appointed to command 1 Canadian Divisional Signals on mobilization and proceeded oversees with his unit in the fall of 1939. He was appointed Chief Signal Officer, 7 Corps, on formation and subsequently became Canadian Corps, and, in April 1942, Chief Signal Officer, First Canadian Army, the post he at present holds. Throughout he has been the Senior Signals Officer in the United Kingdom and personally responsible for the organization, administration and development of the Canadian Army's communications system overseas. he has discharged his duties with energy, skill and efficiency and the satisfactory state of organization, training and discipline of the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals Overseas is, in a large measure, due to this officer's zeal and ability. He has been unsparing in his efforts to bring the R.C. Signals to the highest degree of efficiently and his enthusiastic leadership and determination had been an inspiration and example to his officers and men.

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  1. The London Gazette, Supplement 37138. 19 June 1945. Page 3228.
  2. The London Gazette, Supplement 37686. 13 August, 1946. Page 4105.
  3. The London Gazette, Supplement 29824. 14 November, 1916. Page 11078.
  4. The London Gazette, Supplement 36034. 28 May 1943. Page 2478.