Young, John Albert McDonald

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John Albert McDonald Young
6 November 1884 – 13 October 1966
Young, John Albert McDonald photo June 1918.jpg
Place of birth Dalston, Simcoe County, Ontario
Place of death Penticton, British Columbia
Place of burial Lakeview Cemetery, Penticton, British Columbia
Allegiance Canada
Service/branch Canadian Army
Years of service 1914-1919
Awards MC*
John Albert McDonald Young (6 November 1884- 13 October 1966) was a Canadian soldier who served in the Great War as a member of 1st Canadian Artillery Brigade and 1st Canadian Divisional Signal Company.

Personal Life

John was born at Dalston in Simcoe County, Ontario on 6 November 1884. Son of William Finwick Young and Mary Ellen "Helen" McDonald. He had three sisters (two of whom died in their first year) and two brothers.[1]

His attestation papers list his occupation on enlistment as "Despatcher" but his medical examination form states "Telegraphist". A later reference states "Train Despatcher" and he is noted for working with Canadian Pacific Railways.[2][3]


John listed no prior military service on his attestation papers completed on 22 September 1914 at Valcartier Quebec. Interestingly, his medical condition was conducted and signed of as 'fit' by Major John McCrae. He joined the 1st Artillery Brigade Headquarters as a Gunner (Private). He was made a Bombadier in the field on 19 May 1915. He was granted a temporary commission as a Lieutenant in the Canadian Engineers Signal Service on 5 February 1917 and joined 1st Canadian Divisional Signal Company in March.

He was hospitalized at the Canadian Corps Rest Station (CCRS) in February 1918. In March 1918 he again reported with 'general debility' as was granted sick leave from mid April until early May in Nice France. He rejoined his unit in May and was appointed Signal Officer of 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade where he served until again reporting sick in September 1918 with boils. He recovered at the Canadian Convalescent Hospital in Bath and on leave until he again rejoined his unit on 7 December 1918.

He proceeded to Canada on 26 April 1919 and was discharged on 29 May 1919.

For his service he was awarded the Military Cross[4] with Bar[5], was twice Mentioned in Despatches[6][7] and was awarded the Belgium Croix de Guerre.[8]

Military Cross

Young's first Military Cross was awarded on the occasion of His Majesty's Birthday in 1918 with no citation. His bar to the Military Cross (a second award) was awarded in November 1918 with the following citation:[5]

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He superintended the laying and maintenance of wires over a considerable distance to the advanced positions, under heavy fire, and performed the duties of Brigade Signalling Officer with great ability. The courage and coolness with which he kept up communication during the battle contributed in no small degree to the success of the operation.

After Service

He married Margaret Alma Sarvis on June 8, 1927, in Cranbrook, British Columbia. Together they had one son, John Anthony McDonald Young, born in 1931.[1]

He died on 13 October 1966 at Penticton, British Columbia and is buried at Lakeview Cemetery in Penticton.[1]

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References and Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Unreferenced information from
  2. Personnel Records, Library and Archives Canada.
  4. The London Gazette, Supplement 30716. 31 May, 1918. Page 6473.
  5. 5.0 5.1 The London Gazette, Supplement 30997. 5 November, 1918. Page 13143.
  6. The London Gazette, Supplement 30448. 25 December, 1917. Page 13570.
  7. The London Gazette, Supplement 31089. 27 December 1918. Page 15220.
  8. The London Gazette, Supplement 30792. 9 July, 1918. Page 8187.