Information about birth

Date of birth:
Place of birth:
West Bromwich, Staffordshire, England, United Kingdom

General information

Last known residence:
5293 Saint Catherines Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Not stated

Army information

Canadian Expeditionary Force
Service number:
Enlistment date:
Enlistment place:
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
 —  Canadian Infantry, 24th Bn. (Victoria Rifles)  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
Place of death:
Passchendaele, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Points of interest 4

#1 Place of birth
#2 Last known residence
#3 Enlistment place
#4 Place of death (approximate)

My story

John Harris, a former painter, was born on the 9th of February 1897 in West Bromwich, West Midlands, England. He was the son of Joseph and Prudence Harris. On January 13th, 1916, he enlisted in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. John served as a private in the 24th Canadian Infantry Battalion (Victoria Rifles), part of the 5th Canadian Infantry Brigade, of the 2nd Canadian Division.

At 3 p.m. on the 4th of November the 24th Canadian Infantry Battalion, except for “C” Company, left Potyse to relieve the 19th Canadian Infantry Battalion at the front. This relief was complete at 9:30 p.m. The next day the battalion headquarters was moved to Hillside Farm. At 3:30 p.m. “C” Company left Potyse and moved into battalion reserve, arriving at 8 p.m. That night the attacking battalion (the 26th Canadian Infantry Battalion) assembled in the area of the 24th Canadian Battalion.

The 26th Battalion attacked at 6 a.m. on the 6th of November 1917., capturing all objectives. The 24th Battalion became close support. On that day and the 7th of November, the 24th Battalion came under heavy artillery fire, almost wiping out “C” Company and causing heavy casualties among “A” and “B” Company. “A” “B” and “C” companies were relieved on the November 8th. “D” Company stayed in support of the 25th Canadian Infantry Battalion and was relieved the following day.

John Harris, aged 20, was killed in action on November 6th, 1917. His ‘Circumstance of Death Record’ states that he was killed around 3 p.m. when a shell burst close to him. He was initially buried along the Passendalestraat, about 300 metres from the Passchendaele church (28.D.12.b.10.80). Four other Canadian soldiers of the 24th Canadian Infantry Battalion were buried at this coordinate. These men were Corporal Thomas Henry Cooke (aged 34), Private Ivan Frederic McCaig (aged 24), Private Daniel Collins (aged 19) and Private Stevin Synski (aged 16). After the war the graves of these men were not recovered or identified. They are all remembered on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial. Private John Harris is listed on panel 26L.

More information 2