Information about birth

Date of birth:
Place of birth:
Selkirk, Selkirkshire, Scotland, United Kingdom

General information

Last known residence:
Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Army information

Canadian Expeditionary Force
Service number:
Enlistment date:
Enlistment place:
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
 —  Canadian Field Artillery, 21st (Howitzer) Bty. 4th Bde.  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
Place of death:
Zonnebeke Church - Zonnebeke Kirche, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


White House Cemetery
Plot: III
Row: Q
Grave: 5

Distinctions and medals 2

Points of interest 4

#1 Place of birth
#2 Last known residence
#3 Enlistment place
#4 ‘Place of death’

My story

John Tabrett, a former inspector, was born on September 13, 1888 in Selkirk, Scottish Borders, Scotland. He was the son of Harry and Mary Tabrett. He enlisted in Montréal, Quebec, Canada on April 1, 1915. He served in the 21st (Howitzer) Battery, of 4th Canadian Field Artillery Brigade, 2nd Canadian Division.

Canadian and British artillerists were positioned in Zonnebeke form October 16 onwards. On October 25, the 21st Battery is positioned behind the ruins of Zonnebeke Church. On several occasions, the batteries of the 4th Brigade were heavily shelled. Several artillerists of this Battery were killed because of this shelling.

On November 3, 1917, lieutenant Aitkens of the 21st Battery was evacuated sick with a high fever, after being gassed a few days earlier. Aitkens survived the war, and later it was discovered that when he left his position in Zonnebeke, he took a remnant of an altar (a piece of an angel) of the church of Zonnebeke, which is now a part of the collection of the Passchendaele Museum.

John, aged 29, was killed in action on October 24, 1917. Bombardier Tabrett was initially buried where he fell, near Zonnebeke Church (28.D.28.a.10.70). After the war, his remains were exhumed and reinterred in the White House Cemetery, Plot III, Row Q, Grave 5.

Sources 1

4th Bde Canadian Field Artillery Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa (LAC), RG9-III-D-3, Volume number: 4967, Microfilm reel number: T-10789, File number: 537.
Sources used