John Waddell was born in Glasgow, Scotland on 1st April 1878.
The 1901 census for Scotland shows that the Waddell family was living at 88, Agnes Street, Maryhill, Glasgow. The head of the household was Alexander Waddell aged 55 who was born in Barony, Lanarkshire, Scotland. He was a Stone Mason. He and his wife Agnes, aged 45, had four children listed at home in 1901. They were, John aged 23 who was a Hose Rubber Maker by trade. Helen was 17, James 12 and Alexander 5.
John Waddell married Margaret Rogers Hamilton in the second quarter of 1903 in Warwickshire. They, emigrated to Richmond, Wisconsin, U.S.A. on 7th May 1910 with their daughter Agnes. She was 4 and had been born 19th October 1905 in Glasgow. They were Listed on the Manifest of Alien Passengers for the United States, of the S.S.Furnessia sailing from Glasgow. (Outgoing Passenger Lists, Ancestry) The family settled in San Francisco.
John Waddell’s army records tell us that he enlisted into the Canadian Expeditionery Force on 31st July 1918 in Victoria, British Columbia. He named his wife Margaret as next of kin and their address as 460, Wolsey St. San Francisco, California. His religion was, Presbyterian. His trade was Stage Rigger and he stated that he had served with the 1st Volunteer Engineers in Glasgow between 1900 and 1902. On John’s medical form he was described as 5ft 4ins tall with a ruddy complexion, blue eyes and brown hair.
On the top of John’s Service Papers there is a ref, EX BCRM-USA, this stands for a recruiting initiative carried out in Canada and USA in 1917 and 1918. to read about this, please follow the link.
After training in Canada, John embarked for England aboard the S.S.Durham Castle arriving on 25th September 1918 when he was posted to Seaford Army Camp and transferred to the British Columbia Regiment, 2nd Depot battalion. As hostilities were then ceasing, John was transferred to Kinmel Army Camp in Rhyl. Sadly John contracted Bronchial Pneumonia, and was admitted to the Canadian General Hospital where he died on 23rd October 1918.
John’s Medal, Plaque and scroll were sent to his wife Margaret who returned to Glasgow to live with her father at 50, Cumlodden Drive, after his death but returned to Canada on 10th August 1920 when she applied for Canadian Citizenship. A Memorial Cross was sent to his wife and also his mother, Mrs Agnes Waddell, 121 Gairbraid St. Maryhill, Glasgow, Scotland.
(from Library of Canada Archives)
Kinmel Park Camp was a segregation camp used to house Canadian Soldiers awaiting repatriation to Canada after the end of WW1. Unfortunately the conditions at that time were extremely harsh with a lack of every kind of commodity, the camp was overcrowded and the services were poor, there were shortages of clothing, food and blankets. As a result of this situation, a vast number of servicemen and women became ill and many succumebd to the Influenza Epidemic or complications associated with this infection.
He is buried in St. Margaret’s Cemetery, Bodelwyddan.
John is commemorated on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.