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John James Semple


Semple, John James, Berens River, enlisted on the SS Wolverine in Lake Winnipeg, 20 August 1917. Occupation: Axman, Trapper, and Fisherman. Military Service: Private, Reg. No. 2184374, Canadian Forestry Corps, sapper, Canadian Railway Troop, CASC. Attestation Papers. [John James Semple, Reg. No. 2184347 [sic] is also listed in the online Attestation Papers; however, there are no links to the actual papers. These are actually online but under John James Simple rather than Semple. See above].

Additional Biographical Information


John James Semple was born 15 January 1894, at Little Grand Rapids, son of John James Semple, hunter, and his wife Charlotte. He was baptised 23 July 1984 by Rev. J. A. McLachlan (Berens River Methodist Baptisms, 1885-1899, No. 112)


According to family sources, after John James Semple enlisted, he got as far as Halifax but did not go overseas, as he was injured in the Halifax explosion on 6 December 1917. Apparently, he was having his hair cut, when the explosion occurred, and he lost an eye from flying glass. For additional information on that event, go to The Halifax Explosion.

To check the accuracy of this family memory, check documents from Pte. Semple’s Personnel Records below.


John James Semple, aged 26, bachelor, of Berens River, Methodist, and Margaret Boucher, aged 18, spinster, of Berens River, Roman Catholic, daughter of William Boucher and Mary Tobacco, were married at Berens River, October 1920 by Rev. Jno. W. Niddrie. Witnesses: Zella Richardson and Willie M. Hart. (Berens River Methodist Marriages, 1920-1952, No. 37)


John James Semple died 23 August 1987 (Personnel Record, John James Semple, Reg. No. 2184374, Library and Archives Canada)