Saturday, November 9, 2013

30 Days of Remembrance - Day 12 - John Laird

In memory of
John Laird
who died on November 9, 1917 

Military Service:

Service Number: 172470
Age: 34
Force: Army
Unit: 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles (2nd Central Ontario Regt.)

Additional Information:

Date and Place of Birth: June 12, 1882
Son of John Laird and Christian Morrison Laird, of Leith, Scotland; husband of the late Catherine Laird, of Toronto, Ontario.
Grave Reference: I. F. 28.
Commemorated on Page 270 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.

 The first thing that stood out on John laird's attestation papers was his marital status of widowed.

According to the same, John Laird was born in Leith Scotland in 1882. Ancestry had a matching tree but was missing some source citations so I looked to Scotlands' People to find out that John married Catherine Adams Laird in Leith, in February, 1907. Their eldest child was born 3 months later on May 7 and named for her mother,  the record for which I also found on Scotlands's People.

In 1909 the family moved to Toronto, Canada where their second child a daughter named Anne Robertson was born on August 4, 1909. 2 years later a third child, a son John, was born in Toronto on Aug 22, 1911. Both of those records are from the Ontario Birth registrations and can be found on Ancestry .ca

Sadly, Catherine died in Aug of 1915. Her death record, also available on Ancestry shows that she died of pulmonary tuberculosis, commonly known as TB. A mere seven months later in March 1916, John Laird joined 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles, leaving his young children in Canada.

 A notice in the Toronto Star tells of the death of John Laird at Passchendaele and the sad tale of his 3 orphaned children.

from The Canadian Virtual War Memorial

John Laird died  November 9 1917


  1. Just found your blog today. What a wonderful idea you've had!

  2. Thanks Jackie, it's been incredibly interesting and I'm learning so much myself!

  3. Thank you for honouring my great grandfather with this page. My grandmother was the little girl who was orphaned.

    1. Hi Sean, John Laird was also my great grandfather. Would be interested in sharing genealogy info. If so let me know and we can exchange contact info.

  4. Sean I am so glad you found your way here! Looking into the lives of soldiers who died in WWI was an interesting project for me but it become so much more emotional when it reaches people for who they are more than just names from the past. If you have anything you'd like to contribute to this page (photos or more info about your grandmother's life) I will happily add it.