838046 Pte. John Mcniven Connolly was born in goven, Scotland, on November 20th, 1889. Emigrating to Canada with his family they settled in Owen Sound where his father worked in the local ship yards.


When hostilities broke out John was married and working as a stove moulder. He initially enlisted into one of the independent infantry companies being raised for overseas service by the local 31st Regiment.


With the authorization of the 147th (Grey) Battalion the two Companies were reassigned to it. John attested to this new battalion on 27th November, 1915, and was assigned to "A" Company under the command of Capt. Corrie.


Billeted locally over the winter the 147th Battalion mobilized in the spring of 1916 and departed for the training grounds of Camp Niagara. As the conditions in the Camp were wanting the unit moved to the new training facility of Camp Borden in late June. In September the unit received their orders to proceed overseas, but due to an outbreak of diphtheria they were detained in Amherst, Nova Scotia, for over a month. The unit finally sailed for Great Britain on November 14th, 1916, on the S.S. Olympic, a sister ship to the Titanic.


On January 1st, 1917, the 147th Battalion ceased to exist when it became the nucleus for the 8th Reserve Battalion, whose task it was to supply reinforcements to the 58th Battalion and the 4th C.M.R. Some 354 former 147th Battalion men were to be transferred to the 4th C.M.R. through the course of the war, to which John was taken on strength on June 16th, 1917.


John saw service with the 4th C.M.R. through the Battle of Hill 70 and was wounded on September 18th, 1918, whilst the unit was manning the front line trenches near Mericourt.


Private John Mcniven Connelly was struck off strength of the 4th C.M.R. on March 30th, 1919.






Biography and image credit: George Auer