Veteran Stories:
John Laurie Paterson

Army

  • John Laurie Paterson enlisted in March, 1916, and served with the Canadian Engineers. Collection courtesy of Willard McIntosh.

  • Left to right: Military Medal for Bravery, War Medal, Victory Medal.

  • War diary documenting the awarding of John Paterson's Military Medal for Bravery. He and a few other soldiers showed great bravery during the battle of Amiens. August 28-29, 1918.

  • John Paterson's Discharge Certificate dated April 8, 1919. He was 36 years old at the time.

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"John was stringing communication lines under a heavy barrage of shelling and machine gun fire. This was the Battle of Amiens, August 8 to 16, 1918."

Transcript

This is about medals received by my uncle, John Paterson, for his service in World War I. He was the eldest of the Paterson family, my mother Agnes the youngest. The parents, four boys and three girls came out from Scotland in the early 1900s. One sister remained in Scotland.

In 1916, John Paterson, then aged thirty-four, enlisted in the Canadian Army Signal Corps. He was then the father of five children, ages two to thirteen. John was stringing communication lines under a heavy barrage of shelling and machine gun fire. This was the Battle of Amiens, August 8 to 16, 1918.

On microfilm from the National Archives, I located a page from the war diaries, which listed six soldiers being awarded Military Medal for operations in August, 1918. John Paterson was one of these soldiers. The Military Medal, for officers it is called the Military Cross, and is one below the Victoria Cross. On the back of the medal it is inscribed: "For Bravery in the Field."

Following his military discharge in 1919, he returned to Winnipeg. He started farming near Barnsley, Manitoba, in 1920, where he remained for many years. John Paterson passed away at the Deer Lodge Veterans' Hospital on September the 27th, 1959, at the age of seventy-seven. Today, we turn over the medals of John Paterson to the Carman Legion. Thank you. Willard McIntosh.

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