(Edward) John Sawtell – Canadian Light Infantry – 1893 -1916

In Memoriam

Edward John Sawtell 1896 - 1916

Today we remember (Edward) John Sawtell, known as Jack, who died at the Battle of Mount Sorrel*  on 14th June 1916.

Jack was born in Fivehead but emigrated to Canada in 1912 with his younger brother Herbert, when he was just 16. The rest of the family followed a year later and lived on a farm in rural Saskatchewan.

Jack lied about his age, saying he was 2 years older than he was, and travelled 500 miles to join the 8th Bn Canadian Light Infantry at the outbreak of war. He fought on the Somme, but was killed at the Battle of Mount Sorrel on 14th June 1916. There is speculation he may have been killed by friendly fire due to a breakdown in communication. Jack’s body was never recovered.

Jack is commemorated on the Menin Gate at Ypres, as well as on the Fivehead War Memorial.

The Sawtells remained in Canada until 1928.


*  The Battle of Mont Sorrel was a local operation in World War I by three divisions of the British Second Army and three divisions of the German Fourth Army in the Ypres Salient, near Ypres, Belgium, from 2 to 14 June 1916. Wikipedia