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Canadian Virtual War Memorial

John Kenneth Macalister

In memory of:

Captain John Kenneth Macalister

September 14, 1944
Buchenwald, Germany

Military Service

Service Number:







Intelligence Corps


2 Intelligence Company

Additional Information


July 19, 1914
Guelph, Ontario

Son of Alexander and Celestine MacAlister. Husband of Jeannine MacAlister, of Paris, France.

Captain MacAlister, an alumni of the University of Toronto was honoured on September 15, 2004 at a wreath-laying at a small garden dedicated to him and his fellow Special Operations Executive agent, Captain Frank Pickersgill at the foot of the University's Soldiers Tower.

The ceremony was attended by members of the 2 Intelligence Company, the Toronto-based reserve army intelligence unit, along with veterans and University of Toronto officials.

Commemorated on Page 370 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page. Download high resolution copy of this page.

Burial Information


Surrey, United Kingdom

Grave Reference:

Panel 21 Column 1.


The Brookwood Memorial stands in the large Brookwood Military Cemetery, which forms part of the London Necropolis at Brookwood, west of Woking, about 48 kilometres from London. The garden in which the Memorial stands is at the south end of the Canadian Section (Second World War) located on the far side of St. Lawrence Avenue, the highway leading in from the main entrance on the Pirbright road. The memorial commemorates 3,475 men and women of the land forces of the British Commonwealth and Empire who died during the Second World War and whose names could not appropriately be recorded on any of the campaign memorials in the different theatres of war. There are names of men and women who served as special agents and died as prisoners or while working with Allied underground movements. A few of the names on the memorial commemorate those whose bodies were never recovered or those graves which could not, for some other reason, be marked and maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The names of over 200 Canadians are remembered on the Brookwood Memorial. Some perished in ships that were sunken in waters outside the territorial limits of any major campaign; some were lost overboard; some died from various causes on hospital ships or troop transports and were given burial at sea. Also commemorated are those who died during the campaign in Norway in 1940, and in raids on enemy-occupied territory in Europe, including the costly operation against Dieppe in August 1942.

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

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  • Memorial– Memorial Plaque for John Kenneth MacAlister at Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute, the high school of which he was part of the 1933 graduating class. Located in Valour Hall.
  • Newspaper clipping– Newspaper clipping from The Guelph Mercury May 8th, 1995. Two articles about John Kenneth MacAlister. Newspaper clipping accessed via the "Guelph: Military History" archive compiled by the Library Learning Commons of Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute.
  • Photo of John MacAlister– "AT THE TOP OF THE J.K. MACALISTER FILE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF Toronto Archives is a clipping from an April 1945 edition of the Guelph Mercury - 'Notification has been received from the British War Office by A.M. Macalister, editor of The Mercury, and Mrs. Macalister of the death of their son Capt. John Kenneth Macalister on September 14, 1944. The parents had been notified previously that their only son had been missing in June.'
  • Biography– Entry from Torontonensis, University of Toronto's yearbook for 1937, lists Macalister's numerous interests and activities. Macalister graduated from University College.
  • Group Photo– Group photo of University of Toronto Moot Court members from Torontonensis yearbook for 1937. Alfred James Henderson in front row at photo left and John Kenneth Macalister in front row centre would both be killed in the war.
  • Group Photo– Group photo of University College Men's 3T7 Executive from Torontonensis yearbook for 1937. (The designation "3T7" stands for graduation year 1937.) Alfred James Henderson and John Kenneth Macalister would both be killed in the war.
  • Group Photo– Group photo of University College Literary and Athletic Society members shows John Kenneth Macalister standing beside Paul Clark McGillicuddy in the back row. Both would lose their lives in the Second World War. From Torontonensis yearbook, 1937.
  • Memorial– Memorial Garden University of Toronto Ontario. Plaque inscription - "This garden is in memory of those who gave their lives for peace and freedom. It was originally dedicated to the memory of Captain John Kenneth Macalister (Universit y College BA 1936) and Captain Frank Herbert Dedrick Pickersgill (University College MA 1938)". Garden memorial inspired by Douglas LePan, author verse "Macalister", Dying in Darkness.
  • Brookwood Memorial

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