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Canadian Virtual War Memorial

John Guthrie Jarvis

In memory of:

Lieutenant John Guthrie Jarvis

November 18, 1943

Military Service






Royal Canadian Dragoons, R.C.A.C.


1st Armd. Car Regt.

Honours and Awards:

Mentioned in Despatches

Additional Information

Son of Stewart Russell Jarvis and Evelyn Guthrie Jarvis, of York Mills, Ontario.

Commemorated on Page 174 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page. Download high resolution copy of this page.

Burial Information

Grave Reference:

C, F, 341.


Agira Canadian War Cemetery lies in the Commune of Agira, Province of Enna, in the centre of Sicily. From the autostrada A19, Catania-Palermo, take the exit to Catenanuova. Follow signposts to Regalbuto, then pass Regalbuto, going in the direction of Agira. The Cemetery is then signposted about 12 kilometres from Regalbuto. On 10 July 1943, following the successful conclusion of the north African campaign in mid May, a combined allied force of 160,000 Commonwealth and American troops invaded Sicily as a prelude to the assault on mainland Italy. The Italians, who would shortly make peace with the Allies and re-enter the war on their side, offered little determined resistance but German opposition was vigorous and stubborn. The campaign in Sicily came to an end on 17 August when the two allied forces came together at Messina, but failed to cut off the retreating Axis lines. Agira was taken by the 1st Canadian Division of 28 July and the site for the war cemetery was chosen in September for the burial of all Canadians who had been killed in the Sicily campaign. Agira Canadian War Cemetery contains 491 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War.

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

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  • Document– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Document– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Document– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Document– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Document– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Document– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Newspaper clipping– From the Toronto Star July 1942. Submitted for the project Operation Picture Me
  • Photo of John Jarvis– Jarvis, John Guthrie - Lieutenant. Born 10th February, 1920, at Toronto.  Educated at Baron Renfrew Public School, York Mills, and University of Toronto Schools, Toronto. Held school wrestling championship. Entered the service of the Bank 28th November, 1938. Served at Toronto city branches.  Enlisted 29th January, 1942, from Queen & Bathurat (Toronto) in Canadian Armoured Corps. Second Lieutenant in July, 1942; Lieutenant in October, 1942. Trained at Camp Borden, Ont., and  Dundurn, Sask. Took Officers' Training Course at Brockville, Ont. Overseas in October, 1942.  Served with 1st Armoured Car Regiment (The Royal Canadian Dragoons), 5th Armoured Division.  Killed in action in Italy, in November, 1943. Posthumously Mentioned in Despatches in recognition of Gallant and Distinguished Services (Canada Gazette, 29th July, 1944) From a memorial booklet prepared by the Canadian Bank of Commerce.
  • Document– The school registration card for John Guthrie Jarvis.  He only attended Lawrence Park Collegiate for a few months.
  • Attestation Paper– John Jarvis joined the Toronto Scottish Regiment in 1940.  His address here is Pinewood Avenue.  The present day address of this house is 20 Hedgewood, in the area of York Mills Road and Old Yonge Street in Toronto.

Source: Whitehouse via Archives Canada
  • Document– This page shows Jarvis as SOS(Struck Off Strength) of the Tor Scots and TOS(Taken On Strength) of the Canadian Army(Active) in 1942.

Source: Whitehouse via Archives Canada
  • Document (2)– John Jarvis' education mentions the University of Toronto Schools as his only secondary school experience.  However, he attended Lawrence Park Collegiate Institute from September of 1938 until December of that year.

Source: Whitehouse via Archives Canada
  • Document (3)– John's Medical examination for entrance into the armed forces.

Source: Whitehouse via Archives Canada
  • Document (4) page 1– Page 1 of Jarvis' record of service.  Note his posting to New York City.

Source: Whitehouse via Archives Canada
  • Document (4) page 2– Page 2 of Record of Service in Canada.  This document shows all of his courses prior to his movement to Europe.

Source: Whitehouse via Archives Canada
  • Document (5)– This document shows his mine clearing course and that he was posted to the RCE Field Park for training.  This was probably  as an extension of his mine clearing course. It could have included handling 'booby traps'.  That would explain his death and his Mentioned in Despatches.  His death is recorded as 'accidental' but that just means it was not directly caused by enemy action.

Source: Whitehouse via Archives Canada
  • Document (6)– The Pension Commission gives a brief explanation of Jarvis' death overseas and states that the family has not claimed his Gratuity.
Source: Whitehouse via Archives Canada
  • Document (7)– After his 'accident', John was taken to 33 Army Hospital(Brit).  He died at 0930 the next day.  The hospital record says all there is to say about his wounds.
Note that nowhere does it say where the incident happened.  Most heavy gun emplacements would be on or near the coast of Sicily.

Source: Whitehouse via Archives Canada
  • Document (8)– The official record of his hospitalization on his record.

Source: Whitehouse via Archives Canada
  • Entrance
  • Agira Canadian War Cemetery
  • Agira Canadian War Cemetery
  • View of Mt. Enna
  • Memorial– Lt. John Guthrie Jarvis is remembered on the family memorial at Mount Pleasant cemetery, Toronto, Ontario.
  • Memorial
  • Newspaper Clipping– Source:  Globe and Mail, November 26, 1943
  • Photo of Gravemarker– Gravemarker

Photo courtesy of Thomas L. Skelding

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