Canadian Virtual War Memorial

John Shiwak

In memory of:

Lance Corporal John Shiwak

November 21, 1917

Masnieres, France

Military Service


Service Number:

1735

Age:

28

Force:

Army

Unit:

Royal Newfoundland Regiment

Citation(s):

British War Medal and Victory Medal

Additional Information


Born:

January 1, 1889
Rigolet, Newfoundland and Labrador

Enlistment:

July 24, 1915
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

Son of John and Sarah Shiwak, of Rigolet, Labrador. Lance Corporal Shiwak claimed to be a trapper and single before enlistment. He embarked for Southampton on 9 July 1916 and disembarked at Rouen 10 July 1916.

Commemorated on Page 113 of the Newfoundland Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page.

Burial Information


Cemetery:

BEAUMONT-HAMEL (NEWFOUNDLAND) MEMORIAL
Somme, France

Grave Reference:

N/A

Location:

The largest of the battlefield parks established in memory of Newfoundlanders who fell in the First World War is Beaumont Hamel, nine kilometres directly north of the town of Albert. In BEAUMONT HAMEL MEMORIAL PARK, which was officially opened by Earl Haig on June 7, 1925, the monument of the great bronze caribou, emblem of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, stands on the highest point overlooking St John's Road and the slopes beyond. At the base of the statue three tablets of bronze carry the names of over 800 members of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, the Newfoundland Royal Naval Reserve, and the Mercantile Marine who gave their lives in the First World War and have no known grave. In the lodge, which houses the reception room for visitors to the Park, a bronze plaque, unveiled in 1961 by the Hon. Joseph Smallwood, Premier of Newfoundland, lists the Battle Honours won by the Royal Newfoundland Regiment and pays tribute to its fallen. The park is one of the few in France or Belgium where the visitor can see a Great War battlefield much as it was. The actual trenches are still there and something of the terrible problem of advancing over such country can be appreciated by the visitor. On the first day of the Battle of the Somme, no unit suffered heavier losses than the Newfoundland Regiment, which had gone into action 801 strong. When the roll call of the unwounded was taken next day, only 68 answered their names. The final figures that revealed the virtual annihilation of the Battalion gave a grim count of 233 killed or dead of wounds, 386 wounded, and 91 missing. Every officer who went forward in the Newfoundland attack was either killed or wounded.

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

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  • Essay (Page 1)
  • Essay (Page 2)
  • Essay (Page 3)
  • Photo of JOHN SHIWAK – Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Memorial – Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Photo of John Shiwak – 1915, 1st Royal Newfoundland Regiment
  • Picture of John Shiwak
  • Photo of John Shiwak
  • Photo of John Shiwak
  • Letter
  • Beaumont-Hamel Memorial
  • Entrance
  • Inscription on Beaumont-Hamel Memorial

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