John Furber

Canadian Expeditionary Force

Personal Details

Born: 12 June 1890 in Prees, Shropshire and baptised at St.Chad`s Church, Prees.

Family: He was the younger of two sons born to Elizabeth Ann Furber. At the time of his birth she was unmarried. His mother subsequently married Thomas Bate and together they had nine surviving children, John’s half siblings. He was brought up by Joseph Hockenhull, an agricultural labourer and his wife, Hannah. He married Violet Ruth Emmaline Sutton on 23 September 1926 in Timiskaming, Ontario, Canada. Sadly the couple were only married for two months before he died. No children can be found for the couple.

Residence: In 1891 he was living in Hollins Lane, Tilstock, Shropshire and in 1901 in Alkington, near Whitchurch. He emigrated to Canada in 1913, arriving on 11 April. When he was discharged from the Army in 1919 his address was Cemetery Hill, New Liskeard, Ontario. At the time of his death in 1926 he was living in Timiskaming, Ontario.

Employment: At the time of his enlistment in 1915 his occupation was said to have been a labourer. On his return to Canada in 1920 he was a farm labourer. In 1926 he was a gold miner.

Died: 17 November 1926, as a result of an accident at Tough Dakes Mine. He died in Kirkland Lake Hospital, Timiskaming, Ontario, aged 36.

Military Details

Regiment: Canadian Expeditionary Force (Canadian Machine Gun Corps.)

Rank: Sergeant

Service Number: 47858

Date of Enlistment: 28 May 1915

Date of Discharge: 12 April 1919

Reason for Discharge: Demobilisation in England

Medals and Awards

John was awarded the Military Medal (London Gazette 14 December 1917) and Campaign medals (1915 Star, Victory and British War Medals)

His Military Medal citation read: 'For great presence of mind and gallantry on August 15 1917. This NCO showed remarkable courage and initiative in leading his crew and consolidating his position. He set his men a fine example during counter-attacks by his coolness and devotion to duty.’

Military Medal

Until 1993, the Military Medal (MM) was a military decoration awarded to personnel of the British Army and other services, and formerly also to personnel of other Commonwealth countries, below commissioned rank, for bravery in battle on land.
The medal was established on 25 March 1916. It was the other ranks' equivalent to the Military Cross (MC), which was awarded to commissioned officers and, rarely, to warrant officers, although WOs could also be awarded the MM. The MM ranked below the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM), which was also awarded to non-commissioned members of the Army.
Click on the tags below to see details of each recipient.

Campaign Medals

Great War History Hub Whitchurch Shropshire Medals Front Image

The 1914 Star (also known as 'Pip') was authorised under Special Army Order no. 350 in November 1917 and by an Admiralty Fleet Order in 1918, for award to officers and men of the British and Indian Expeditionary Forces who served in France or Belgium between 5 August and midnight of 22–23 November 1914. The former date is the day after Britain's declaration of war against the Central Powers, and the closing date marks the end of the First Battle of Ypres.

The 1914–15 Star (also known as 'Pip') was instituted in December 1918 and was awarded to officers and men of British and Imperial forces who served against the Central European Powers in any theatre of the Great War between 5 August 1914 and 31 December 1915. The period of eligibility was prior to the introduction of the Military Service Act 1916, which instituted conscription in Britain.

The British War Medal (also known as 'Squeak') was a silver or bronze medal awarded to officers and men of the British and Imperial Forces who either entered a theatre of war or entered service overseas between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918 inclusive. This was later extended to services in Russia, Siberia and some other areas in 1919 and 1920. Approximately 6.5 million British War Medals were issued. Approximately 6.4 million of these were the silver versions of this medal. Around 110,000 of a bronze version were issued mainly to Chinese, Maltese and Indian Labour Corps. The front (obv or obverse) of the medal depicts the head of George V. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.

The Allied Victory Medal (also known as 'Wilfred') was issued by each of the allies. It was decided that each of the allies should each issue their own bronze victory medal with a similar design, similar equivalent wording and identical ribbon. The British medal was designed by W. McMillan. The front depicts a winged classical figure representing victory. Approximately 5.7 million victory medals were issued. Interestingly, eligibility for this medal was more restrictive and not everyone who received the British War Medal ('Squeak') also received the Victory Medal ('Wilfred'). However, in general, all recipients of 'Wilfred' also received 'Squeak' and all recipients of The 1914 Star or The 1914/1915 Star (also known as 'Pip') also received both 'Squeak' and 'Wilfred'. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.


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