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Name: Gabriel (John) Bishara Regimental number 67160 Rank: Private Service 25th Battalion Date of Birth: May 6, 1875 Place of Birth: Mt Lebanon, Syria Enlistment Date: November 12, 1914 Enlisted at: Halifax, Nova Scotia Prior Military Experience: Yarmouth NS Militia Age at Enlistment: 39 Height: 5 Feet 8 Inches Complexion: Dark Eye Colour: Brown Hair Colour: Black/Grey Martial Status: Widower Trade: Merchant Religion: Roman Catholic Next of Kin: George Bishara (Brother) St John, New Brunswick Date of Death: January 15, 1917 Age at Death: 41 Cemetery: Kensal Green (St. Mary's) Roman Catholic Cemetery, London, England Grave Reference: Canadian 3 Commemorated on Page 202 of the First World War Book of Remembrance Displayed in the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower in Ottawa on May 8 Listed on the Nominal Roll of the 25th Battalion. Listed on the Yarmouth War Memorial Gabriel (John) Bishara enlisted with the 25th Battalion at Halifax on November 12, 1914 and trained in Canada until May 20, 1915. He went overseas embarking Halifax on the SS Saxonia and arrived in England on May 29, 1915. While at Shorncliffe Camp in England he injured his elbow and was treated at Moore Barracks Canadian Hospital on July 19, 1915. He was hospitalized for twelve days at Shornscliffe Military Hospital. On discharge on July 31, he returned to the 25th Battalion. He embarked at Folkestone, Kent on September 15, 1915 and disembarked at Boulogne, France. The 25th Battalion took part in the Battle of Flers–Courcelette between September 15, 1916 and September 22. During the battle the 25th Battalion came under very heavy artillery fire from the German forces. On September 17, Private Bishara suffered a serious shrapnel wound to the jaw and was taken to No 13 Casualty Clearing Station at Boulogue. He was returned to England and hospitalized at King George Hospital,London. Word that he had been seriously wounded was first received in Yarmouth in September, 1916. A second telegram was received in December, 1916 stating that he was seriously ill. He was unable to speak due to his wounds and wrote notes to his nurses. Private Bishara died on January 15, 1917 at 10:30 am and was buried at St Mary’s Catholic Cemetery, Kinsal Green, London on Thursday, January 18, 1917.
Gabriel (John) Bishara
Inductees at Dominion Atlantic Railway Station, Yarmouth NS; (November, 1914) John Bishara (1st on left, 2nd row)
[Florence Stopford was the daughter of Lorne E. Baker of Yarmouth Nova Scotia and the wife of an Admiral in the Royal Navy. She had visited Pte. Bishara on several occasions and after his death received the following letter] King George’s Hospital Ward G.B. Stanford St., SE January 15, 1917 Dear Mrs Stopford I am sorry to have to tell you that Pte. Bishara died this morning at 10:30. He had been getting worse for some time and the end came quite quickly and quietly,. His nephew was with him at the time. I thought of you and that you would care to know as you have been so good to him. He is to have a military funeral from here Thursday and will be buried at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery, Kinsal Green, London. Yours faithfully, M. Weeden Cooke Sister of George V Hospital 5
[Pte. Orbin VanTassel, of Digby NS, wrote home to his parents Charles and Mary VanTassel in April 1916 and in that letter made reference to John Bishara.] I have seen John Bishara. He is here at the front with the 25th. He told me to give you and father his best regards. It is the same old John but he is looking old. ...
[the following information is taken from the war diary of the 25th Battalion] On May 20, 1915, the 25th Battalion departed Halifax on SS Saxonia after marching through the City. They arrived in Portsmouth, England at 4:10 am on May 29, 1915. The Battalion moved to Westenhanger , a small village in south east Kent, near Folkestone. The first parade in England was at East Sandling, Kent on June 1, 1915. Between May 31 and September 15, 1915 advanced training was undertaken. On Wednesday, September 15, 1915, ammunition issued to each man (120 Rounds). The Battalion left Camp at 6.30 P.M. arriving Folkstone at 9 pm, leaving Folkstone at 10 pm an arriving in Boulogne at 1 am September 16, 1915. The 25th Battalion took over the trenches from the 2nd Kings Own on the evening of the September 22. ______________________________ The 25th Battalion took part in the Battle of Flers–Courcelette between September 15, 1916 and September 22. During the battle tactical gains were made in the capture of the villages of Courcelette, Martinpuich and Flers. During the battle the 25th Battalion came under very heavy artillery fire from the German forces. The battle is significant for the first use of the tank in warfare.
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