Name:Bishara, Gabriel (John)Regimental number67160Force:ArmyUnit:Canadian Infantry (Nova Scotia Regiment)Division:25th BattalionRank:PrivateEnlistment Date:November 12, 1914 Enlisted at:Halifax, Nova Scotia Age at Enlistment:39Height:5 Feet 8 Inches Chest:42 InchesExpansion:4 InchesPrior Military Experience:Yarmouth NS Militia Civilian Occupation:MerchantDate of Birth:May 6, 1875 Place of Birth:Mt LebanonCountry of Birth:SyriaMarried:Widow(er) Religion:Roman CatholicDate of Death: January 15, 1917Age at Death:41Cause of Death:Died of Wounds John Bishara was among the first to enlist with the 25th Battalion in early November 1914. Word that He had been seriously wounded, the result of a shrapnel wound to the jaw, was first received in Yarmouth on September 19, 1916. A second telegram was received in December 1916 stating that he was seriously ill in the King George Hospital in London. He was unable to speak due to his wounds and wrote notes to his nurses. In them he stated how very pleased he was to have fought for the British Empire. He 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.Burial:Kensal Green (St. Mary's) Roman Catholic Cemetery, London, England Plot:Canadian 3Kensal Green (St Mary's) Roman Catholic Cemetery contains burials of both wars. Some of the 208 First World War burials are grouped together. The largest, known as the War Plot, contains graves of United Kingdom forces and there are smaller groups of Canadian and Australian graves. The rest of the First World War graves, and all of the 107 Second World War graves, are scattered elsewhere in the cemetery. A Screen Wall and a low kerb bear the names of casualties of both wars whose graves could not be marked individually.In addition to the Commonwealth war graves, the cemetery contains a number of war graves of other nationalities, including a substantial Belgian plot from the First World War.Additional Information: Next of Kin:George Bishara, St John, New BrunswickCommemorated on Page 202 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.Listed on the Nominal Roll of the 25th Battalion.Listed on the Yarmouth Memorial, Yarmouth NS
Inductees at Dominion Atlantic Railway Station, Yarmouth NS; (November, 1914)John Bishara (1st on left, 2nd row)
Attestation Paper (click to enlarge)
[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 HospitalWard G.B.Stanford St., SEJanuary 15, 1917Dear Mrs StopfordI 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 CookeSister 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 H.M.T. 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.