John Hannibal BADGER
Rank: Private
Number: 268680
Unit: 15th Reserve Battalion (Saskatchewan Regiment) CANADIAN INFANTRY
Date of Death: 4 May 1919
Age: 24
Cemetery: Stockport Borough Cemetery

It’s not known how John came to be buried in Stockport and to have his name inscribed on the town’s war Memorial. He had been born in Chinook, Montana, USA or 24 Novemebr 1896, the son of Hannibal Joseph Badger.

At the time of the Great War, both men were living near Vidora, Saskatchewan, Canada, where John’s occupation was recorded as “rancher”. It is not a common surname and a search of the 1901 Census and family history websites cannot connect the name with the Stockport area.

John did not enlist in the army until the War was nearly over. But, in 1918, he was conscripted and, on 21 may 1918, he attested at the recruiting office at Regina. His papers, which can be viewed on-line at the Canadian National Archives, show him to have been exceptionally tall, for those days, at over 6 feet 3 inches. He had a 37 inch chest which he could expand a further 3 inches. The examining doctor recorded that he had a ruddy complexion with brown eyes and light hair. He gave John a medical category of A2 – fit for active service overseas. John recorded that he worshipped as a Presbyterian.

The 15th Reserve Battalion trained new recruits who would then be allocated to other “active service” Battalions. As John is listed as still serving with the reserves, it can be assumed that he never saw active service in France and Belgium and, presumably, died of natural causes in the UK.

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