Lives behind the Commemorative Banners: Part 11 – Port Elgin

Maj. John Amer Howe

John Amer Howe’s story is remarkable in that he enlisted in both WWI and WWII and was the highest-ranking soldier from the area to die while enlisted.

Born in 1896, he enlisted in the 160th Battalion in Port Elgin in 1916 and was designated the rank of Corporal.  He relinquished his rank to become a private however, in order to join the reinforcements going to France in 1918.

He served in France, Belgium and as a member of the occupying army in Germany before returning home in 1919 where he operated a service station with car sales in Port Elgin.

In July 1940, Howe again enlisted in the Army in an anti-tank better of the RCA and, again, received officer ranking.  Before going overseas, he attended the Royal Military College in Kingston to take the Company Commanders Course.

In July 1941, he arrived in Halifax ready to leave and in August he arrived in Glasgow and in September was promoted to Major.  In December, he was admitted to camp hospital feeling tired with low energy and generally unwell.

He was then moved to the Westminster Military Hospital where he was diagnosed with significant heart issues and, in February 1942, was returned to Canada and on September 13, 1942, Major Howe died and buries in the cemetery in Port Elgin.

Researched by G. William Streeter