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John Clarke Brasnett

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Private 12820 Canadian Infantry 5th Battalion. (Saskatchewan Regiment).


Died 27th September 1916. Aged 24.


Grave I. E. 4. Contay British Cemetery.


Contay is a village in the Department of the Somme on the main road, Amiens to Arras. The CONTAY BRITISH CEMETERY lies on the left (north east) side of the road to Franvillers.


Son of the late Fredrick George and Laura Brasnett of Runhall, Norfolk.


Commemorated in the parish church of all saints Runhall. (with brother Archibald)





Pic courtesy of


The last record I could find of John in England, is in the 1901 census, where he is listed, aged 8, living with his father, brothers and sisters.


On 16th of March 1911, a J. Brasnett aged 21, born about 1890, occupation farming, left Liverpool, England on the ship Montrose, (Capt A E Moscap) to St John Canada.

This may or may not have been him (slight age difference, was there an age limit to emigrate alone?)  John Clarke Brasnett, however did go to Canada. (see records below) Where it seems that he joined the Canadian Army the 16th Light horse.

Possibly in Regina, Saskatchewan.


The North Saskatchewan Regiment originated in Regina, Saskatchewan on 3 July 1905, when The 16th Mounted Rifles was authorized. It was designated The 16th Light Horse on 1 October 1908 and the 16th Canadian Light Horse on 15 March 1920.

Then he was attested to the Canadian expeditionary force in Valcartier (nr Quebec) on 18th Sept 1914.

With the outbreak of the Great War in 1914, Lt. Col. Tuxford approached Col Steele and requested that a mounted contingent, under Tuxford's command, be sent overseas. Unfortunately for Tuxford, another cavalry regiment had already been chosen for this task. However, seizing the initiative, Tuxford made a request to form a dismounted contingent. Tuxford wrote:

". . . I, therefore, got Colonel Steele to wire in to Ottawa and ask for permission for the mounted units from the West to come down to Valcartier as dismounted troops, if they so desired . . . Upon application I was authorised to organize the two battalions."

"In the one battalion I placed the 12th, 16th, 27th, 29th, 30th, 31st, 35th (Light Horse) and Corps of Guides. This battalion became the 5th Canadian Infantry Battalion, and later on being asked to select a name for the battalion, I could think of no better than that of Western Cavalry, and as such they remained the 5th Battalion, Western Cavalry."

CFB Valcartier was originally erected as a military training camp in August 1914 as part of the mobilization of the Canadian Expeditionary Force at the onset of World War I.A 10-foot-6-inch (3.20 m)-high bronze figure of a World War I soldier (1995) by André Gauthier (sculptor) at the entrance to CFB Valcartier commemorates the training of Canadian Army volunteers for the European battlefields in World War I.


Note: Next of kin Miss H Brasnett of Melton Constable, Norfolk.








This I believe where and when, John lost his life.











His final resting place.