John Baboo (1888–1946) was a Sikh soldier born in Sharpa, Puajah, India, where he served for four years with the 28th Cavalry Madras of the Indian Army. As a young man, he immigrated to Canada, settled in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where he was married and worked as a labourer and groom. Baboo enlisted with the 144th Battalion (Winnipeg Rifles) on January 29, 1916, later transferring to the 44th Battalion. At the time of his enlistment, Baboo had only one name. The name “John” was added, possibly by military authorities, to conform to Anglo-Saxon naming practices required for Attestation Papers. Baboo embarked for England from Halifax on September 18, 1916 and arrived in France in January 1917. On April 4th he was wounded in the right leg by a shell during the Battle of Vimy Ridge. The wound caused permanent damage and, after a lengthy stay in hospital, Baboo was discharged in January 1918 as medically unfit. He settled in Victoria, British Columbia and died in Saanich on July 9, 1948.
Service Record Details
Date of Birth: May 27, 1888 (Sharpa, Puajah, India)
Date of Attestation: January 29, 1916 (Winnipeg, Manitoba)
Age at Enlistment: 27 years, 3 months old
Prior Military Service: Four years with the 28th Cavalry Madras India
Height: 5 feet, 7 inches
Weight: 167 lbs
Description: Dark complexion, brown eyes, black hair. Name tattooed on right arm in Indian ink. Sikh.
Home Address: Henry Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Trade: Groom, Farmer, Labourer
Next of Kin: Wife, Maude Alice Virginia Baboo. Daughter, Margaret Baboo. Parents are deceased.
Theatre of War : France
- January 31, 1917 – Baboo is sent to hospital because of mumps. He is considered fit for duty three weeks later and taken on strength again on February 24, 1917.
- April 4, 1917 – After being back in the field for a few short weeks, he is seriously injured by a shell at the Battle of Vimy Ridge. He has a compound fracture of the right tibia and fibula, with both bones broken approximately 3 inches above the ankle.
- Following his injury, he is transferred to the 6th Casualty Clearing Station, the 10 Train, then to the No. 4 General Hospital and on to England for treatment.
- April 20, 1917 – He has surgery on his right leg.
- June 13, 1917 – He is issued crutches.
- July 1917 – He has surgery on his right leg a second time during which a chisel is used to remove a sharp edge piece (bone?).
- August 13, 1917 – Medical records indicate he has a 5-inch scar on the inside of his right leg, he walks using crutches, and has no numbness as a result of his injury. An x-ray card in his file indicates that the bone is “consolidating fairly well.”
Interesting Details from the Service Record
- After the war, the family moves to 837 Bay Street, Victoria, British Columbia.
- Baboo’s conduct during service is described as “very good.”
- He served with the Indian Army before enlisting with the Canadian Expeditionary Force.
- Vimy Ridge is mentioned throughout the file, as is a complete description of his injuries. He spends 56 days in hospital as a result of his injuries. Upon discharge, he is walking with a slight limp, with the aid of a cane. According to the Medical Board overseeing his discharge, his right leg is heavily scarred, deformed at the site of the injury, and is one inch shorter than his left leg.
The London Gazette
No mentions found.
Military Medals, Honours and Awards (1812–1969)
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