John Bodziak (1884–1916) was born in Jaroslaw, Poland, and immigrated to Canada as a young man. He worked as a farmer in northern Alberta. On July 1, 1915, at the age of 19, he enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Force in Edmonton, Alberta. He was killed in action less than one year later, on June 3, 1916. Like many Canadian soldiers killed during the battles of the First World War, John Bodziak’s body was never recovered and he has no known grave. His name is inscribed on the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing in Ypres, Belgium, along with the names of 56,000 other soldiers from Britain, Australia, Canada, and India whose graves remain unknown.
Service Record Details
Date of Birth: December 22, 1884 (Jaroslaw, Poland)
Date of Attestation: July 1, 1915 (Edmonton, Alberta)
Age at Enlistment: 28 years, 6 months old
Height: 5 feet, 3½ inches
Weight: 130 lbs
Description: Clear complexion, blue eyes, light brown hair. Scar on stomach, mole under left shoulder blade, scar on left buttock. “Austrian Pole from Crakow.” Roman Catholic.
Home Address: Northern Alberta
Next of Kin: Father, Joseph Bodziak (Boderlowic [?], Poland)
Theatre of War: France
- No illnesses, injuries, or medical events of any kind are listed before his death on June 3, 1916.
Interesting Details from the Service Record
- A copy of Bodziak’s will reads: “In the event of my Death I give the whole of my property and effects To Miss Bessie Novotney, Evergreen, Alberta (Canada). Date April 8th 1916. Pte. John Bodziak. Reg. No. 100147.”
- Miss Bessie Novotney is listed as his fiancée and the recipient of his war medals.
- Bodziak arrived in England on September 21, 1915. His service file gives no indication of what his experience entailed other than a single note about him having to forfeit four days of pay for an unexplained two-day absence on December 31, 1915.
The London Gazette
No mentions found.
Military Medals, Honours and Awards (1812–1969)
No mentions found.
No records located.