John Shiwak

John Shiwak (1889–1917) was a 26-year-old Inuit trapper from Rigolet, Labrador, when he attested in the Newfoundland Regiment on July 24, 1915. He embarked for England in July 1916, served as a scout on the Western Front and was promoted to Lance-Corporal the following April. Shiwak and six others were killed by an artillery shell near the village of Masnières, France, on the morning of November 20, 1917, the first day of the Battle of Cambrai. His parents John and Sarah Shiwak did not learn of his death until the spring, because it was not possible to reach their community during the long Labrador winter. An article about Shiwak was published in London's Daily Mail newspaper on January 11, 1918.

Service Record Details

(LAC acknowledges the participation of the Provincial Archives Division, The Rooms Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador, for the links to their Digitized Personnel Files.)

Date of Birth: 1889

Date of Attestation: July 24, 1915

Age at Enlistment: 26 years

Prior Military Service: None

Height: 5 feet, 5 inches



Home Address: Rigolet, Labrador

Trade: Trapper

Married: No

Next of Kin: Sarah Shiwak (mother)

Theatre of War: Europe

Casualties/Medical History


Interesting Details from the Service Record

Shiwak's service record contains an eyewitness account of his death and burial, written by Captain R.H. Tait.

The London Gazette

No mentions found.

Military Medals, Honours and Awards (1812–1969)

No mentions found.

Census Records

No records located.

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