KERR, John Chipman
49th Infantry Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force in the First World War
Legion of Frontiersmen, Canada (Spirit River, Alberta Command)

Victoria Cross
London Gazette, No. 29802, 26 October 1916
For most conspicuous bravery. During a bombing attack he was acting as bayonet man, and, knowing that bombs were running
short, he ran along the parados under heavy fire until he was in close contact with the enemy, when he opened fire on them at
point-blank range, and inflicted heavy loss.  The enemy, thinking they were surrounded, surrendered. Sixty-two prisoners were
taken and 250 yards of enemy trench captured.  Before carrying out this very plucky act one of Private Kerr’s fingers had been
blown off by a bomb.  Later, with two other men, he escorted back the prisoners under fire, and then returned to report himself for
duty before having his wound dressed

John Chipman Kerr was born in Fox River, Nova Scotia, on 11 January 1887.  In 1912, after working as a lumberjack near
Kootenay, British Columbia he bought a homestead in Spirit River, Alberta, where he and his brother farmed until war broke out.
Immediately they set out for Edmonton, leaving only a single note tacked to the door of their humble shed. It read: "War is Hell, but
what is homesteading?"He served with the 49th Infantry Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force in the First World War. Kerr
earned the Victoria Cross near Courcelette in France on 16 September 1916during the latter stages of the Battle of the Somme. As
first bayonet man in a bombing party advancing to attack German positionswith hand grenades, he was 30 metres ahead of his
comrades when he found himself exchanging grenades with the enemy.Although wounded, Kerr continued forward and compelled
62 of the enemy to surrender. At the beginning of the Second World War, Kerr joined the Army once more, later transferring to the
Royal Canadian Air Force. He died in Port Moody, British Columbia on 19 February 1963. In 1951, a 2,600-metre peak in the Rocky Mountains was named after him.  His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, Canada.

Victoria Cross
British War Medal
Victory Medal
Canadian War Service Medal
War Medal 1939-45
Coronation 1937
Coronation 1953

Born 11 January 1887, Fox River, Nova Scotia, Canada
Died 19 February 1963, Port Moody, British Columbia, Canada
Behobeho          East Africa 1915 - 1917          Nyangao          Kilimanjaro          Great War 1917          Belgium 1914 -18
Official website of the
Legion of Frontiersmen (New Zealand) Command
The Pro Patria Project - Listing of all decorated New Zealanders
Legion Stories from the past
Photographs from Conferences past in New Zealand
Decorated Frontiersmen
Contact the command
The Awards of the Legion
Past & present Patrons and Commandants of the Command