John Henry Downes, Private 219861, 50th Bn. Canadian Infantry (Alberta Regt)
Died of illness 20th August 1918 in Colchester, Essex, aged 21
Son of John J. and Sarah Downes, of Ottawa, Canada. Born at Macclesfield, England on 12 April 1897.
John enlisted with the Canadian forces at Ottawa on 29 September 1915 and was drafted to France on 10 August 1916. He became ill with a heart condition on 27 July 1918 and was repatriated to Colchester Military Hospital. He was noted to be seriously ill on 18 August 1918 and died of “infective endocarditis” two days later.
Private John Downes is buried in Grave Ref S. 1. 82 of the Colchester Cemetery, Essex, England. His father asked for the following words to be engraved on his headstone: IN THE HEARTS OF THOSE WHO LOVED HIM HE IS NOT DEAD.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private John Downes, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
Elsewhere, he is remembered on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial website.