Captain John Roberts Gale was born in Youngs Cove, New Brunswick, on June 28th, 1890, to parents George Hamilton & Alma Kate Gale. Prior to enlistment John Gale worked as a school teacher.
He enlisted in Sussex, N.B. with the 64th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force, on September 27th, 1915. Shipping for England in March of 1916, he soon proceeded to France where in July he transferred to the 25th Canadian Infantry Battalion, seconded to the 5th Trench Mortar Battery, with whom he served with for the majority of his time overseas.
He was injured or taken ill on several occasions, including gas poisoning from a shell early in 1917, trench fever in June of 1917, and a gunshot wound to his leg in 1918. Capt. Gale was demobilized on June 30 of 1920.
The letters and photo in the John Gale Collection were donated as part of his brother's, the Private Ralph Clement Gale Collection. Ralph Gale served with the 6th Canadian Mounted Rifles and was captured in battle on June 2nd, 1916, and was held as a German Prisoner of War (P.O.W.) until his death on July 29th, 1918. Most of the John Gale letters relate to his brother’s P.O.W. status; many are from Evelyn Rivers Bulkeley, Head of the Prisoner of War Branch of the Canadian Red Cross. Also included are letters from a German acquaintance of Ralph who writes to John after the war describing conditions under Occupation in the Rhineland.
Capt. John Roberts Gale’s Service Record (Serv/Reg# not assigned) can be viewed/downloaded in pdf format through Library and Archives Canada.