Gunn, John Alexander

Early photo of Major General John Alexander Gunn
Early photo of Major General John Alexander Gunn

Major General John Alexander Gunn CMG, DSO, VD was born on 5 August 1873 in Toronto, son of Donald Gunn and Jane Fraser. On the 3 October 1906 he married Isabella Elliott Montgomery.

He was not a tall man – only 5’7 3/4″ – and was a merchant in his civilian life.

He was a leading spirit of the Officers’ Indoor Baseball League which had started in 1894. In 1901 when business took him to Montreal, he founded a similar league in that city and, for several years, pitched for The Victoria Rifles.

He died at his residence in Toronto 15 May 1966 in is 93rd year. Colonel JGK Strathy, OBE, ED and Lieutenant Colonel CL Jones, CD represented the Queen’s Own at his funeral and the bugler was Sergeant PR Newhall.

Service Record

  • 1897 – Joined the Queen’s Own Rifles
  • 11 April 1898 – Appointed Provisional Lieutenant
  • 13 August 1898 – Gazetted and promoted 2nd Lieutenant
  • 22 August 1901 – Promoted Lieutenant
  • 1901 – Moved to Montreal with business and transferred to The Victoria Rifles
  • 30 October 1914 enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force as original Commanding Officer of the 24th Battalion (The Victoria Rifles) raised in Montreal
  • Mentioned in Despatches
  • Posted to Bramshott Training Command as GSO1
  • 1918 – Returned to Canada to command Military District No. 2
  • 12 Mar 1921 – Appointed Colonel Commandant of The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada
  • 9  Apr 1922 – Relinquished appointment
Brigadier General John A. Gunn, CMG, DSO, VD – Twelfth Commanding Officer, 1921-1922. The original oil portrait by Lieutenant (Robert) Allan Barr, hangs in the Queen's Own Rifles Officers' Mess. Photo by Christopher Lawson, June 17, 2010.
Brigadier General John A. Gunn, CMG, DSO, VD – Twelfth Commanding Officer, 1921-1922. The original oil portrait by Lieutenant (Robert) Allan Barr, hangs in the Queen’s Own Rifles Officers’ Mess. Photo by Christopher Lawson, June 17, 2010.

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