Major J. N. Warminton KIA In 1915

Wednesday, May 19, 1915

Festubert (Indian Village)

The Battalion War Diarist wrote for this day: “Major Warminton killed.” [1]

19 May 15
Captain John Nicol Warminton

THIS DAY IN RMR HISTORY: “From May 19th to May 22nd, the Royal Montreal Regiment lay in the old German trenches.  On the 19th the Battalion suffered a severe loss when Major J. N. Warminton, who had succeeded to the command of No. 1 Coy., was killed by shell fire. Later the body of this officer was buried with full honours in the British Military Cemetery at the corner of the Rue du Bois and Rue de l’Epinette.  Shell fire continued to take heavy toll after Major Warminton’s death, the Battalion between the 19th and 22nd of the month losing 75 other ranks killed and wounded, bringing the total for the engagement up to 143.”[2]

Major John Nichol Warminton, was born in Montreal, September 9, 1869, the son Mr. & Mrs. Richard Warminton of Lansdowne Avenue, Westmount. He was educated at the Montreal High School, later going to the Ste. Scholastique College to complete his French education.  He then entered into business in Montreal, and early started out for himself, for the twenty-three years prior to his death having conducted a business as manufacturer’s and commission agent, in which he met considerable success.

Major Warminton was an old member of the Victoria Rifles.  He served several years with them as captain, retiring a number of years before the war.  He returned to military work when the Grenadier Guards were re-organized, and did enthusiastic work in building up that regiment.  When war was declared he volunteered with the 14th Battalion, with whom he went to the front.

19 May 15_B
Capt. John Nicol Warminton (14th Bn.) and Lt.-Col. Carson (C.O. Canadian Grenadier Guards), Valcartier, 1914

Known to his friends as “Jack”, from his early days Major Warminton took a keen interest in athletic affairs, and soon made a name for himself as a supporter of all amateur sports.  He was a life member of the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association [M.A.A.A.], and also a member of the Caledonia Curling, St. George’s Snowshoe, the St. Lawrence Yacht, the Country Club, St. Lambert, the Engineers, the National and a number of other clubs.  He was also a 32nd Degree mason, and an active member of the Victoria Lodge, A.F. & A.M.   He married Miss Emily Hayden, daughter of Mr. George Hayden, of Ryde, Isle of Wight, England, who survived him as did his parents. [5]

Major Warminton  had only just assumed command of No. 1 Company of the 14th Bn. (RMR) when he was killed by shell fire on May 19th, 1915. [6]  His promotion from Captain to Major was not gazetted in the London Gazette until September 18th, 1915 and showed an effective date coinciding with his date of death.  While the 14th Battalion history says Major Warminton was buried with full honours in the British Military Cemetery at the corner of the Rue du Bois and Rue de l’Epinette, he is now buried in Le Touret Military Cemetery, France.  [7]  A memorial tablet was dedicated to his memory in the Church of St. James the Apostle, St. Catherine Street, Montreal, on Sunday, October 31, 1915. [8]

[1]  War Diary, 14th Canadian Battalion, The Royal Montreal Regiment, May 19, 1915.  Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa,
[2]  R.C. Featherstonhaugh, The Royal Montreal Regiment 14th Battalion C.E.F. 1914-1925, Montreal, The Gazette Printing Co., Ltd., 1927, pg. 56.
[5]  Taken from: The Gazette, Montreal, Quebec, Monday, May 24, 1915, pg. 5, col. 1
[6]  Supplement To The London Gazette, 92903, 18 September, 1915,
[7]  Commonwealth War Graves Commission;,%20JOHN%20NICOL
[8]  The Gazette, Montreal, Quebec, Wednesday, October 27, 1915, pg. 11, col.2.


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