I read with interest your Oct. 13th article in The Labradorian “Labrador connection- new hall at MUN residence named after WW1 Inuk sniper.” I can add some additional information about Lance Corporal John Shiwak.
All of his Royal Newfoundland Regiment (RNR) papers are available on microfilm at The Rooms in St. John’s, and copies of these can be printed. I have a copy of most of his documents (as well as some of my grandfather’s and a few others). Included in John Shiwak’s documents are his enlistment papers, his medical examination report, his will, a letter of sympathy that accompanied his kit bag when it was returned to his mother Sarah, and her reply (as written by Rev. Henry Gordon).
He died in Masnieres, France on Nov. 21, 1917, and the town has one of the five caribou monuments that stand in France and Belgium as a memorial to members of the RNR. His captain (writing to Dr. Harry Paddon’s sister in England) indicated “We were walking along the canal bank towards the sugar factory when one shell burst in the middle of our column and killed seven…” and another letter in his file gives the exact coordinates of where he was buried. You can see the remains of the sugar factory as you walk along the canal in Masnieres even now. Sadly, most of these areas were fought over again and again, and graves themselves were blown up in the shelling and battles that followed— a single…