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Creston Valley Goes to War

John Crane

Crane Service

John Crane's service record, detailing his involvement in the riots at Kinmel Park

John Crane's service with the 41st Company CFC began uneventfully. In July 1918, however, he was under stoppage of pay while in hospital - a common punishment for venereal disease and other illnesses caused by behaviours that contravened military discipline. There followed two fines and an admonishment for absence without leave, and then a court-martial for joining in a mutiny.

At Kinmel Park, where Crane had been stationed to await transport home, discontent and impatience erupted on 4-5 March 1919. As many as 1,000 men looted mess halls, canteens, and YMCA facilities. Five were killed and 28 wounded in a sudden outbreak of armed violence.

Crane was one of 51 Canadians court-martialed and 27 convicted for taking part in the riot. He was sentenced to six months imprisonment and was discharged for misconduct in September 1919.