Lieutenant Colonel Jack Harstone
4th Canadian Railway Troops
There is no transcontinental railway in operations today on the North American continent which he has not had some part in building.
(The Forty-Niner, Jan 1932, 18)
John Brunton Harstone was born in Port Arthur, Ontario on 15 September 1879. He enlisted as a lieutenant with the 49th Battalion in January 1915. Earning the nickname, “Fighting Jack,” he served in France from October 1915 until he was wounded a year later. While recovering he received the Distinguished Service Order.
By early 1917, Harstone had transferred to General Jack Stewart’s Canadian Railway Troops and temporarily commanded the 7th CRT He served in France for over a year before succeeding newly promoted Brig. Gen. Chilton Hervey in command of the 4th CRT on 15 June 1918.
After the war, he returned to his construction career. He was involved in railway building, oil field development and was for a time superintendent of the Welland Canal. During the Great Depression he was appointed liaison officer between Alberta and the federal government to work on relief programs.
He died on 24 December 1951.