National Aboriginal Veterans Day, November 8

by Andy Thomson on November 8, 2019


John Spaniel (a variation on the Espagnol/Espaniel spelling of their name) listed his place of birth and address as Pogma, Ontario and his occupation as trapper. He was the son of Louis Espagnol and his second wife Sarah. The family had lived on Lake Pogamasing since the late 1860’s when Louis was appointed as the manager of the Hudson Bay Company post. John was born on April 1, 1889, the same year the HBC closed the post. After Louis’ death in 1907 Sarah continued to live on the island with her children on Lake Pogamasing. John enlisted at Frood, Ontario, a mining town outside of Sudbury, with the 159th O/S Battalion on May 16th, 1916. He went overseas, first to Britain and then to France where he was wounded on Oct. 12, 1918. He later developed appendicitis and was discharged on October 27, 1920.

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