John Finlow Wandless

John Finlow Wandless

Male 1879 - Abt 1962  (82 years)

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  • Name John Finlow Wandless 
    Born 19 Feb 1879  Fredericton, York Co, New Brunswick, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Military 12 Mar 1900-25 Dec 1900 
    • enlisted for Boer War on 12 March; discharged 25 Dec.
    Military Enlistment 9 Mar 1916  Enlisted in CEF for WW I Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Military Discharge 15 Sep 1919  Demobilized from CEF Find all individuals with events at this location 
    IMMI May 1920  Titusville, Florida Find all individuals with events at this location 
    to the US 
    • Entering the US from Canada at St Alban's, Vermont, on May 1920
      John F. Wandless, 40, editor, Canadian, last lived in Woodstock, Ont., final destination Titusville, Fla., father Thomas is nearest relative in Canada
    NATU 25 May 1954 
    as US citizen 
    Occupation British military officer, security officer 
    RELI Episcopal 
    Residence 1962  Galveston, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • 1920 Ave. M, Galveston, TX
    Died Abt 1962  Galveston, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • Jack served as young man in the Boer War in the British Imperial Army. Joined up with his unit, the 19th Brigade, just before the battle of the Zand River and stayed on until after Pretoria was captured by Lord Roberts. He participated in the battles for Doornkop, Johannesburg, and Pretoria. While there, he served under Lord Robert, Kitchener, and, as his brigadier general, Smith-Dorien. Kipling and Winston Churchill were both present nearby during his service and he may have met them. He did see Queen Victoria and Prince Albert (Edward VII) at Windsor Castl during a stop in England on his way back to Canada. He was discharged on December 25(?!), 1900 back in Canada. Jack then enlisted on March 8, 1901, in the South African Constabulary, serving under Baden-Powell for several years. While in SA, he also served with the Natal forces suppressing the Native Rebellion. He was not then a member of the British military, since the Brits had tried to prevent Natal from their actions. While in the SAC, he served with two cousins, Willie McElveny (whose mother was his father's sister) and Frazer Hazlitt (whose mother was the sister of Jack's mother). I can't be sure which sisters these were of his parents. Jack returned to Canada around 1907 (when the SAC was disbanded) and lived at least some time in Toronto, where in 1916 he enlisted in the Canadian Army to serve in WWI. He fought in several battles, including the Somme (September to October, 1916, slightly wounded by a shell blast on September 26, perhaps near Courcelette), Vimy Ridge (April, 1917) and Lens. As of mother's death in March, 1918, was with 5th Canadian Reserve in England. Sometime in England, he met and eventually wed Vera Gisin. He reportedly visited to Canada briefly, then moved to Titusville, Florida, where he invested his capital in first a citrus farm and then a hog venture. Both failed, and he then moved to Galveston, Texas, where he lived out his life in relative quiet. His daughter, Audrey, describes him as an adventurer who in quiet times retreated into his books, which he read, and adventure stories, which he wrote. He doted on Vera and let her run the house.

      John F. Wandless was the agent working for British Security Coordinator who had as his territory the Gulf coast from Pascagoula, Miss to Brownsville, Tx. His wife, Vera, organized and managed the British and Allied Seamans' Club in Galveston, Texas. They maintained homes in both Galveston and New Orleans during this time, and he received a commendation at the end of the war from William Stephenson (A Man Called Intrepid) who was his boss, for his "services of a confidential nature". Vera also received recognition from the British government for her services. Their home at 1920 Ave. M, Galveston received an historical marker from the State of Texas (Franklin/Wandless residence) in April 2000. [Michael Remme]

      Listed in 71st York Regiment of Infantry, from New Brunswick, as Jno. F. Wandless, in the South African War 1899-1902. [Our boys under fire, or, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island volunteers in South Africa; Mellish, Annie Elizabeth; at Early Canadiana Online]
    Person ID I11  6: Wandless: Whitehaven, Cumberland, England to New Brunswick, Canada
    Last Modified 6 Sep 2011 

    Father Thomas Grey Wandless,   b. 30 Jun 1851, Fredericton, York Co, New Brunswick, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Nov 1923, Fredericton, York Co, New Brunswick, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 72 years) 
    Mother Dorcas Melissa Whitlock,   b. 5 Dec 1856, Peniac, York Co, New Brunswick, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 9 Mar 1918, Fredericton, York Co, New Brunswick, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 61 years) 
    Married 30 May 1874  Christ Church Cathedral, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    • A book of abstracted marriage records shows the marriage date as 20 May 1875. "Thomas Wandless of Fton, to Dorcas Whitlock of St. Mary's, May 20, 1875, by G. Goddrich Roberts, Anglican, , Wit John Stephen, Martha Whitlock"
      Arnold Duke checked the Christ Church cathedral records, which show 30 May 1874. It's puzzling that the book would list both a different date and church.
    Family ID F10  Group Sheet

    Family 1 Louise Walker,   b. Bef 1879,   d. Abt 1919  (Age ~ 40 years) 
    Married 13 Aug 1904  South Africa Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Last Modified 24 Jul 2000 
    Family ID F28  Group Sheet

    Family 2 Veronika Marie Gisin,   b. 31 May 1896, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1976, Galveston, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 79 years) 
    Married 19 Oct 1919  Folkestone, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Veronica Gloria Marie Wandless,   b. 31 Jan 1920, Titusville, Florida Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 Feb 2010, Galveston, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 90 years)
     2. Dorcas Jacqueline Wandless
     3. Audrey Marie Wandless
    Last Modified 24 Jul 2000 
    Family ID F6  Group Sheet

  • News
    1916: John F. Wandless, Canadian Soldier, wounded but still on duty overseas
    1916: John F. Wandless, Canadian Soldier, wounded but still on duty overseas
    Toronto Star, 1916: John F. Wandless, who went overseas with the 74th Battalion in March, has been wounded but is still on duty. He is a veteran of the South African war. He has been attached to the Gordon Highlanders.

  • Sources 
    1. [S31] Marriage record, CHRIST CHURCH CATHEDRAL RECORDS - PROV. ARCHIVES OF N.B. MICROFILM F1114 (Reliability: 3).

    2. [S2] Family group sheet found in NB archives, submitted.