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Veteran Profile: John Roche (Jack) Ardill

Jack-Betty-Ardill
Jack Ardill and his wife Betty.

John Roche (Jack) Ardill 

Regiment: 49th Battalion, Irish Army Royal Sussex Regiment
Service: England
Rank: 2nd Lieutenant

Jack was born in Sligo, Ireland, on May 1, 1890, the son of a canon of the Irish Protestant Church. He came to Canada in 1909 and worked on ranches in the Ashcroft area of southern B.C. for several years. From there he went to the Athabasca and Fort McMurray district where he surveyed and trapped.

He enlisted on April 1, 1915, at Edmonton. He sailed on the SS Metagama from Montreal to England on June 4, 1915. He was discharged from 49th Battalion because he was granted a commission in the Royal Sussex Regiment where he was a 2nd Lieutenant at Storncliffe on September 22, 1915.

Jack served in the Irish army, was a prisoner of war, and escaped to Holland where he met his wife, Elizabeth Kole, in 1919. After the War they came to the Peace Country looking for a home. They found what they wanted at Farrell Creek and filed on his homestead on a Soldier’s Grant In Peace River town. He raised cattle, horses and was successful in raising registered Alfalfa seed for which he won many awards. They had four children, John, Betty, Dick, and Tom.

Their Farrell Creek Ranch became famous for their cattle. Tom also expanded in to construction and oilfield work while John was a trapper and guide. They were known as a stopping place on the way from Fort St. John to Hudson’s Hope. Eventually the Farrell Creek Post Office was situated there.

Jack died on February 18, 1975, in Victoria, and is buried in the Hudson’s Hope Peace Cemetery.


The following was compiled by North Peace historian Lana-Gay Elliott, who has been working over the last 30 years to preserve the history of World War veterans from the Peace, as well as soldiers who later came to pioneer this country. She has compiled hundreds of stories with the help of families, obituaries, the Fort St. John North Peace Museum, and pioneer history books. We republish this story with great honour and respect so that We Always Remember and so that We Never Forget. Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at editor@ahnfsj.ca

[Eds. Note: Updates picture of Jack Ardill.]