Memorable Manitobans: John Stewart “Jack” Coull (1908-1944)
Born and raised in Lossiemouth, Scotland, in 1932 he began a career with the Winnipeg Fire Department.
In May 1942 he enlisted with the Corps of Canadian (Volunteer) Firefighters. It was a squad of firefighters from across the country who volunteered to go overseas to work under Britain’s National Fire Service which was overwhelmed by the Blitz.
On 3 July 1944 the London area was bombarded by German V-1 rockets. One strike near Wimbledon killed two firefighters, including Coull. He is believed to be the only Winnipeg firefighter killed in the line of duty overseas. Another local firefighter, Robert Legree, was seriously injured but recovered. Coull left behind wife Erna and four year-old daughter Joyce who lived at the Muskoka Apartments at 110 Young Street, Winnipeg.
Coull is buried at his birthplace in the Lossiemouth Burial Ground. He is commemorated in the Canadian Virtual War Memorial and by a plaque erected near the site of his death by the Firemen Remembered organization (UK) which reads in part: “Fireman J. S. Coull (Winnipeg) who died as a result of enemy action when a V1 flying bomb fell on part of Wildcroft Manor, adjacent to this site on 3rd July 1944.”
Winnipeg’s forgotten wartime firefighters, West End Dumplings.
This page was prepared by Christian Cassidy.
Page revised: 6 July 2013
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