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Jack Canton "Edie "

13 Tammuz 5676 (14 July 1916)

Basic Information

Unique reference:
Other first name:
Other surname:


Date of birth:
Place of birth:


Date of death:
13 Tammuz 5676 (14 July 1916)
Died in combat?:
Cause of death:
Killed in Action
Burial place:
Carnoy Military Cemetery



Family home:
40 Brunswick Street, Cheetham Manchester


Manchester Jews School

Other Organisations

Jewish Lads' Brigade
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Personal Journey map
Jack Canton

Service on Yom Kippur in the Trenches (letter from Jack, published in the JC), 22 October 1915

Sorry I couldn't send you that report down sooner but like yourself, sir, I am near the battle line, and have been ever since a few days after Yom Kippur. I'm running an advanced dressing station, consequently you can guess I'm having a rather hot and busy time of it and haven't had much leisure for writing purposes, so hope you will excuse the delay. Thanks to your valuable aid, I was quite astonished to find that twenty-three men came down for the service which far exceeded the number I anticipated getting down to our camp. Below you will find a list of their names... and of course, myself, who, as requested by you, conducted the service. I remember it was a hot, burning morning, the sun was beating down mercilessly, one could hardly breathe and yet the boys came straggling in by twos and threes, most of them carrying all their "packs," rifles etc. looking hot and dusty and weary, their boots covered with dust.
Many of them had obtained leave from the C.O.'s and came right down from the trenches a distance of three to five miles; not one of them have breakfasted and all told me they were determined to keep up the Fast. Needless to state, I got them to sit down in the marquee (which our Major kindly lent me for the service) and after a few minutes rest we commenced. I conducted the service, as regulated by you, in the special Prayer Book issued to all Jewish troops for Yom Kippur, at the termination of which they all deemed it a success. I'm afraid I didn't do so "great" though - being an amateur Chazan for the first time in one's existence is not exactly as easy as it seems. After the service we all had a chat about old times, many of us having met before at the Tabernacle in Aldershot where the Rev. Mr Plaskow conducts the service on Shabbos.
It was quite good to talk over the old times. Many of us were still in England last year and were lucky enough to get passes to our homes for Rosh Hoshana and Yom Kippur. We dwelt on the elaborate dinners were had last year, before fasting, among our own people, but we jolly soon got off that subject, as it made our mouths "water" too much.
I know previous to fasting that I "dined" on some bread and cheese, but it doesn't do to grumble on active service. I made up for it when the fast was over. Went to a neighbouring cottage and bought some "cafe-en-lait," a couple of eggs etc, rather a "spread" in these days. But I'm afraid I have to get off the subject; all things come to an end and so did our gathering. As the day was rapidly weaning and many of the chaps had to get back to the trenches, so we bid each other "good luck" and "guten Yomtov," shook hands all round and all of us departed our various ways, taking with us memorise which I'm sure most of us will never forget of a pleasant, though earnest, Yom Kippur Service held on "active service" by British Jews serving in His Majesty's Army.

JC In Memorium, 15 September 1916

The Rev. L. Cohen (Canton), of Manchester, father of the deceased soldier, has received the following letter from the Rev. M. Adler, S.C.F. "I was deeply grieved to learn of the death of your brave son. He was one of my most faithful boys, and I sympathise with all my heart with you. I shall never forget how he conducted the Yom Kippur Service for the local Jewish soldiers last year, and how delighted the men were with him. I saw his CO today, and he gave me full information of the manner of his death and place of burial. I know exactly where he lies and am arranging for a Jewish memorial to be erected. I need hardly add that he was held in the highest esteem in his unit, and was very popular. The burial service was read by a Jewish soldier who was with him at the time.

For many years I knew him, popularly called Edie Cohen. His young life
was unstained and free from guilt. He was the soul of honour itself and had a high sense of duty and obedience. He was an old boy of the Manchester Jews' School. As a non-com, in the Jewish Lads' Brigade he rose to be sergeant and was very popular both .with officers and boys. In business he was most energetic and full of high ambition. If it is true that those whom the Gods love die young, surely Jack Canton's is a case in point. His parents have the soothing consolation that their boy died for a noble cause. Let this comfort them



Minnie Canton (female)
Israel Canton (male)
Isaac Canton (male)
Benjamin Canton (male)
Michael Canton (male)
Hyman Canton (male)


Father: Lewis Canton (male)
Mother: Rachel Canton (female)


Military Record

Military service:
Military record no.:
Date discharged/death:
14 July 1916
Rank at discharge/death:
Staff Sergeant
Royal Army Medical Corps
142nd Field Ambulance

Roll of Honour

J. CANTON (COHEN), 14 July 1916

Commonwealth Graves Commission

Staff Serjeant
Date of Death:
Regiment / service:
142nd Field Amb., Royal Army Medical Corps
Carnoy Military Cemetery
Grave reference:
T. 36.
Additional information:

Other Occupations

Type of employment:

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London Jews in the First World War - We Were There Too

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