John (Jack) Maley was born November 7, 1895 at Montreal, Quebec. He was the son of Job and Edith Maley who lived on the Big Bend Road north of Revelstoke. Job Maley was born October 25, 1869 in England. Edith Maley was born August 4, 1871 in England. John had twin brothers, Leonard and Thomas, born March 1898 on the Big Bend Trail as it was called in the BC Archives. The family operated a florist business in the area around where the Fellowship Baptist Church is located. Edith Maley died at Revelstoke in 1932 at the age of 61. Job Maley died at Revelstoke in 1957 at the age of 88. Leonard died in Vernon in 1984 at the age of 85. Thomas also volunteered to serve in the war and because of his short stature (5’3”) became a member of the “Bantams,” a battalion made up of soldiers under 5’5”.
John Maley is noted in the local school district records as having attended the Revelstoke High School in 1911. He was also active in the Cricket Club and his name is on their Honor Roll. Leonard and Thomas were very active in the early skiing community in Revelstoke. They participated in the early ski races winning the long distance and ski jumping prizes in 1915 and 1916. An item in the May 28, 1915 edition of the Review is an example of their skiing exploits:
“On the Empire Day weekend some residents were picking strawberries from their gardens while others were one mile above town on Mount Revelstoke enjoying skiing and ski jumping on 3” of snow. Nels Nelsen won the “A” Jump with 102’. T. Maley won the “B” Jump with L. Maley placing third.”
John (Jack) Maley signed his enlistment papers on August 16, 1915 at Vernon. He was one of around 100 men from Revelstoke to enlist with the 54th Battalion in the spring and summer of 1915. His regimental number was 443729. He arrived in England on December 2, 1915 on the S.S. Saxonia. He was 19 years old, single, 5’ 6” tall with brown hair and grey eyes. His occupation was teamster, as he drove the delivery cart for his father’s florist business. He said his religious affiliation was Presbyterian. His mother and family must have been Anglican as his name is inscribed on the Memorial Chancel Screen in St. Peter’s Anglican Church.
John Maley died April 18, 1918 during the last German offensive of the war. He was 22 years old. At the time of his death he was a driver serving with the 8th Field Company, Canadian Engineers. He is buried at the Aix-Noulette Communal Cemetery Extension, France. The family recently donated to the Museum a unique photograph of the original gravesite prior to its removal to a Commonwealth War Cemetery. The Museum also has cards and letters written home by John to his family.
The name of John Maley is inscribed on the Courthouse and Cenotaph plaques.