John Robert Thompson was born April 10, 1880 at Monaghan, Ireland. He was the son of George and Elizabeth Thompson of Ireland. He had a brother, James C. Thompson, of Belfast, Ireland. Some papers list James as his next-of-kin, while other papers list Mrs. F.W. Egerton of Newbliss, Ireland.
According to the 1911 census John came to Canada in 1906 and had been the school teacher in the Arrowhead school for most of that time. He had also had some military experience with the 88th Victoria Fusiliers. He lived as a boarder in a hotel run by the Lightbournes at Arrowhead.
John Robert Thompson signed his enlistment papers July 21, 1915 at Vernon. His regimental number was 463193. He was 35 years old, single, 6’ tall with light brown hair and blue eyes. His religious affiliation was Presbyterian. An interesting note reported in the local newspaper was that in the summer of 1915 there was only one unmarried male of military age living in Arrowhead. All the rest had joined up. Thompson left Halifax on the SS Baltic on March 20, 1916, arriving in England on April 11, 1916. He was promoted to Lance Corporal, but reverted to ranks at his own request.
John Robert Thompson died September 26, 1916 during the battle of the Somme. He was 36 years old. At the time of his death he was a Private serving with the 29th Battalion, Canadian Infantry (British Columbia) Regiment. His body was never found or identified and his name is memorialized on the Vimy Memorial.
The name of John R. Thompson is inscribed on the Courthouse and Cenotaph plaques under the Arrowhead listing.