John Gerbig was born on October 4th, 1887 in Berlin (Kitchener), Ontario to Conrad and Catherine Gerbig. John’s father worked as a night watchman at a local Sugar Factory. While John’s father Conrad was a Lutheran of German heritage, John’s mother Catherine was a Roman Catholic immigrant from Germany and she raised John and his older sister Ida in the Catholic Church. Ida married a man named Theodore Schmidt and they had a son named Gordon in 1908 and another named Roy in 1912. Following Catherine’s death, the family moved in with Ida and Theodore. John worked as a painter while Theodore worked as a machinist.
Just after his 27th birthday, on October 28th, 1914 John enlisted for the Canadian Expeditionary Force in Galt (Cambridge). He fought for the 18th Battalion as an infantry soldier in Belgium. Five days before Christmas in 1915 John was killed in action in Ridgewood. Private John Gerbig is buried at the Ridge Wood Military Cemetery West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.
Service number: 53918
“Ridge Wood Military Cemetery,” Commonwealth War Graves Commission, accessed March 21, 2015, http://www.cwgc.org/find-a-cemetery/cemetery/51100/RIDGE%20WOOD%20MILITARY%20CEMETERY