John Ross Stewart

These images represent family life during the First World War and what the world was like at that time.

These pictures are donated by the family of John E. Stewart, Hamilton, Ontario. They depict family life during the First World War and what the world looked like during that time - telephones and cars were new technology, children dressed as sailors, identity cards were introduced, families signed books dedicating them to their young children. Songbooks were published with uplifting lyrics for the war effort, and nurses and soldiers looked so very young. Most of these pictures show a belief that this war was to end all wars.

John Edmund Stewart (1913-1988) kept hundreds of photos of his father and grandfather's family and life in Canada. Born in Hamilton, Ontario, just at the beginning of WWI, his father was John Ross Stewart and his mother was Lillian Henrietta Stewart.

John Ross Stewart was a prominent figure in theatrical circles for many years. Born in Toronto, John Ross Stewart began his career with A.J. Small, theatrical magnate (who later famously disappeared with $1 million of the theatre's money, never to return). In 1902 Mr. Stewart moved to London, Ontario, where he was treasurer of the Grand Opera House in that city and subsequently moved to Ottawa before coming to Hamilton. Entertainment was an important part of keeping up moral during the war years. From 1907 to 1934 he owned or operated various theatres in Hamilton. He was manager of Bennett’s Theatre, and later treasurer of the Grand Opera House, and for some years afterward went into the theatrical business for himself and was proprietor of The Unique on Market Square, The Imperial situated on King St. E., The Lyric and The Royal Theatres.

He belonged to Half Century Lodge, Knights of Pythias and died in 1934.

Do you have an ancestor who served in the Great War? Submit their story and it could be included on this Great War Album website.