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Memorable Manitobans: John Beresford Allan (1841-1927)

Click to enlargeSoldier, police officer, MLA (1883-1886), businessman.

Born at Armagh, Ireland, his family emigrated to Canada when he was a boy and lived at Montreal. He joined the Victoria Rifles and served in the American Civil War until 1864. He was involved in repelling the Fenian Raids of Eastern Canada in 1866. In 1870 he volunteered for service as a member of the Wolseley Expedition to the Red River Settlement, remaining there afterwards. In 1874 he joined the North West Mounted Police and was stationed at Fort Walsh. He saw active service during the 1885 North West Rebellion. While serving at Duck Lake in May 1897, his arm was broken by a gunshot. Around that time, he inherited a fortune and retired from the police force. He moved to Winnipeg where he speculated in land, becoming President of the Canadian West Land Company.

He was a charter member of the AF & AM (Prince Rupert’s Lodge), President of the Old Timers’ Association of Winnipeg, and honorary member of the Army and Navy Association of Winnipeg. He 1883, he was elected to the Manitoba Legislature. He died at Vancouver, British Columbia on 9 October 1927 and was buried at Burnaby.


A History of Manitoba: Its Resources and People by Prof. George Bryce, Toronto: The Canadian History Company, 1906.

Death registration, BC Vital Statistics.

“Col. Jack Allan dies at home in Vancouver” Newspaper clipping dated 11 October 1927. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B8]

Members of the Legislative Assembly (Deceased), Legislative Assembly of Manitoba.

Page revised: 13 September 2009

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