Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: John Alexander Gunn (1878-1960)

Physician and surgeon.

Born at Stonewall on 29 July 1878, son of John Gunn and brother of Cecil H. Gunn, he received baccalaureate and MD degrees from the University of Manitoba and practiced medicine with R. J. Blanchard until 1914. During the First World War, he served with the CAMC, Officer Commanding No. 1, Canadian General Hospital at Etaples, France. He was twice mentioned in Dispatches, and was made a Commander of the Bath, and a member of the Order of the British Empire. Returning from overseas, he resumed his medical practice and, in 1921, was appointed Associate Professor of Clinical Surgery at the University of Manitoba. He was later Professor of Surgery, and Chief Surgeon at the Winnipeg General Hospital and St. Boniface Hospital. He was one of the original directors of the Medical Arts Building, and Chief Medical Officer for the Western Region of the Canadian Pacific Railway.

In 1920, he married Armorel Thomas in London, England. They had two sons: W. Bruce Gunn (husband of O’Dare Ronald, son-in-law of W. S. Ronald) and John Gunn. In 1925, the family lived at 265 Wellington Crescent, Winnipeg. He served as President of the Canadian Club of Winnipeg (1919-1920), President of the Manitoba Club (1945-1946), Vice-President of the Canadian Medical Association, and President of the Manitoba Medical Association (1919-1920). He was one of the organizers of the Corps of Commissionaires. He was a member of the Scientific Club of Winnipeg (1910-1960) and Elim Chapel.

He died at Winnipeg on 8 August 1960 and was buried in Elmwood Cemetery.


Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.

Canadian Expeditionary Force, Attestation Papers, Library and Archives Canada.

“Dr. John Alexander Gunn dies in hospital at 82,” Winnipeg Free Press, 9 August 1960, page 2.

We thank Nathan Kramer for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 15 September 2015

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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