Hahn Court

Hahn Court is named after James Emanual Hahn

James Emanuel Hahn

James Emanual Hahn

James E. Hahn who was a senior captain with the 27th Regiment, Sarnia, during the First World War. Because of his heroic actions, King George V invested Hahn with the Military Cross during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London, England, in 1917.

Hahn was born in New York city in 1892. His parents had emigrated from Germany to the United States and then moved to the New Hamburg area, then to Stratford in 1911. By 1913, he was assistant manager of the Stratford Brass Co. He was living in the family home at 219 Cambria St. when he signed up for service in the First World War.

In that war, Hahn was involved in most major battles and wounded more than once. He had an important role in military intelligence, which he wrote about in 1954 in his memoirs, For Action: The Autobiography of a Canadian Industrialist. He also authored The Intelligence Service within the Canadian Corps in 1930. 

 Hahn's involvement with intelligence operations began as the 1st Battalion was heading to Britain. Before leaving, he was transferred to military intelligence, and served in that capacity on the Western Front through to November 1918. He took part in all of the major battles of the Canadian Corps, with the exception of Vimy Ridge. At that time, he was recovering from a wound.

The first part of his autobiography is an account of the duties and experiences of the junior officers’ intelligence functions, and of the rise of a young officer through army staff appointments. By the end of the war, Hahn was a major.

In 1921, he married Dorothy McLagan, daughter of George McLagan, one of the city's most influential industrialists (see McLagan Drive). While living in Toronto, James owned a company called British Canadian Engineering Ltd. In 1937 he bought the John Inglis Company (which later became Whirlpool Canada). The Inglis was involved in munitions manufacturing in the Second World War, and became the largest manufacturer of Bren guns in the British Commonwealth. During that war, the company produced more than 12,000 Bren guns.

Hahn maintained his military connection and later in life, in Toronto, was a member of the Royal Canadian Military Institute. He died at his summer residence in New Brunswick in 1955.

* Source: Grade 10 history students from Stratford Northwestern Secondary School conducted research into the post-war lives of locals who returned from the First World War on disability pensions. See: Stratford Beacon Herald

Ten women at the John Inglis Co. plant, line up with Bren guns that they built, 1944. These guns went to Allied forces around the world. 

Residence: 219 Cambria St.