James Leo O'Connor



Jun 12, 1890

Born at Lonsdale Ontario

He lied about his age on being sworn into the CEF, claiming his birth date as being June 17, 1899.  The only reason I can see for this deception is to make him too young to enlist.  Unfortunately, the rouse did not work, as noted below, he was drafted into the service anyway


Oct 15, 1917

Medical performed under the MSA (Military Service Act) at Swift Current Saskatchewan, in preparation of being drafted into the CEF


Jan 11, 1918

Sworn into the 1st Depot Battalion, Eastern Ontario Regiment, CEF at Kingston Ontario as a draftee under the Military Service Act of 1917. 

Ø      Number 4020966

Ø      Next of kin given as Bartholomew O’Connor (father) of Lonsdale Ontario

Ø      Previous occupation given as Steele Construction Iron Work

Ø      No previous military experience given

Ø      Religion given as Roman Catholic 

There is a hand written note on the page that says “Not avail for draft 17-6-1918”.  However it is clear that this was ignored.


Jan 22, 1918

Embarked the HMT Scotian at St John New Brunswick


Note that the ship did not sail until January 27th.  It should also be noted that the ship was later renamed SS President Lincoln


Feb 6, 1918

Disembarked at Liverpool England and proceeded to the Seaford Camp 

TOS (Taken On Strength) the 7th Reserve Battalion at Seaford


Feb 15, 1918

Posted to the 6th Reserve Battalion at Seaford


Apr 25, 1918

Will made out leaving his estate to his father, Bartholomew O’Connor, at Lonsdale Ontario


Aug 9, 1918

Posted to the 21st Battalion 

Arrived at the CIBD (Canadian Infantry Base Depot) Havre France and TOS the 21st Battalion


Aug 15, 1918

Joined the 21st Battalion with a draft of 48 Other Ranks 

The 21st Battalion was in the front line trenches involved in some heavy fighting.  He joined the rear Echelon of the Battalion, which was at Cagny, behind the lines.  The Battalion was relieved from the front lines and joined up with the rear party on August 17th at Guillaucourt.  At that time he would have been assigned to one of the 4 Companies.


Oct 11, 1918          Killed in Action

Niagara Cemetery
Iwuy France


From the 21st Battalion War Diary for October 11, 1918


Jun 9, 1922

Beginning on this date, and on subsequent dates, the following were sent to his father, Bartholomew O’Connor at RR #1 Lonsdale Ontario 

British War Medal

Victory Medal

Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny)


In addition, the Memorial Cross was sent to his mother, Mrs B. O’Connor, at the same address 


Below is his home town of Lonsdale Ontario circa 1900

Below are his parents Barotholomew and Mary O'Connor

James was one of 11 siblings and below is a photo of his brother Eric (on left), his sister Caroline, a Nun, and another brother Ernest

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