James John Willis


Jul 14, 1880

Born at London England


Jan 10, 1916

Attested into the 155th Battalion at Madoc Ontario 

Ø     Number 636274

Ø     Next of kin given as Roseanna Willis (wife) of Madoc Ontario

Ø     Previous occupation given as Laborer

Ø     No previous military experience given

Ø     Religion given as Methodist


Oct 18, 1916

Embarked the SS Northland at Halifax Nova Scotia



Oct 28, 1916

Disembarked at Liverpool England and proceeded to the Bramshott Camp


Dec 5, 1916

SOS (Struck Off Strength) on transfer to the 21st Battalion


Dec 6, 1916

Arrived at CBD (Canadian Base Depot) at Havre France and TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion


Dec 26, 1916

Proceeded to join the 2nd Entrenching Battalion in the field


Dec 29, 1916

Arrived at 2nd Entrenching Battalion


Feb 22, 1917

Joined the 21st Battalion in the field 

The 21st Battalion was in Brigade Reserve in the Thelus France area, near Vimy Ridge


Sep 22, 1917

Granted 10 days leave


Oct 4, 1917

Rejoined Battalion from leave


Nov 3, 1917

Admitted to No 1 CFA (Canadian Field Ambulance) with a shrapnel wound to right forearm and shoulder and transferred to No 44 CCS (Casualty Clearing Station) 

The Battalion was in trenches near Crest Farm, in the Passchendaele area and were attacked by German Storm Troopers.  3 Officers were killed, 2 Officers wounded, 41 Other Ranks killed, and 89 Other Ranks were wounded


Nov 4, 1917

Transferred via No 16 AT (Ambulance Transport) to No 2 Australian General Hospital


Nov 9, 1917

Invalided to England aboard the Hospital Ship Princess Elizabeth



Nov 10, 1917

Admitted to Cambridge Military Hospital at Aldershot 

Posted to EORD (Eastern Ontario Regimental Depot) for pay purposes while in hospital


Nov 22, 1917

Transferred to CCH (Canadian Convalescent Hospital) at Bear Wood, Wokingham


Dec 31, 1917

Placed On Command to #3 CCD (Canadian Convalescent Depot)


Jan 18, 1918

Ceases to be On Command to #3 CCD


Jan 19, 1918

Transferred to #14 Canadian Hospital at Eastbourne


Feb 13, 1918

Discharged from #3 CCD Buxton on posting to EORD


Mar 6, 1918

Transferred to Granville Special Hospital at Buxton


Jul 30, 1918

On Command to #3 CCD Buxton


Aug 30, 1918

Ceases to be On Command to #3 CCD Buxton and placed On Command to 1st CDD (Canadian Discharge Depot) at Seaford


Sep 22, 1918

Ceases to be On Command to 1st CDD and is SOS to Canada 

Embarked the Llanstephen Castle at Liverpool



Oct 8, 1918

Disembarked at Montreal Quebec and proceeded to Kingston Ontario


Dec 3, 1918

Discharged from the CEF at Kingston Ontario 

Address on discharge – Madoc Township, Hastings County, Ontario


Aug 19, 1970



Burnbrae Presbyterian Church Cemetery
Seymour Twp, Northumberland Cty, ON



Above James is seen in the 1960s and notice that he still proudly wears his Class "A" War Service Badge


In James Willis' prized possessions was the Victory Medal above that was issued by the United States Army for WW1 service.  There is no indication that he served with them, so one can only assume that it belonged to a friend or relative.

Photos and information supplied by James' great granddaughter, Cathy Ruch, and reproduced here with her permission.

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