James Henry Douglas



Feb 11, 1897

Born in Point Edward, Ontario


Jan 18, 1915

Attested into the 34th Battalion in Sarnia, Ontario

Ø      Number 402725

Ø      Next of kin given as Mrs. Rachel Douglas, foster mother, Petrolia, Ontario

Ø      Previous occupation given as Labourer

Ø      Previous military experience given as 27th Regiment, Canadian Militia for 4 months

Ø      Religion given as Church of England


Aug 17, 1915

Embarked the SS Hesperian in Montreal, Quebec as part of the battalion’s 2nd Reinforcing Draft


Aug 28, 1915

Disembarked in Liverpool, England

Private Douglas continued his training in England with the 9th Reserve Battalion


Feb 3, 1916

Posted to the 21st Battalion


Feb 5, 1916

Arrived at the CBD (Canadian Base Depot) in the Rouelles Camp, Havre, France and TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion.

As short time later he joined the 21st Battalion at the front


Feb 17, 1916 Joined the 21st Battalion in the N & O trenches near Voormezeele, Belgium

Sep 15, 1916

During the fighting on the Somme, the 21st Battalion was given the task of taking a German strong point in a sugar refinery near Courcelette.  This was the first time the battalion had made an attack with tanks and they encountered severe German resistance.  Private Douglas was killed in this action.  He was first reported as Missing in Action, but it was later determined that he had been killed. 

His body was never recovered from the battlefield and as a result, he is honoured on the walls of the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, Vimy Ridge, France.

Following the war the British War Medal, Victory Medal, Plaque (Dead Man's Penny) and Scroll were sent to his foster mother, Mrs. Rachel Douglas, Kirby St., Petrolia, Ontario.  There was no Memoiral Cross issued.  His 2 medals are shown below with the permission of the owner.  


Private Douglas is also honoured on the Petrolia, Ontario War Memorial

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