James Henry McDermott
Served as Harry James McDermott

Thank you to Bruce Kettles for providing the service file


Oct 12, 1890

Born in Ingersoll, Ontario to Henry and Catherine Kate “Margaret” (nee Dunn)


Jan 28, 1916

Attested into the 168th Battalion in Ingersoll, Ontario 

Ø      Number 675398

Ø      Next of kin given as Mrs. Kate McDermott, mother, RR #3, Ingersoll, Ontario

Ø      Previous occupation given as Farmer

Ø      No previous military experience given

Ø      Religion given as Roman Catholic

The battalion initially trained in London, Ontario, but moved to Camp Borden, near Barrie, to continue training.


Apr 12, 1916

Granted leave to go home and work on his farm


May 12, 1916

Rejoined the battalion from leave


Oct 30, 1916

Embarked the SS Lapland in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Nov 11, 1916

Disembarked in Liverpool, England and the battalion proceeded to West Sandling to continue training.


Dec 4, 1916

Admitted to the Moore Barracks Military Hospital, Shorncliffe, diagnosed with Measles, and placed in isolation


Dec 5, 1916

Transferred to the 39th Reserve Battalion at West Sandling while in hospital


Dec 20, 1916

Discharged to duty from hospital


Jan 4, 1917

Transferred to the newly formed 6th Reserve Battalion at Shorncliffe

Feb 1, 1917

Transferred to the 21st Battalion


Feb 2, 1917

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


Feb 21, 1917

Left the CBD to join the 2nd Entrenching Battalion


Feb 24, 1917

Joined the 2nd Entrenching Battalion in Hersin as part of a draft of 68 reinforcements destined to join the 21st Battalion


Mar 5, 1917

Left the 2nd Entrenching Battalion and joined the 21st Battalion in billets in Bois des Alleux as part of the Divisional Reserve


Aug 17, 1917

Proceeded on a course of instruction, the type and location is not recorded in the file


Nov 10, 1917

During the fierce fighting at Passchendaele, Private McDermott had both of his legs blown off by the explosion of an artillery shell and was removed to a field ambulance for first aid, then transferred to the No. 1 CCS (Casualty Clearing Station) for treatment.  He succumbed to his injuries at about 5 pm that same day and was buried in the Wieltje Cemetery, located just outside the town of Ypres.  Post war, the cemetery was renamed the Oxford Road Cemetery.

Following the war the British War Medal, Victory Medal and Memorial Cross were sent to his mother, Mrs. Kate McDermott, RR #3, Ingersoll, Ontario

The Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny) and Scroll were sent to his father, Henry McDermott, at the same address


Private McDermott is honoured on the War Memorial in Ingersoll, Ontario

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