James Joseph McGinnis

Thank you to Bruce Kettles for providing the service file


Dec 19, 1895

Born in St. John, New Brunswick


Aug 4, 1915

Attested into the 55th Battalion in Sussex, New Brunswick

Ø      Number 445390

Ø      Next of kin given as Miss Minnie Buckley, friend, City Line, St. John, New Brunswick

Ø      Previous occupation given as Labourer

Ø      No previous military experience given

Ø      Assigned to “D” Company

Private McGinnis proceeded to Valcartier, Quebec to join the battalion for training


Oct 30, 1915

Embarked the RMS Corsican in Montreal, Quebec


Nov 9, 1915

Disembarked in Devonport, England and the battalion proceeded to Bramshott to continue training


Apr 23, 1916

Transferred to the 21st Battalion


Apr 24, 1916

Arrived at the CBD (Canadian Base Depot) in the Rouelles Camp, Havre, France as part of a draft of 853 reinforcements from England, and TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion


May 13, 1916

Left the CBD to join the battalion


May 15, 1916

Joined the 21st Battalion in the “B” Camp, near Poperinge, Belgium.  The battalion had just come out of the front line at the St. Eloi Craters.


Sep 15, 1916

During the advance on a German strong point in a sugar refinery at Courcelette, Private McGinnis received shrapnel wounds to his groin and shoulder and was removed first to the field ambulance for first aid, then to the Casualty Clearing Station for further treatment.


Sep 16, 1916

Transferred to the Military Hospital in Etaples where x-rays were taken and surgery was performed to remove the shrapnel


Sep 19, 1916

Invalided to England aboard the Hospital Ship Stad Antwerpen

Posted to the CCAC (Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre) while in hospital


Sep 20, 1916

Admitted to the No. 1 Northern General Hospital, Newcastle-on-Tyne


Oct 9, 1916

Transferred to the Convalescent Hospital


Nov 28, 1916

Transferred to the King’s Canadian Red Cross Hospital, Bushey Park


Dec 4, 1916

Discharged to the CCAC from hospital


Dec 9, 1916

On Command to the CCD (Canadian Convalescent Depot) at St. Leonard’s Hospital to undergo PT (Physical Training) and rehabilitation


Feb 18, 1917

Re-admitted to the Canadian Military Hospital in Hastings with a new diagnosis that reads Epilepsy.

On admission he reported that he had epileptic seizures in January of 1913 and in October of 1915.  In each case, he was unconscious for approximately 30 minutes and friends reported that for the period of unconsciousness, he kicked and twisted about.


Mar 1, 1917

Discharged to duty from hospital


Mar 10, 1917

Attached to the EORD (Eastern Ontario Regimental Depot)


Mar 15, 1917

Transferred to the 6th Reserve Battalion, Seaford


May 17, 1917

Transferred to the 21st Battalion


May 18, 1917

Arrived at the No. 2 CIBD (Canadian Infantry Base Depot) in Etaples, and TOS the 21st Battalion


Jun 1, 1917

Left the CIBD to join the 2nd Entrenching Battalion


Jun 4, 1917

Joined the 2nd Entrenching Battalion in Hersin


Jun 12, 1917

Joined the 21st Battalion in billets in Coupigny


Jan 31, 1918

Granted 14 days leave


Feb 15, 1918

Rejoined the battalion from leave


Mar 4, 1918

While the battalion was in the front line trenches near Lens, the German Army carried out a large, desperate, last chance raid along the 2nd Division’s front.  During some of the most severe fighting of the war, Private McGinnis was killed and subsequently buried in the Aix-Noulette Communal Cemetery in the Pas de Calais region of France.

Following the war the British War Medal and Victory Medal were sent to his friend, Miss Minnie Buckley, 483 City Line, St. John West, New Brunswick.

The Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny) and Scroll were sent to his father, James McGinnis, Malden, Massachusetts, USA

There was no Memorial Cross issued


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