James Sutherland Waters

May 28, 1884

Born in Caithness, Scotland to William and Margaret (nee Sutherland) Waters


Aug 19, 1905

Embarked the SS Pretorian in Glasgow, Scotland


The ship’s manifest lists his occupation as Cycle Builder


Aug 28, 1905

Disembarked in Montreal, Quebec and proceeded to Toronto, Ontario


Sep 19, 1906

Married to Janette Robertson in Toronto, Ontario

His occupation is noted as Gardiner


Nov 7, 1914

Attested into the 21st Battalion CEF in Kingston, Ontario

Ø  Number 60030 (temporary number 934)

Ø  Next of kin given as Margaret Waters, mother, Barrock St., Caithness, Thurso, Scotland

o   There is a note in the file to also notify Mrs. J.S. Waters, wife, 56 Alexander St., Toronto, Ontario

Ø  Previous occupation given as Mechanic

Ø  Previous military experience given as 15th Regiment, Argyll Light Infantry, Canadian Militia

Ø  Religion given as Presbyterian

Ø  Posted to “H” Company

o   This was later reorganized into “D” Company

The battalion trained in the Kingston area through the winter with headquarters in the Kingston Armouries


Apr 3, 1915

Fined $5.00 for an unrecorded offence


Apr 12, 1915

Sentenced to 5 days detention for an unrecorded offence


May 6, 1915

Embarked the RMS Metagama in Montreal, Quebec


May 15, 1915

Disembarked in Devonport, England and the battalion proceeded to the West Sandling Camp, near Hythe, Kent to continue training


Jul 18, 1915

Reported to be AWL (Absent Without Leave)


Jul 22, 1915

Reported for duty and forfeited 4 day’s pay and restricted to half pay for 1 month as punishment for his absence


Aug 7, 1915

James Waters participated in a Cricket match in Folkestone.  The 21st Battalion lost the match by 63 runs and Waters failed to score a run.


Aug 14, 1915

Reported to be AWL


Aug 29, 1915

Reported for duty and sentenced to 16 days detention, forfeited 16 day’s pay and restricted to half pay for 2 months as punishment for his absence.  Posted to the Depot Company while in detention


Sep 9, 1915

Posted to “C” Company


Sep 14, 1915

Embarked the St. Seiriol in Folkestone


Sep 15, 1915

Disembarked in Boulogne, France and the battalion proceeded to St. Omer


Oct 26, 1915

Absent from 2 parades and sentenced to 5 days Field Punishment #2 while the battalion was in billets in Ridgewood, Belgium


Jan 7, 1916

Attached to the 250th Tunnelling Company for duty


Jan 8, 1916

Admitted to the No. 5 CFA (Canadian Field Ambulance) with a diagnosis that reads Influenza.  He was transferred the same day to the Divisional Rest Station in Godewaersvelde, France


Jan 13, 1916

Discharged to duty from the rest station


Apr 10, 1916

Attached to the 2nd Canadian Tunnelling Company for duty


May 21, 1916

Reported to be AWL at 2 pm after being told that he would be going out on a work party that night


May 23, 1916

Arrested and held in custody to await Court Martial


Jun 2, 1916

Found guilty of being AWL and sentenced to 3 months in Hard Labour and forfeited 3 day’s pay.  The 3 month sentence was suspended the same date


Jun 19, 1916

Placed under arrest and charged with

Ø  Breaking arrest

Ø  Forcibly trying to escape

Ø  Using abusive language to an NCO


Jun 20, 1916

Admitted to the No. 4 Canadian Field Ambulance with a diagnosis that reads DAH (Disordered Activity of the Heart)


Jun 21, 1916

Transferred to the No. 3 CCS (Casualty Clearing Station) for further treatment


Jun 27, 1916

Discharged to duty from the casualty clearing station and placed in custody again to await trial


Jul 3, 1916

Field General Courts Martial found him not guilty of the first 2 charges, but guilty of the 3rd charge of “Using abusive language to an NCO” and sentenced him to 28 days Field Punishment #1


Jul 7, 1916

Ceased to be attached to the tunnelling company


Sep 18, 1916

Promoted to the rank of Corporal to replace Cpl DC Stewart 59914, who had been invalided to England


Oct 28, 1916

Appointed to the rank of Lance Sergeant to replace L/Sgt Hoddinott 59470 who had been promoted


Nov 26, 1916

Granted 10 days leave


Dec 19, 1916

Rejoined the battalion from leave


Jan 28, 1917

Promoted to the rank of Sergeant to replace Sgt Blackburn 59070, who had proceeded to England


May 9, 1917

While the 21st Battalion was in the front line at the railway embankment east of Vimy Ridge, the Germans opened up an artillery barrage that killed or wounded 52 men of the battalion.  Sergeant James Sutherland Waters was one of those killed during this action.  His identifiable body was never recovered from the battlefield and his name is listed on the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, Vimy Ridge, France for those killed during the war in France and have no known grave.


Following the war, the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal, Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny), Scroll and Memorial Cross were sent to his widow, Mrs. Janet R. Waters, 62 Dupont St., Toronto, Ontario

A second Memorial Cross was sent to his mother, Mrs. Margaret Waters, Barrock St., Thurso, Scotland


James Waters is honoured on the war memorial in Caithness, Scotland



 He is also honoured on the war memorial in Belleville, Ontario

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