Sunday, April 26, 2009

Lieut. James Kay (1888-1917) - Part 4

1. Lieut. James Kay
2. Lieut. James Kay (1888-1917) - Update
3. Lieut. James Kay (1888-1917) - Part 3

On July 22, 1915 James enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Force and was sent to England where he was later posted with the 5th Canadian Siege Battery – Canadian Garrison Artillery. While he was in England, he sent a postcard home to his mother, dated January 16, 1916. It reads:

“Haven’t heard from you for a long time – what’s up? Still in England. Expecting to move any time. Weather gorgeous. Have hired cycle. Don’t mind staying here. Jim”

I’m not sure when James’ unit was finally shipped out, but having found the War Diaries of WWI at Library and Archives Canada, the 5th Canadian Siege Battery were in Poiziers (France?) in October 1916. By July 1917 they were in Angres. These diaries give a day to day account of everything that occurred. Although these are very interesting to read, my goal was to see if there was an account of when James died. Since I knew he died on July 28, 1917, I quickly scanned the diaries until I found that day. I found the page that I was looking for and this is what was written:

“28-7-17: The Battery Position was shelled today with H.E. Lieut. J. Kay was seriously wounded and died on way to Dressing Station. 346828 Cpl. H. Sheldon was also wounded.”

Lieut. James Kay was commissioned from the ranks and laid to rest at Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery in Souchez, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France. He was posthumously awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. A Memorial Plaque and letter from Buckingham Palace were sent to his mother, Elizabeth, after his death.

Online memorials have been set up for those who died during WWI and James’s memorials can be found here, here and here.

“All Gave Some
And Some Gave All”

Rest In Peace Uncle James.

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