Armstrong, James: Service no. 159663


Digitized Service Record

Source: Court martial database at LAC.


Summary of Service for Private James Armstrong, reg. no. 159663

October 10, 1887BornBorn at Paisley, Scotland.
December 28, 1915EnlistsEnlists with the 81st Battalion at St. Catharines, Ontario. He is 28-year-old labourer standing 5’5” tall. He has prior militia experience and lists Mrs. Robert Whyte, his sister, as his next-of-kin. She resides in Thorold, Ontario.
January 1, 1916Confined to BarracksCB for 2-days per DO #16.
March 15, 1916CBCB for 3-days per DO #57.
April 28, 1916Unit Leaves for EnglandUnit to sail for England aboard the SS Olympic from Halifax, Nova Scotia.
May 1, 1916Unit SailsUnit leaves Halifax.
May 6, 1916Unit ArrivesUnit arrives Liverpool and unit goes to West Sandling Camp.
June 18, 1916Completes WillHe assigns all his personal possessions to his sister.
June 20, 1916TransferredTransferred to 18th Battalion.
June 29, 1916ArrivesArrives Etaples, France at the Canadian Base Depot.
July 12, 1916Proceeds to Join Unit 
July 14, 1916ArrivesArrives at the 18th Battalion in the field. The Battalion is a Quebec Camp in Ypres, and the War Diary relates on that day:   “Battalion parade for Pay. LIEUTs. E.R.V. LLYOD and H.D. DUNNETT proceeded on leave. CAPT. C.H. EMERY takes over duties of paymaster. 2 o.r.s. admitted to hospital.”
September 18, 1916AppointedAppointed Lance-Corporal as C. Allan, reg. no. 54273 promoted to Corporal.
April 9, 1917PromotedPromoted Corporal as Lance-Sergeant E.W. Sifton killed in action.
May 3, 1917Special RemittanceSpecial remittance of $100.00 to his sister. He has not assigned any pay to a recipient.
October 12, 1917Granted LeaveGranted 10-day’s leave to England.
November 10, 19117Killed in ActionKilled in action at Passchendaele.   The War Diary relates for the dates spanning from the 9th to 12th the following:   “During the whole of this tour the Officers and men held this part of the line under the most severe conditions possible. Great difficulty was experienced in the evacuating of casualties from the front line to R.A.P.s and dressing stations. Front line trenches were subjected to frequent barrages and the rear country [area] was also heavily shelled and bombed. The supports on this front were reached by a series of tracks, being trench mat walks, and rations had to be carried by mules up these tracks. Each track being subjected to continual shellfire, the transport and ration parties were fortunate in escaping with the loss of 3 men killed and 1 mule which fell off the duckboard track and owing to the depth of the mud had to be shot. Splendid work was done by the Battalion Stretcher bearers in tending and evacuating the wounded.”   He is commemorated at the Menin Gate on Panel 10-26-28 along with 51 other members of the 18th Battalion.
1920/1921Medals and DecorationsMedals and Decorations sent to his sister, Mrs. Robert Whyte of Box 647, Thorold, Ontario. Victory Medal, plaque and scroll despatched.


AWLAbsent Without Leave: Generally, a soldier would be deducted 1-days pay for every day absent. In some cases, the soldier would be confined to barracks. Sometimes it was a combination of both.
A ClassificationMedical Board Classification that determined your fitness for duty. A1, A2, A3 and A4 were assigned to different units with the expectation that these men would be able to serve with active combat units. See this link for more information.
B ClassificationMedical Board Classification that determined your fitness for duty. B1, B2, and B3 were assigned to different service units such as railway and forestry corps. See this link for more information.
D ClassificationSee this link for more information.
CAMCCanadian Army Medical Corp
CBConfined to Barracks: a punishment for minor infractions.
CCDCasualty Convalescent Depot: a depot at a base where men, in their final stages of convalescing, would be prepared for duty depending on their rating.
CCHCasualty Clearing Hospital
CCRCCanadian Corps Reserve Camp
CCSCasualty Clearing Station: this facility was attached to rail transportation from the front to hospitals on the coast of France
CDCCanadian Dispatch Camp
CFACanadian Field Ambulance/Canadian Field Artillery. Most common usage would be Canadian Field Ambulance.
DAHDisorderly Action of the Heart
DRSDivisional Rest Station
GSWGun Shot Wound – this was a generic term for all projectile penetrating wounds.
In the FieldThis term relates to a soldier arriving at an active-duty unit after transporting from England, to France, and then to his duty assignment. The routing varied from soldier to soldier and could take 2-3 days to several months.
MDMilitary District
PUOPyrexia of Unknown Origin: This was a term used for any illness that could not clearly be identified and typically was related to influenza symptoms.
SOSStruck Off Strength
TOSTaken On Strength
CAMCCanadian Army Medical Corp
CCHCasualty Clearing Hospital
CFACanadian Field Ambulance
DRSDivisional Rest Station
GSWGun Shot Wound – this was a generic term for all projectile penetrating wounds.
MDMilitary District
PUOPyrexia of Unknown Origin
SOSStruck Off Strength
TOSTaken On Strength
WORDWestern Ontario Regimental Depot
Promoted after Lance-Sergeant Sifton, V.C., killed.
Promoted after Lance-Sergeant Sifton, V.C., killed.
“Killed in Action”

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