Souter, James Place: Service no. 56 (Military Medal)


Digitized Service Record


Source: Per record of promotion for Palmer, Hubert Walter: Service no. 845102.


Niagara Cemetery

In Niagara Cemetery, Iwuy, France, is the Commonwealth War Grave of 56 Corporal James Place Souter, M.M., serving with the 18th Battalion Canadian Infantry who died 11/10/1918.

Jean Longstaff has submitted the following:-

Born in East Witton, North Yorkshire on 19th April 1893, by the time he was six years old James was being looked after by his widowed grandmother Jean Souter, and having left the farm where he was born, they were living in Temperance Street, West Hartlepool along with Jean’s sons James, Albert, John and Ernest.

James and his grandmother arrived in Canada on the Empress of Britain on 13th May 1911 to join family already living in Toronto and they settled on Hiawatha Street, and James found work as a carpenter.

On 7th December James Souter enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force in Toronto, becoming Private 56 in the Canadian Army Service Corps, with whom he had already served. He left Canada on 19th April 1915 sailing with the CASC on board the SS Metagama and on arrival in England was posted to camp at Dibgate, Folkestone, Kent where he was placed on transport duty. Admitted to the tent hospital on Salisbury Plain in August, he was then transferred to Barnwell Military Hospital in Cambridge where he was treated for gonorrhoea. Discharged to light duties in December he was posted to the 1st Cavalry Brigade Supply Column.

October 1916 saw Private Souter apply for a transfer to a fighting unit and he was transferred to the 18th Battalion (Western Ontario) Canadian Infantry, joining them on 10th November in Brigade Reserve at Calonne before moving onto the front line a month later. In July 1917 his grandmother, to whom he had assigned his pay, died in Toronto and his pay was then passed on to his sister.

James remained with the 18th Battalion, taking his leave in England where he became engaged to a Hartlepool girl, Minnie Walker. In June 1918 he was appointed Corporal, replacing a colleague who had been transferred to the Machine Gun Corps. On 10th/11th October the Battalion, as part of the 2nd Canadian Division, took part in the attack on the town of Iwuy, a battle that lost the battalion seven officers and 167 men, one of whom was Corporal James Souter.

It was for his duty in this action at Corporal Souter was posthumously awarded the Military Medal. He had made out his will in favour of his fiancée just three days previously.

James Place Souter is remembered in Hartlepool on H115.30 page 42 and in West Hartlepool on W111.54 and W111.86 page 35

In Canada he is remembered on their Virtual War Memorial and in their Book of Remembrance


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