Source: 18th Battalion Nominal Roll, April 1915.
This man enlisted with the 18th Battalion, CEF in Strathroy, Ontario on January 11, 1915. He was married to a Mrs. Adelaide Parker. He served in Belgium until December 1915 and then was ill and never saw active service again. He was discharged from the CEF on January 11, 1919, in London, Ontario, exactly 4-years since his voluntary enlistment in the CEF.
Source: Operation Picture Me via The 18th Battalion Facebook Group. London Free Press Circa December 1915.
SNIPERS OF 18TH HAVE ACCOUNTED FOR 47 HUNS
Pte. James Parker Writes Interestingly to Rev. H.H. Bingham.
“HYDRO” CHARLIE FINCH[i] IN CHARGE OF SNIPERS.
Men if the 18th Are Cheerful Under All Circumstances—Want People To Write.
The Rev. H.H. Bingham has received a letter from Pte. James Parker, a sniper of the 18th Battalion, in which he says that they have accounted for 47 of the enemy. He also states that the boys of the 18th are getting used to life in the trenches and that their high spirits keep away the dark side of the war. His letter is as follows:
Somewhere in Belgium, Dec. 7, 1915.
Dear Friends: This evening, whilst having supper, I had a very pleasant surprise when the Canadian mail arrived and there was a parcel for me. I looked up in surprise when my name was called and when I saw it was from Talbot Street I did feel very grateful indeed, and it is a very sincere soldier that sends his thanks to you all. The parcel is indeed a wonder and one well receiving, the contents being very well chosen.
IN TICKLISH PLACES
Well. Dear friends, I am glad to say that up to the present Providence has taken good care of me and, although the 18th has not been taken part in any brilliant attack yet we have been in some very ticklish places. I myself am a sniper under Corp. C. Finch, who is a member of the Maitland Street Baptist Church, and, although I say it myself, we have done some good work. Company “C” snipers, to the number of six, having already accounted for 47 of the enemy. It is very interesting work indeed. As a battalion we are all getting accustomed to life in general on active service. But the weather is indeed a sore trial to us and it is a marvel that we are not all on the sick report.
SPIRIT OF THE MEN.
I think, though, it must be the spirit of the boys that keeps us up, for in the most trying circumstances there is always someone who has a strain of humor in him and will have something to say which will cause a general laugh. Well, there is one thing which I do regret and that is that I have not started a correspondence with some of the members. For the past week or two I have been trying to write to some of you, but have failed and so, if someone will kindly write to me, I will gladly answer all who write me, for it is the one enjoyment of a soldier on active service to receive letters and to write in reply. I know it is to me. And now I must draw to a close, I am glad to say Mrs. Parker and the two children are quite well and safe in England, at present staying with my people in Derbyshire. And now, thanking you again for your kind remembrance and wishing you all the very best of Christmas cheer and prosperity through the New Year, I will close with my best respects.
I remain, sincerely yours,
PTE. JAMES PARKER
54357, “C” Company, 18th Battalion, 2nd Canadian Division, B.E.F.
P.S.—Please remember, I will gladly answer any who care to write me. – J.P.
[i] “Hydro Charlie” Finch was Private, later Corporal and Sergeant Charles Edwin Finch, reg. no. 54290. This moniker was used in a London Free Press story entitled “HYDRO CHARLIE” QUITS BUSINESS AND GOES TO WARpublished on March 13, 1915. The reason for his name was his public support for the electrification plans of (Sir) Adam Beck. See his Soldier’s Page for a transcription of the story.