Willshaw, James: Service no. 454471

Digitized Service Record

Source: Peterborough Examiner. August 27, 1917. Page 7.


Willshaw, James: Service no. 454471. Contributed by BW.

Into Plowshares

“Todays lessons are filled with yesterday’s pain.”  – mcilwain
I stare in disbelief as the stalwarts of our youth                                                                                                                                                               are wasted upon the bloodied fields of battle
sacrificed for the pleasure of a few
sadistic, detestable oppressors feeding like
frenzied sharks to satisfy their prodigious
and insidious desires to rationalize and justify
their own abhorrent existence,
men of little or no moral fabric
content only for the gratification of self,
apathetically turning a blind eye to the irreprehensible pain
and misfortunes of the innocent as they
impose their needless and self-indulgent wars
arrogantly upon the suffering souls of virtuous
and peace loving peoples,
bodies broken and torn
treated as chattel in long enduring and unnecessary battles for
these despots and their unquenchable
malicious and rancorous egos,
left to the ravages of a hellish brutality
simple people of peace
driven to their raw bloodied knees,
raped of any semblance of human dignity,
lonely, afraid, subjected to the beguiling hands of a satanic regime,
dying needlessly, sacrificing their precious lives
on muddied fields of pain without a coherent
and plausible understanding
as to the reasons and meanings
of these wasteful and inane wars.

So please, good people of peace, pray,
pray with humility and moral intent
and call upon God’s grace
to lead you on a peaceful and righteous quest,
a quest worthy of the fight
to eradicate the tyranny of
oppression and misuses of power upon the
conciliatory masses that meekly seek
to exist and coexist in peace
wishing only to beat their swords into plowshares,
their spears into pruninghooks, and
never again to learn war.    Amen.                                                              

Peterborough Examiner. Circa 1914-1918. Contributed by family member. Note the James Willshaw served with the 18th and the other soldiers were brothers. Ptes. G.T. and R. Willshaw served with the CEF and Pte. G. Willshaw served with the BEF.
Pte Jas Willshar Peterborough Examiner August 27 1917 Page 7
Peterborough Examiner. August 27, 1917. Page 7.

Summary of Service[i] for Private James Willshaw, reg. no. 454471.

July 11, 1890BornClapton, London, England.
July 4, 1915EnlistsEnlists with the 59th Battalion at Peterborough, Ontario. He is married to Rose Willshaw, and at 25-years of age is working as a spinner. He is 5’ 6” tall, a chest size of 37” with an expansion of 3”. He has a dark complexion, brown eyes, and dark brown hair.   He has one year of experience with the 57th Regiment, “D” Company serving in the militia.
July 1916Separation AllowanceSeparation allowance of $20.00 allotted to his wife Rose, residing at 180 Edinburgh Street, Peterborough, Ontario.
September 1916Forfeits PayForfeits 1 day’s pay. No reason given.
February 26, 1916Completes “Particulars of Family of an Officer or Man Enlisted in the C.E.F.This form shows that his wife, Rose, is living at 213 Dublin Street, Peterborough, Ontario. He has one boy, James, aged 4 years, and Rose, aged 2 years. His father, George, is alive and so is his mother, Louisa and they both live at 640 Union Street, Peterborough. He has life insurance with the Prudential Life Insurance Company.
March 1916Assigns PayAssigns pay 0f $15.00 per month to his wife, Rose.
April 5, 1916Embarks EnglandLeaves Halifax, Nova Scotia this date.
April 11, 1916Arrives EnglandArrives Liverpool this date.
July 6, 1916TransferredTransferred to the 39th Battalion, West Sandling, Kent.
August 27, 1916DraftedDrafted into service with the 18th Battalion.
August 28, 1918ArrivesArrives at the Canadian Base Depot, Etaples, France.
September 16, 1916ArrivesArrives in the field with the 18th Battalion at the Somme the day after the fateful attack on Courcelette.
September 25, 1916AdmittedAdmitted to No. 3 CFA for infection, left elbow. Transferred to No. 10 CFA.
November 12, 1916AttachedAttached with 4th Field Company, Canadian Engineers.
October 9, 1916AdmittedAdmitted to No. 9 CFA for PUO. Discharged to duty same day.
December 23, 1916Rejoins 18thCeases to be attached to 4th Field Company, Canadian Engineers.
August 1, 1917Wounded 
August 18, 1917AdmittedAdmitted to No. 6 or 7 CCS for GSW, left thigh.
August 18, 1917AdmittedAdmitted No. 22 General Hospital, Camiers, France.
August 22, 1917TransportedTransported from France to England aboard the AT Princess Elizabeth.
August 23, 1917Admitted and PostedAdmitted 4th Southern General Hospital, Plymouth, England. Also posted to WORD.
September 13, 1917AdmittedAdmitted to Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Bear Wood, Wakingham, Berkshire.
November 9, 1917AdmittedAdmitted to Convalescent Hospital, Woodcote Park, Epsom. It is noted that he has a GWS superficial, left thigh.
November 10, 1917Treatment AssignedAssigned massage for 3 weeks.
November 30, 1917DischargedDischarged to 4th Reserve Battalion, Bramshott.
May 26, 1918AdmittedCanadian Specialty Hospital, Witley.
July 29, 1918Discharged 
November 16, 1918PostedPosted to the 18th Battalion and proceeded overseas to join unit.
November 17, 1918ArrivesArrives Canadian Infantry Base Depot.
November 22, 1918LeavesLeaves for CCRC
December 26, 1918ReturnsReturns England and is assigned WORD Witley Camp.
December 22, 1918Medical Exam on DischargeMedical exam carried out this date at Etaples, France. He stands 5’ 6.25” tall and weighs 168 lbs.
January 21, 1919On CommandOn Command with CC Camp, Witley.
January 23, 1919Dental ExamNo extractions. No apparent defects with teeth. At Kinmel Park, North Wales.
February 10, 1919Embarks for Canada 
February 27, 1919TOSTOS with Casualty Company, No. 3 District Depot. Given subsistence leave from February 25 to March 10, 1919.
March 14, 1919DischargedDischarged at Kingston, Ontario.
UnknownDate, Place and BurialUnknown.


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
CFACanadian 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

[i] The Summary of Service for this soldier is meant as just that, a summary of his service. It is not intended to be an exhaustive biographical relation of his life or his war service. Some information may be deliberately suppressed by the author out of sensitivity to the soldier. Readers are encouraged to reference the actual service records available at the Library and Archives Canada in PDF format if they wish to learn more about this soldier. Such additional information (i.e. hyperlinks etc.) are for informational purpose only and no claim to verification or accuracy is made by the author of this summary.

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