Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthNovember 6, 1892
Place of BirthOrillia, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinJohn Folster, father, Westminster Jct, Westminster, BC
Trade / CallingExpressman
Service Details
Regimental Number645194
Service RecordLink to Service Record
Battalion1st Canadian Army Auxiliary Horse Transport Company
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Army Service Corps
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentVancouver, British Columbia
Address at Enlistmentc/o Dominion Express Company, Vancouver, BC
Date of EnlistmentJanuary 11, 1916
Age at Enlistment23
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathFebruary 8, 1964
Age at Death71

Folster, James Stewart

James Stewart Folster was born on 6 November 1892 in Orillia, Ontario. His father John Fraser Folster was from Birsay, Orkney in Scotland while his mother Margaret Linklater was from Sandwick, Orkney where the couple married on 11 February 1886. At the time of the marriage John was working as a road labourer in Birsay while Margaret was working as a domestic servant in Sandwick. By the time of the 1891 Canada census John and Margaret had immigrated to Canada and were living in Orillia where John was working as a railroad foreman. At some point after James’ birth the family moved to Shuniah, Algoma on the outskirts of present day Thunder Bay in northwestern Ontario where John was a railroad section foreman. John and Margaret later moved to British Columbia, settling in the Coquitlam area to work for the railroad.

By 1911 James was living in Kenora, Ontario. He was lodging at the local YMCA and working for the Dominion Express Company at the time of the census. While in Kenora he joined the 98th Regiment of the local Militia. Around 1913 James transferred to Vancouver, British Columbia with the Dominion Express Company.

James enlisted with the 158th Battalion in Vancouver on 11 January 1916. His occupation was given as Expressman and his father John of Westminster Junction, Westminster, BC as next of kin. Previous service was given as four years with the 98th Regiment. Based in Vancouver, the 158th Battalion unit began recruiting in late 1915. After arriving in England aboard the Olympic on 20 November 1916, the battalion was absorbed into the 1st Reserve Battalion on 6 January 1917. A short time later James was transferred to the Canadian Army Service Corps Training Depot at Shorncliffe. In early February 1917 he was taken on strength with the No 2 Company of the 5th Divisional Train, CASC. In March James was drafted for service overseas with the CASC, arriving at the Base Depot on the 19th and posted to the 1st Canadian Reserve Park as reinforcement. That May the designation was changed from Reserve Park to 1st Canadian Army Auxiliary Horse Transport Company. With the end of the war James returned to England in March of 1919 and embarked for Canada aboard the Belgic on 4 October. He was discharged from service on demobilization on 17 October 1919 at Vancouver, rank of Private.

On 18 February 1920, in Vancouver, James married Ruth Corneill (alternate spelling of surname Cornell). Born on 29 June 1896 in London, Ontario, Ruth was the daughter of John Corneill and Mary Jane (Jennie) Webb. Both from the Ekfrid area in Middlesex, Ontario, her parents had married in 1886 in London. The family farmed for awhile in Ekfrid before moving to Vancouver where John became manager of a milling company.

At the time of the 1921 census James and Ruth were living with her parents in Vancouver, James’ occupation given as Express Company foreman. He was to have a long career with the Dominion Express Company, the company becoming the Canadian Pacific Express Company in 1926. According to his later British Columbia death record, James retired in December of 1963. The couple had one known child, daughter Margaret who was born in 1927.

James died on 8 February 1964 at the Lions Gate Hospital in north Vancouver. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife Ruth and daughter Margaret. He was predeceased by his father John (1926) and mother Margaret (1951), both in British Columbia. Margaret later died on 15 July 1966 followed by Ruth on 22 November 1971. Disposition for all was by cremation, whereabouts of ashes unknown.

By Judy Stockham

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