Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthSeptember 19, 1890
Place of BirthStrichen, Aberdeenshire
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinJames Anderson Kinghorn (father), Monymusk, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Trade / CallingBaker
Service Details
Regimental Number439081
Service RecordLink to Service Record
Battalion7th Battalion, Canadian Engineers
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Engineers
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentJanuary 18, 1915
Age at Enlistment24
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathAugust 12, 1970
Age at Death79
Buried AtMount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto, Ontario
PlotPlot H, Lot 554

Kinghorn, James Anderson

Sapper James Anderson Kinghorn enlisted in January 1915 and served overseas for three and a half years, most of that time with the Canadian Engineers. He returned to Canada in March 1919.

James was the only son of James Anderson Kinghorn Sr. and Elizabeth Gray of Monymusk, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. He was born on 19 September 1890 in Strichen, a small village about 50 km north of the city of Aberdeen. When he was still a baby his parents moved to Monymusk. He had a sister Elizabeth, born in Monymusk, who was about two years younger than him. Their father was a journeyman baker and James also became a baker.

James immigrated to Canada when he was about 20 years old. The war started in August 1914 and he enlisted on 18 January 1915, when recruits were being raised for a third overseas contingent. He was living in Kenora, Ontario at the time and working as a baker. The local lads were briefly attached to the 44th Battalion but they were transferred to the 52nd (New Ontario) Battalion when it was organized in mid-March. The 52nd was based in Port Arthur and the Kenora volunteers were sent there in June to join the rest of the unit. While they were training the 1st Canadian Division was fighting in France and Belgium. Men were needed to replace casualties in front line combat units and battalions in Canada were asked to send reinforcements. James was sent to England with the 2nd Reinforcing Draft in September 1915, one of 250 men from the 52nd Battalion. He embarked from Montreal on 4 September on the SS Missanabie and arrived in England nine days later.

James was posted to the 12th Reserve Battalion and he trained with them for the next five months. He was transferred to the Canadian Engineers Training Depot on 5 February 1916. That same month a new unit was organized, the 7th Field Company, Canadian Engineers. James was assigned to the new company and in early April they were sent to France. Work done by field companies included mining, wiring, tunnelling, railway and road work, constructing water systems, and building and repairing trenches and dugouts. The Canadians were at the Somme Offensive that fall and over the winter of 1916-17 they held a section of the front line near Arras, across from Vimy. They fought at the battles of Vimy Ridge in April 1917 and Hill 70 in August. James had ten days leave in October and he rejoined his unit just as the Battle of Passchendaele was starting.

The Canadians spent the winter back in the Lens-Arras sector. In the spring of 1918 the engineer units were reorganized and James’ company was absorbed by the 7th Battalion, Canadian Engineers. The Canadians were heavily involved in the final months of the war, starting with the Battle of Amiens (8-11 August 1918). Later in August they were moved north and the engineers played a crucial role in crossing the Canal du Nord. The Canadians continued to advance past Cambrai toward Valenciennes and the Belgian border. James had two weeks leave in the UK starting on 31 October and while he was away the Armistice was signed. He rejoined his unit in Belgium in late November and they stayed there for another ten weeks.

The 7th Battalion arrived in Le Havre, France on 12 February 1919 and sailed for England three days later. James spent a month in the UK before embarking for Canada on the SS Cretic on 17 March. He landed at Halifax and he was discharged on demobilization on 28 March in Toronto. He was married in Toronto five days later, on 2 April. His wife, Jane McCredie, was born in Scotland in 1888. Her parents were John and Isabel McCredie and she was the youngest in a large family. She had immigrated to Canada in 1911 with her sister Jessie.

James and his wife made their home in Toronto, where he had a long career as a baker. They had two sons, Kenneth Alexander and James Anderson Jr. James Jr became a baker like his father and grandfather. Kenneth served in the Canadian army during the Second World War and worked for IBM for many years.

James passed away in Penetanguishene General Hospital on 12 August 1970, a month before his 80th birthday. He was survived by his wife Jane, their two sons and his sister Elizabeth Cameron in Aberdeen, Scotland. Jane died in 1982, at age 93, and Kenneth passed away in 1994. James, Jane, Kenneth and his wife Betty are buried in the family plot at Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Toronto.

By Becky Johnson

52nd-1915-01-20 52nd-1915-02-13 52nd-1915-06-16 Kinghorn-James-90 Kinghorn-James-91

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