Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthAugust 3, 1887
Place of BirthHolloway, London
Marital Statusmarried
Next of KinIrene Elizabeth Hayward, wife, Macrorie, Saskatchewan
Trade / CallingSection Foreman
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number472752
Service RecordLink to Service Record
Battalion46th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentSaskatoon, Saskatchewan
Address at EnlistmentMacrorie, Saskatchewan
Date of EnlistmentDecember 6, 1915
Age at Enlistment28
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathOctober 11, 1943
Age at Death56
Buried AtBrookside Cemetery, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Hayward, James

James Hayward was born on 3 August 1887 in the Holloway area of London, England. His father George James Hayward was from Tidworth in Hampshire while his mother Sabina Hale was from Monchton in Wiltshire. The couple had married in 1887 in Islington, London with George listed as a widower on the marriage registration. Sabina, while working as a domestic servant, had previously given birth to son Leonard Stallibrass Hale in 1883 in Ore, Sussex, Leonard later assuming the Hayward surname. Known children born to James and Sabina were James, Nora (1890), Isabel (1891), Lucy (1895), and Eva (1896). Over the years George worked as a gas stoker/fireman at a gas works. For the 1891 and 1901 censuses the family was living in the Tottenham district of London. Hard times befell the family and by the 1911 census George was residing in the Edmonton Union Workhouse while Sabina was living with Leonard and family in the St Pancras area of London. Nora had married John Charles Greenwood in early 1911 and her sisters Isabel and Eva were living with her for the 1911 census, John having immigrated to Canada. Sadly Lucy had died in 1895.

During the last quarter of 1910, James married Irene Elizabeth Wood in London. Born in 1888 in the Islington registration district of London, Irene was the daughter of Herbert Wood, a postman, and Elizabeth Pursell. The couple had married in 1886.

James immigrated to Canada in early 1911, arriving in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the Empress of Britain on 18 February. Occupation gives as labourer, he was on his way to Zealandia in Saskatchewan. Irene arrived in Quebec, Canada aboard the Corsican on 12 October of that year. Eventually other family members also immigrated, Nora and husband as well as Isabel in 1911, James’ parents and sister Eva in December of 1912, all on their way to Saskatchewan.

James signed his attestation papers on 6 December 1915 in Saskatoon. At the time he was living in Macrorie, a small town about 125 kilometres south of Saskatoon where he was working as a section foreman. His date of birth was given as 3 August 1888 and his next of kin as his wife Irene in Macrorie. With rank of Lance Corporal, with the 65th Battalion James embarked for England aboard the Empress of Britain on 18 June 1916.

Once in England James was transferred to the 46th Battalion and arrived in France in August. In early September he was promoted to Corporal. The 46th Battalion has come to be known as “The Suicide Battalion”. It lost 1433 killed and 3484 wounded – a casualty rate of 91.5 percent in 27 months. During 1917 James was admitted to a number of field ambulances and hospitals, suffering from diarrhoea, myalgia, trench fever, shell shock, and neurasthenia. In his service record James said that he had been blown up twice by exploding shells. He was invalided sick to England in May of 1917 and then on to Canada. James was discharged from service as medically unfit on 31 December 1917 in Regina.

Leonard Hayward had enlisted early in the war and as a Private with the 1st Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment he died in London on 9 December 1914 of wounds sustained in France. Nora’s husband John Charles Greenwood also enlisted with the 65th Battalion and he too was transferred to the 46th Battalion once in England. He was reported as killed in action on 15 October 1916 and is commemorated on the Vimy Memorial.

James and Irene gave birth to five known children: Stanley James (1912 Zealandia), Herbert Charles (1915 Macrorie), George (1918 Macrorie), Hilda May (1921 Eatonia) and Dorene (1923).

Not a lot is known about James’ life after the war. Daughter Hilda’s later marriage record gave her place of birth in 1921 as Eatonia, Saskatchewan and a notation in James’ record indicated that he was living in the St James area of Winnipeg in 1922. At some point the family moved to Minaki, a village about 55 kilometres north of Kenora in northwestern Ontario where by most accounts daughter Dorene was born in 1923. A 1940 Voters list for Minaki listed James as an army pensioner with sons Stanley and George working as fire rangers.

James died on 11 October 1943 in Deer Lodge Hospital in Winnipeg. His death was attributed to his service in the war, with the Memorial (Silver) Cross medal despatched to his widow Irene in Minaki. Irene later died on 3 March 1969 in Winnipeg.

James was predeceased by his father George (1927, Wiseton, Saskatchewan), mother Sabina (Saskatchewan), siblings Lucy and Leonard. Siblings later deaths were Eva (Olaf) Storvold (1944, Milden Hospital near Wiseton, Saskatchewan), Isabel (Joseph) Kilford (1957, interred Fiske Cemetery in Saskatchewan), and Nora (George) Yerex (1962, Trail, BC). James and Irene’s children’s deaths were Hilda (Lawrence) Haden in 1961 in Calgary, Herbert in 1971 in Sioux Lookout, Ontario, Stanley James 1989 in Winnipeg, George in 2000 in Calgary, and Dorene (Roy) Pattie in 2016 in Winnipeg.

James and Irene are interred in Brookside Cemetery in Winnipeg.

By Judy Thorburn

Grave marker photograph by Bocephus,

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