Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthApril 13, 1879
Place of BirthTadworth, Surrey
Marital StatusMarried
Next of Kinwife, Annie Reeves of Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingBaker
Service Details
Regimental Number151182
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion79th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentSeptember 21, 1915
Age at Enlistment36
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJune 22, 1930
Age at Death51
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario
Plot31E - 30 -2

Reeves, James George

James George Reeves was born to Jonathan and Sarah Ann Reeves on April 13, 1880 in Tadworth, Surrey, England. In the 1891 U.K. census, his mother was 59, father 54 and there were several siblings: Frances Elizabeth (30), William Jonathan (21), Ada (20), Thomas (15), James George himself (12), and Herbert Edgar (9).

In the first quarter of 1901 James married Mary Ann Billings in Epsom, Surrey, England. On the 1901 census he is shown as the head of the house and living with him were his wife, his sister Ada, his brother Herbert and several boarders. James was working as a baker. In August of 1905 a son, William, was born followed by another son, Albert J. in March of 1907.

James immigrated to Canada arriving on 17 March 1907. He was headed for Winnipeg, but when Mary Ann and sons William and Albert followed in August 1907 they joined James in Kenora. Sadly, baby Albert died just 3 months later. The 1911 Canadian census shows two more sons added to the Reeves family; Harold Robert (b. 24 September 1908) and Ralph George (b. 26 February 1911). James was employed as a baker in a bake shop.

When he enlisted with the 79th Battalion in Brandon, Manitoba on 21 September 1915, James was already 36 years of age. He listed as experience that he had spent two years with the 7th Royal Fusiliers in England. He was assigned the rank of Lance Corporal. James embarked to England on board the R.M.S. Lapland on April 24th 1916, arriving on May 5th. He was sent to a training depot in Shorncliffe. In November, a statement on his forms stated: ‘reverts to permanent grade of private at his own request.’ He would retain this rank until February 1919, when he was promoted to Corporal.

In December 1916 he was slated to join the Service Corps in Havre. ┬áHe was assigned to the CASC- Canadian Army Service Corps, which provided a support element for the Canadian divisions overseas. One of the elements would have been a field bakery, which James’ previous experience would have made him well fitted for. In February, 1917 he was sent to Boulogne, then in March posted to the #4 Field Canadian Field Bakery as reinforcement.

During his time in France, James had two leaves to the U.K., the first in December 1917, and the second in December 1918. He was also awarded the Good Conduct badge in September 1917.

In March 1919, James was finally returned to England, having been discharged from the 28th Battalion in France. He arrived in Port Arthur on June 4th, 1919, and from there returned to Kenora.

In the 1921 census, James was living in Rideout area of Kenora with two sons, William (16) and Harold (12). No mention is made of his wife, or the youngest son Ralph.

By 1930, when he died, James and his wife had been living in Vernon B.C. for two years. The article in the Kenora Daily Miner and News, notes that he had been employed at Jackson’s Bakery for 17 years and was a member of the Masonic and Orange Lodges. He left to mourn him his wife and two sons, William and Harold (of Kenora). James is buried in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora as is his youngest son Ralph (1911-1923).

by Penny Beal

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