Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthJanuary 17, 1885
Place of BirthSouth Moulton, Devon
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinWilliam Lewis Shapland, (Father) Eagle River, Ontario
Trade / CallingFarmer
Service Details
Regimental Number820724
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion141st Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentEagle River, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentMay 13, 1916
Age at Enlistment31
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathDecember 31, 1979
Age at Death95
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

Shapland, James

James Shapland was born on 17 January 1885 in South Molton, Devonshire, England. His parents were William Lewis Shapland and Elizabeth Davies. Siblings included: William (b. 1880), Frank (b. 1883), Alice (b. 1887), Emma (b. 1889), Walter (b. 1892), Julia (b. 1894) and Minnie (b. 1897). His mother died in 1899. The 1901 England Census shows James working as a servant in the James Davis residence in South Molton.

At age 18,  in July 1903, James came to Canada aboard the ship Tunisian and stated he was heading for Beaverton, Ontario. His brother, Frank, also immigrated that year.  James started work as a fireman with the CPR in 1906. In 1907 his father and siblings Walter, Julia and Minnie arrived in Canada.  The 1911 Canadian Census shows the family living on a farm in the Dryden, Ontario area and James’ occupation is listed as ‘farmer’. On a neighbouring farm lived the Tyler family and James’ future wife, Mary.

On 13 May 1916 James enlisted with the 141st battalion in Dryden, Ontario. That summer he was granted ‘farm furlough’ from 13 May to 31 May and from 17 August to 28 October. In February of 1917 he was admitted to hospital in Port Arthur for a compound fracture of his radius. This injury healed and on 1 May 1917 James and his unit embarked from Halifax aboard the Metagama. When he arrived in England he was posted to the Canadian Forestry Corps in Sunningdale. On 6 September 1917 James was posted to the 74th Company of the CFC and sent to France. The following April he was transferred to No. 1 Independent Forestry Company in France. After a two week leave to England James rejoined his unit in France on 10 October 1918. He was granted permission to marry in January of 1919. James returned to England in April of 1919 and by 18 May 1919 he was on his way back to Canada aboard the S.S. Aquitania. He received his official discharge due to demobilization on 27 May 1919 in Toronto, Ontario.

James returned to north western Ontario and on 28 March 1921 he married Mary Irene Tyler in Eagle River. His occupation at this time was listed as farmer. In the 1921 Canadian Census James, Mary and his father William are shown living on a farm in the Machin district. James and Mary had six children: James, Everett, Wayne, Marion Eileen, Edna May and Eva Marie. The 1935 Voters List has the family still farming in Eagle River.  By 1949 they were living in Kenora and James was working for the railroad as an engineer. James retired from the railway in 1950 and became the caretaker at Southward School in Kenora. His father, William, died in 1951 and is buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora.

James and Mary continued to live at 363 8th Avenue South until his death at age 94 on 31 December 1979.  Mary died on 11 October 1987 and they are both buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora.

Shapland-James-10 Shapland-James-11 Shapland-James-12

« Back To Soldier Biographies