Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthSeptember 4, 1888
Place of BirthRat Portage (Kenora), Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMrs C Shouldice, mother, Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingLabourer
Service Details
Regimental Number439581
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion52nd Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Date of EnlistmentJuly 26, 1915
Age at Enlistment26
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathMarch 5, 1955
Age at Death66
Buried AtBrookside Cemetery, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Shouldice, James Robert

James Robert Shouldice was born on 4  September 1888 in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora), Ontario. His father Joseph Shouldice was from the Gatineau River/Wakefield area of Quebec and had come west to Winnipeg in 1877 to work on CPR construction. His mother Christina Sutherland was from West River, Pictou County, Nova Scotia. The couple married on 21 May 1894 in Winnipeg and then settled in Rat Portage as Joseph became a captain/operator of steamboats on Lake of the Woods. Other children born to the couple were Arthur, Joseph, and Elizabeth Minnie.

Along with his brother Arthur, James enlisted on 26 July 1915 in Fort Frances, Ontario, occupation given as labourer. The 52nd (New Ontario) Battalion, CEF was raised in Northern Ontario  during the spring of  1915 with its mobilization headquarters at Port Arthur (Thunder Bay), Ontario. Recruiting took place during the spring and summer, drawing from Kenora, Fort Frances, Dryden, Port Arthur and Fort William. The battalion left Port Arthur 4 November 1915 for New Brunswick. On 23 November,  with the 52nd Battalion, the Shouldice brothers  embarked from St John aboard the  California. Once in England the battalion spent 6 weeks of training under British instructors at Witley Camp and then moved on to Bramshott for 2 more weeks. On 26 February 1916, the 52nd sailed from Southampton to La Havre, France, and then on to Belgium by train.

Along with his brother Arthur,  James’ first leave was granted in August of 1917 where  the two fellows were to spend  ten days in Paris. He was granted  a second leave in late October of 1918, fourteen days to the UK. On 17 March 1919 Privates James and Arthur Shouldice embarked from Southampton aboard the Olympic  on  their way back to Canada.

After the war  James worked as a fireman with the CPR in the Kenora District until moving to Winnipeg in 1928. From 1940 to 1944 he was a civilian employee at No 8 repair depot, RCAF station, Winnipeg and then for the next four years was with Drewery’s Ltd. He retired in 1948.

James’  parents had moved to Winnipeg in retirement. His mother passed away in 1937, and his father in 1938. Both are interred in Brookside Cemetery.  James’ brothers  Arthur and Joseph (who had signed his recruitment papers on 3 May 1918 in Port Arthur, Ontario)  returned safely from the war, although Arthur suffered poor health for the remainder of his life.  Arthur passed away in a military hospital in Toronto on 1 February 1936, leaving behind a wife and three children. Joseph married and raised his family in Kenora. He died on 7 July 1971 and is interred in the military section of Lake of  the Woods Cemetery in Kenora.

James died on 5 March 1955 in Winnipeg and is interred in the military section of Brookside Cemetery.

by Judy Stockham