Wednesday, 17 October 2018

James Wood: CWGC Beechwood

Born 7 September 1896 in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, Sapper James Wood, service No:2014172, of the Divisional Signal Training Depot, Lansdowne Park, died on 17 October 1918 at Ottawa's St Luke's Hospital. He had attested in Cleveland, Ohio, on 2 August 1918.

He had been assigned to go with the Siberian Expeditionary Force.

His grave reference is Lot G.36. Sec. 29 at Beechwood Cemetery.

1 comment:

Glenn W said...

Readers may wonder how and why James Wood attested in Cleveland, Ohio. As casualties mounted on the Western Front, the British government asked for and received permission from the US government to recruit British-born men in the States. Canada too was in desperate need of reinforcements and the Borden government was trying to avoid the inevitable – conscription. To encourage those in the States to join the colours, the British Canadian Recruiting Mission (BCRM) was created in the spring of 1917 and immediately established offices in dozens of American cities, held rallies, advertised and attracted thousands of potential recruits. Following a medical examination, the recruits were formed into small groups and sent to the nearest Canadian city such as Toronto or Montreal where they received a second medical examination and if found acceptable, attested in the CEF.
Canada, like the British, needed men who were willing to serve with the infantry battalions which suffered the most casualties. Men recruited in the United States (such as James Wood), however, were often given a choice as a means of securing them and many elected to serve in the Canadian Army Service Corps, the Canadian Medical Corps, the Forestry Corps, the Railway Troops and so on, but not in front line fighting units. Nonetheless, thousands were recruited by the BCRM before it was disbanded. There is a document on Wood's file clearly indicating that he was recruited by the BCRM. For interested researchers, lists of those recruited are available in what is known as Military District records at LAC, including lists of men who were not accepted following their second medical examination in Canada.