HEMSWORTH, James Spencer

1st World War
Date of Birth
Date Attested
Attested at
Brussels, Ontario
Regimental Number
Date of Death
Age at Death
20 years 9 months
Biographical Summary

DIVISIONAL UNIT:        3rd Canadian Infantry Division
                                             9th Infantry Brigade
                                             58th Battalion  -  Central Ontario
                                             Canadian Infantry Corps
SERVICE NO:                   127218
RESIDENCE:                    Brussels – Ontario 
DATE OF BIRTH:            August 30, 1895
                                             Ethel – Grey Township – County of Huron - Ontario
DATE OF DEATH:           June 13, 1916                       20 years     9 months.
MEMORIAL:                    Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial – Ieper –
                                             West Vlaanderen – Belgium
                                             Panels 18-24 & Panels 26-30
MEMORIAL CROSS:      Sanctuary Wood – Ypres – 
                                             West Vlaanderen – Belgium 
                                             Memorial Cross No. 9 – Row M   
MEMORIAL PLOT:         No. 6 – Perth China Wall Cemetery – Zillabeke – 
                                             West Vlaanderen - Belgium
PARENTS                          Mr. Joseph and Lucy Hemsworth – Earl Grey – Saskatchewan
Occupation:                        Painter                                  Religion:     Presbyterian
Enlistment:                         October 1, 1915 - Brussels
Enlistment Age:                 20 years     1 month

Private Hemsworth departed from the port of Montreal on November 20, 1915 onboard the S.S. Metagama and he arrived in Liverpool on November 30, 1915.
In late January of 1916 he had leg cramps and was admitted into the Moore Barracks Hospital at Shorncliffe - Kent. He had rheumatism involving his ankle / shoulder. He had pain in his leg and chest anteriorly, pleuro-dynia in both wrists that showed evidence of chronic eczema.  He was always feeling weak, was anemic and was easily fatigued.
In the early part of June 1916, he transferred to the 58th Battalion and proceeded overseas to France arriving at the Canadian Base Depot and then on to his unit which was already in the field on June 9, 1916.
Private Hemsworth was performing his military duties with his unit at La Coulette when he lost his life in action. He was killed instantly from the explosion of an enemy high explosive shell. He was in the front line trenches at Sanctuary Wood just prior to an upcoming advance. He was on the front lines for only 4 days before losing his life.
On the day he paid the supreme sacrifice the weather was cool and rainy with winds out of the south-east.
The Battalion had the task of advancing up Gourock Hill, Road and Vigo Streets, Bydand Avenue and Durham Lane plus Warrington Avenue with the intention of taking back the old front line. The Battalion advanced at 1:30 am and the advance was a success.
The Battalion could not advance on Bydand Avenue as it was all blown in and they were under heavy enemy artillery fire.
The Battalion encountered extreme enemy artillery fire here and along with strong enemy resistance members of the Battalion were almost wipred out from heavy casualties.
The enemy then retaliated with their heavy artillery onto the old front lines and communications trenches and Maple Copse now occupied by the Battalion