DIVISIONAL UNIT: 1st Canadian Infantry Division
2nd Infantry Brigade
8th Battalion - 90th Rifles (Royal Winnipeg Rifles)
Canadian Infantry Corps
SERVICE NO: 53737
DATE OF BIRTH: May 13, 1893
Folkestone - England
DATE OF DEATH: August 29, 1918 25 years 3 months
MEMORIAL: Vimy Memorial – Vimy
Pas de Calais - France
PARENTS: Mr. & Mrs. William Spearpoint – Folkstone – England
WIFE: Mrs. Fannie L. Holt – Chapel Hill – Dover – England
SISTER: Miss A. W. Spearpoint – Seaforth - Ontario
Occupation: Farmer Religion: Presbyterian
Enlistment: November 2, 1914 – Clinton into 18th Battalion
Enlistment Age: 21 years 5 months
James came to Canada in 1908 as a Home Child to the Gibbs Home in Sherbrooke, Quebec. Eventually, he found his way to Clinton and was a farmer prior to his enlistment.
He boarded the SS Grampian and departed Halifax on April 18, 1915 arriving in England on April 29, 1915. He transfers to 18th Battalion and goes into France on September 14, 1915. He is hospitalized on November 13, 1915 with chronic fatique, loss of memory, dizziness and he is weak. He is sent to England. On July 11, 1916 a Medical Board states that he is nervous, emanciated, has dizziness and weakness. He is told he is fit for Base Duty. He asks for permission and receives permission to wed and he is married on August 16, 1916. Another Medical Board on January 2, 1917 lists his present condition as a disability and it is noted he has defective heart action The next Medical Board stated there is nothing wrong with him and is fit for duty and he goes to the 4th Reserve Battalion, then to the 18th Battalion and goes into France, to Canadian Base Depot and then transfers to 8th Battalion and joins them in the field on August 15, 1918.
On August 29th a line is drawn from the Sensee River as an outpost line with the main resistance line west of the Sensee in Quarry Trench anmd other local trenches. When the 2nd Brigade relieved the 4th Brigade both flanks were exposed and posts were established to protect them. Between 10:30 – 11:15 am the enemy shelled the reserve lines with high explosive shells and Blue Cross Gas. Then about noon 20 enemy aircraft flew over the battalion using their machine guns on the men in the trenches. During the night of August 29th the battalion established more outpost positions
There were forty-one casualties during this day and one of those was Private Spearpoint.