Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Manitoba's WWI Fallen: Private James Allen Mason of Cardale

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, I am working on a series of blog posts and radio shows that will look at 100 Manitobans who died in action. For more about this project and links to other posts, follow this link.

Mason was born in Cardale, Manitoba on May 1, 1897, one of five children of Charles and Emily Mason. His father was an experienced soldier, having fought in the Fenian Raids while in Ontario and in the Red River Rebellion.

A month after his eighteenth birthday, James enlisted in Brandon with the 45th Infantry Battalion: Manitoba Regiment. His occupation at the time was a farm hand.

Before the Battle of Vimy Ridge, he was transferred to the 52nd Infantry Battalion: New Ontario Regiment. He died in that battle on October 1916. He is commemorated by the Vimy Memorial, Pas de Calais, France and his name is on the Oak River, Manitoba war memorial.

At lest one other sibling, Walter, served. He survived.

Cardale School ca 1916 (source)

James may have lied about his age at the time he enlisted. Both the Canadian Virtual War Memorial and Canadian Great War Project note his death at the age of 17, not 19 as it should have been if he was born in 1897. (I cannot find a birth record for that name at the Manitoba Vital Statistics database to confirm his year of birth.)

Remembrance - James Allen Mason The Ginger Genie
Is Charles Mason a Genealogical Connection? The Ginger Genie

Attestation papers Library and Archives Canada
Virtual War Memorial entry Veterans' Affairs Canada
Canadian Great War Project entry

Commonwealth War Graves Commission entry
52nd Battalion.com

This soldier's history has been pieced together using a number of sources. If you have additional information or would like to point out a factual error, please do so in the comments below or by email at cassidy-at-mts.net.
© Christian Cassidy 2014


Unknown said...

I just found this Christian (Nov. 24, 2014). Thank you for posting. I can't tell you how meaningful it is to find ancestors name in print. What a wonderful tribute. Many, many thanks.

kweisner said...

It seems as if many of the boys gave their birth year as 1897, my Great Uncle George Harold Martin included. #425055 enlisted in Newdale. In one of his letters from active duty in France
he states ironically that he would soon be old enough to join the army.