Monday, 23 August 2010

Private James Buckland Mawdsley

Born on 22 July 1894 in Sienna, Tuscany, Italy - next of kin listed as James Mawdsley, Estevan, Saskatchewan - at the time of his enlistment in 1915: trade as engineering student; single; currently a member of the McGill University Canadian Officers' Training Corps; previously served with the Estevan Cadet Corps; Church of England; height of 5 feet 8 inches; chest of 34.8 inches; dark complexion; grey eyes; black hair.

Joined the 38th Battalion, CEF, in Montreal, Quebec, on 12 April 1915 (number 411137) - transferred to Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry on 16 July 1915 - wounded on 29 December 1915 or 1 January 1916 - transferred to the Royal Air Force on 26 February 1917 in order to be commissioned - joined the Canadian Forestry Corps, CEF, in England as a Lieutenant on 28 March 1918.

Awarded the Member, Order of the British Empire.

(sources: Library and Archives Canada (, online attestation papers; Canadian War Museum, 19740281-001, Manu 58F 2 3, 207th Canadian Infantry Battalion and 38th Canadian Infantry Battalion, Nominal Roll; The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa Regimental Museum, A400-0007, Master Personnel List for the 38th Canadian Infantry Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force)


Glynis Dickinson said...

Thank you for this information. When Lieutenant Mawdesley was shot down on 22/7/1917, my husband's grandfather, John Wilbraham (912970, Loyal North Lancs) was the stretcher bearer who went out to rescue him. He was shot by a sniper and died instantly. We still have the letters from the 'Canadian Airman' sent to his wife and 3 small children in 1919. It is some consolation to know that JB Mawdesley went on to become an eminent professor of Geology at Saskatchewan and received the MBE. John's pal,the other stretcher bearer and the 2 officers who went out to perform the rescue in No Man's Land received medals too.

Unknown said...

After seeing the post from Glynis Dickinson I was absolutely gobsmacked. I have very recently started to research my grandfathers war record and have been trying to decipher a letter sent to him in 1918 by the aunt of Lt J B Mawdsley. I could not read the surname of the aunt properly but decided to take a punt at it being Mawdsley and entered Lt J B Mawdsley into Google.Imagine my surprise when I saw the post from Glynis. My grandfather was the other stretcher bearer, Johns pal, Frank Hayes (18861). He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.Lt Mawdsley had asked his aunt to write to my grandfather to thank him for helping to rescue him and to send a parcel for Christmas (1918) because my grandfather had been a POW. I always new the story about my grandfather being awarded the DCM for rescuing an airman and the other stretcher bearer being killed but I never knew his name and I never knew the airman was Canadian. It certainly helps me to understand references in the aunts letter to the Canadian Forestry Corp, the PPCLI and the fact that at the time of writing Lt Mawdsley was in Germany with the Victorious Army. One more spooky coincidence, my wife name is Glynis too.