James William Allan Lieutenant (Canloan) 165

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Personnel Entry

Lt William Allan JAMES
Lt William Allan JAMES

Name James William Allan
Army number CDN 165.
Rank Lieutenant (Canloan).
Decorations M.C. Gazetted posthumously 19/10/1944.
Date of birth 23/12/1912.
Age 34 at the time of his death.
Unit Enlisted Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps 3/3/1942. Officer Cadet Training School. Commissioned as 2/Lt pending promulgation 12/6/1943. Appointed Lt with Royal Winnipeg Rifles 21/8/1943. Royal Canadian Infantry Corps, CANLOAN, Embarked for UK 6/4/1944. Disembarked UK 23/4/1944. Attached to The Durham Light Infantry 25/4/1944. Posted to the 11th Battalion DLI. Served Normandy. Wounded 27th/28th June 1944. KILLED in ACTION 1/7/1944 with 11th Battalion The Durham Light Infantry.
Company/Battery Not yet ascertained.
Platoon or other sub-unit Not yet ascertained.
Task or role Platoon Commander.
Joined Brigade 25/4/1944.
Promotions A/Corporal 20/5/1942. A/Sgt - Officer Cadet - 17/3/1943. 2/Lt 12/6/1943. Lt 21/8/1943.
Wounded 28/6/1944 in the area of Rauray.
Prisoner of War
Died/Killed in action 01-Jul-44. Lt James' body was initially interred at Rauray - map reference 7F/1 885654 and then reburied on 1/7/1945 - the first anniversary of his death - in Grave I. A. 12. Hottot-les-Bagues War Cemetery. His headstone inscription reads "WHILE HE LIES IN PEACEFUL SLEEP HIS MEMORY WE SHALL ALWAYS KEEP".
Home address Son of Alan and Mabel Hagerman James, husband of Olive Elizabeth James, Grosse Isle, Manitoba.
Source table 11DLI

Unfortunately, Lt James, just like the other CANLOAN Officers who died serving with The Durham Light Infantry, is not included on the DLI Roll of Honour in Durham Cathedral. It is not yet clear why these men were so omitted, whereas those from other British Regiments were included.

His headstone is pictured below:-

CWGC Headstone - Lt William Allan JAMES M.C.

It is not clear exactly when Lt JAMES was wounded. No specific mention is made in the Battalion War Diary of his injuries, nor of the specific attack in which his wounding took place. However, a document found in the Durham County Record Office, written by the Battalion Commander, indicates that he was wounded in the initial attack on Rauray.

His Gallantry Citation describes his being shot in the head, and then wounded again on 28th June, whereas his Canadian Army Service Record - very kindly supplied by his family - indicates his initial wounding occurred on 27th June.

His Military Cross Citation, confirmed by the personal evidence of Captain J B Nicholson, indicates that he returned immediately to duty, after having had his wounds dressed, and continued leading his Platoon. He was Killed in Action a few days later on 1st July, when leading a Patrol - a fact again confirmed in 2014 by Captain Nicholson. The War Diary, unfortunately, is of no help in providing corroborative evidence as, unusually, he is not mentioned by name amongst the Officer casualties.

Grateful thanks are hereby recorded to Tim Nicholson for gathering the relevant information from Captain Nicholson, and to the Find a Grave Website for access to the images.