The People

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These are the stories of Kenora participants in the First World War.

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  • Hill, James Aitken Image
  • Hill, James Aitken

  • James Aitken Sturgeon Hill was born Feb 13, 1896 in Thornhill, Dumfries-shire, Scotland, the son of Thomas Hill and Jessie (née Sturgeon). Soon after James’ birth the family moved to Glasgow where James’ sister Janet was born in 1898.

    The family lived in Glasgow until 1911. They emigrated to Canada that year, going first to Saskatchewan then settling Keewatin, Ontario in 1915 where a second son, Robert was born.

    James Hill enlisted during the earlier recruiting drive for the 94th battalion which had begun in November 1915. He signed his attestation papers on Dec. 14 that year, giving his occupation as labourer. Two weeks later his father, Thomas Hill, also enlisted in the 94th.

    The 94th Battalion men trained in Kenora, Port Arthur and Valcartier, Quebec before sailing for England in July of 1916. Once there, the battalion was broken up for replacement troops and both James and Thomas were assigned to the 17th Reserve Battalion on July 13, 1916. They were then transferred to the 43rd (Manitoba) Battalion, Winnipeg-based, the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada, fighting in France.

    On May 21, 1917, James was on duty with his company east of La Chaudiere, France, walking along a sunken road, when according to his CEF burial record, “he apparently trod upon or kicked a German rifle grenade which exploded.”

    Severally injured by shrapnel from the exploding grenade James Hill was taken to No. 7 Casualty Clearing Station where he died shortly afterwards.

    His death was deemed “accidental”.

    James Hill is buried at the Noeux-les-Mines Community Cemetery, in the Pas de Calais region of France, in Plot I.S. 17. Commonwealth forces (in succession to the French Army) used the cemetery for burials from July 1915 to December 1918, mostly for soldiers who died at nearby casualty stations or field ambulance units. It holds the graves of 1,284 Commonwealth soldiers.

    His mother, Jessie Hill, with both her husband and grown son overseas, had returned to Scotland and was informed of her son’s death in Glasgow.

    James’ father was wounded later in 1917 while fighting in the Somme, but survived the war, passing away Feb. 28, 1948 in Keewatin, Ontario.

    by Bob Stewart

    Kenora Miner and News 25 December 1915

    Kenora Miner and News 25 December 1915

    Kenora Miner and News 27 May 1916

    Kenora Miner and News 27 May 1916

    Kenora Miner and News 23 May 1917

    Kenora Miner and News 23 May 1917

    Kenora Miner and News 9 August 1919

    Kenora Miner and News 9 August 1919

    For King and Country

    For King and Country

    Lake of the Woods Milling Company

    Lake of the Woods Milling Company

    Keewatin Cenotaph

    Keewatin Cenotaph

    Keewatin Cenotaph

    Keewatin Cenotaph

  • Regimental Number:
  • 198475
  • Service Record:
  • Link to Service Record
  • Survived War:
  • No
  • Force:
  • Army
  • Branch:
  • Canadian Infantry
  • Battalion:
  • 43rd Battalion
  • Place of Birth:
  • Thornhill
  • Country:
  • Scotland
  • Next of Kin:
  • Mother: Mrs. Jessie Hill - Keewatin, Ontario
  • Address at Enlistment:
  • Keewatin, Ontario
  • Date of Birth:
  • February 13, 1896
  • Trade or Calling:
  • Labourer
  • Marital Status:
  • Single
  • Place of Enlistment:
  • Kenora, Ontario
  • Date of Enlistment:
  • December 14, 1915
  • Age at Enlistment:
  • 19
  • Religion:
  • Presbyterian
  • Enlisted or Conscripted:
  • Enlisted
  • Saw Service In:
  • Europe
  • Date of Death:
  • May 21, 1917
  • Age at Death:
  • 21
  • Buried at:
  • Noeux-Les-Mines Communal Cemetery, France
  • Plot:
  • I. S. 17.
  • Prisoner of War:
  • No
  • James Aitken Sturgeon Hill was born Feb 13, 1896 in Thornhill, Dumfries-shire, Scotland, the son of Thomas Hill and Jessie (née Sturgeon). Soon after James’ birth the family moved to Glasgow where James’ sister Janet was born in 1898.

    The family lived in Glasgow until 1911. They emigrated to Canada that year, going first to Saskatchewan then settling Keewatin, Ontario in 1915 where a second son, Robert was born.

    James Hill enlisted during the earlier recruiting drive for the 94th battalion which had begun in November 1915. He signed his attestation papers on Dec. 14 that year, giving his occupation as labourer. Two weeks later his father, Thomas Hill, also enlisted in the 94th.

    The 94th Battalion men trained in Kenora, Port Arthur and Valcartier, Quebec before sailing for England in July of 1916. Once there, the battalion was broken up for replacement troops and both James and Thomas were assigned to the 17th Reserve Battalion on July 13, 1916. They were then transferred to the 43rd (Manitoba) Battalion, Winnipeg-based, the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada, fighting in France.

    On May 21, 1917, James was on duty with his company east of La Chaudiere, France, walking along a sunken road, when according to his CEF burial record, “he apparently trod upon or kicked a German rifle grenade which exploded.”

    Severally injured by shrapnel from the exploding grenade James Hill was taken to No. 7 Casualty Clearing Station where he died shortly afterwards.

    His death was deemed “accidental”.

    James Hill is buried at the Noeux-les-Mines Community Cemetery, in the Pas de Calais region of France, in Plot I.S. 17. Commonwealth forces (in succession to the French Army) used the cemetery for burials from July 1915 to December 1918, mostly for soldiers who died at nearby casualty stations or field ambulance units. It holds the graves of 1,284 Commonwealth soldiers.

    His mother, Jessie Hill, with both her husband and grown son overseas, had returned to Scotland and was informed of her son’s death in Glasgow.

    James’ father was wounded later in 1917 while fighting in the Somme, but survived the war, passing away Feb. 28, 1948 in Keewatin, Ontario.

    by Bob Stewart

    Kenora Miner and News 25 December 1915

    Kenora Miner and News 25 December 1915

    Kenora Miner and News 27 May 1916

    Kenora Miner and News 27 May 1916

    Kenora Miner and News 23 May 1917

    Kenora Miner and News 23 May 1917

    Kenora Miner and News 9 August 1919

    Kenora Miner and News 9 August 1919

    For King and Country

    For King and Country

    Lake of the Woods Milling Company

    Lake of the Woods Milling Company

    Keewatin Cenotaph

    Keewatin Cenotaph

    Keewatin Cenotaph

    Keewatin Cenotaph

  • « Return to all stories
  • Hill, James Aitken Image
  • Regimental Number:
  • 198475
  • Force:
  • Army
  • Battalion:
  • 43rd Battalion
  • Place of Birth:
  • Thornhill
  • Next of Kin:
  • Mother: Mrs. Jessie Hill - Keewatin, Ontario
  • Date of Birth:
  • February 13, 1896
  • Survived War:
  • No
  • Branch:
  • Canadian Infantry
  • Country:
  • Scotland
  • Address at Enlistment:
  • Keewatin, Ontario
  • Trade or Calling:
  • Labourer
  • Marital Status:
  • Single
  • Place of Enlistment:
  • Kenora, Ontario
  • Date of Enlistment:
  • December 14, 1915
  • Age at Enlistment:
  • 19
  • Religion:
  • Presbyterian
  • Enlisted or Conscripted:
  • Enlisted
  • Saw Service In:
  • Europe
  • Date of Death:
  • May 21, 1917
  • Age at Death:
  • 21
  • Buried at:
  • Noeux-Les-Mines Communal Cemetery, France
  • Plot:
  • I. S. 17.
  • Prisoner of War:
  • No
  • Hill, James Aitken

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