following is from a page 1 article in the 21 Nov 1918 issue of the Simcoe Reformer newspaper.
-- Son of Mr. Robert Craig, formerly of Simcoe, was
reported killed in action in last week's Reformer.
enlisted and went overseas with the 133rd Battalion.
going to France he joined the 4th Battalion.
The following letter
from his platoon commander has been received by the family
of the dead soldier.
22 Oct 1918
Friend, -- It is with great sorrow that I write to advise
you of the death of your son, James, on
20 Oct 1918.
He was in No. 15
Platoon, of which I am in charge, and all his comrades
thought so highly of his bravery and skill in war. I always
found him a capable and very efficient soldier, and regret
his death sincerely, as your son was so cool and reliable,
and very brave.
It was a very
unfortunate business that your son was killed and three
others wounded by one shell. Our company was in battalion
reserve and was moving up when a shell burst close
to us, hitting four of my boys.
I was about 10 yards from
him and immediately went back to see if he could be carried
out, but death was before me. A piece of shrapnel hit him
over the heart and death was instantaneous.
This occurred on the
outskirts of Hanson, on the right bank of the River Scarpe,
on the 20th day of October, and he was buried in Hanson
Cemetery on the 21st of October, along with some other
Fourth Battalion boys. There was a nice quiet church burial
service read by the chaplain, and a number of your late
son's friends were in attendance with me. The Fourth
Battalion will erect
a cross to the memory of its heroes
killed in action.
My brother officers
and men join with me in extending to you our heartfelt
sympathy in your great loss and trust God will make your
load easy and help to lighten your burden.
If I can be of any
further assistance, please consider my services at your
A. B. Harris, Lieut.,
4th Canadian Bn.
lightly edited partial transcription of the Items of Local
Interest column on page 12 of the 22 Jan 1920 issue of the Simcoe Reformer newspaper.
Mr. Robert Craig, whose only son
James was killed in France a year ago last October, and who had
until a few days ago had received but meagre information regarding
the location of the young soldier's grave, has received a letter
from Miss Marg. Sacre, Hanson, France, giving details regarding
the young man's death.
tThe letter, in part, says:
"On Oct. 19th a Canadian soldier fell wounded by a bullet.
Four other soldiers were sent to help him back. He died on Monday.
I imagine that your son was one of the four.
"On Monday, October 20th,
your son was killed in his turn, but no one knew any details of
"The first soldier interred
alone, and the four others, with whom your son was buried, repose
"A picture of the grave has
been taken and a copy will be sent to your address