13 August 1875 - 12 November 1956
Thursday, November 15, 1956
C. James Dies Suddenly;
Had Colorful Career in Army
The death occurred at
Chemainus hospital November 12 of Mr. George C. James, following
a heart attack a few hours previous.
The late Mr. James was
born at Tregar Wales on August 13 1875. He enlisted in the Grenadier
Guards as a youth within nine months was made drill instructor at
Caterham Depot and a year later busbied and scarlet jacketted he
was doing duty as Queen's Orderly at Buckingham Palace.
Drill Sergeant James
did guardsman duty at Wellington Palace, Chelsea, Windsor Barracks
and at the Tower of London and was instructor to the men who later
directed the land forces of Britain in the second World war. In
this connection in the Bank of Commerce magazine July, 1938, an
interview with Mr. James records his remarks: ‘Viscount Gort was
one of them, an efficient young officer he was. I taught him drill.
They were pretty good in the Guards, but there was Prince Alexander
of Battenburg (the family name was changed to Mountbatten during
the war). He used to ask for leave from drill to go to the station
on occasion to see his sister, the 'Queen of Spain' off.
Referring to his duties
he said he often saw Queen Victoria but she was then a very old
woman and things were not very lively at the Palace, though she
often went for drives and held a few levees but "it was not like
in King Edward's reign, with the pageantry of his coronation and
brief reign." King Edward was very friendly and often stopped to
chat with the attention-stiffened guardsmen in his palace corridors,
and with veteran campaigners on parade. Sergeant James was picked
with 12 other grenadiers as pallbearers at the funeral of King Edward,
and walked beside the flag-draped bier resting on the gun carriage
along with a foreign cousin of the king, the Emperor of Germany.
Later Sergeant James
was in the guard of honor for the coronation of George V.
In 1898, he served
with his battalion at Gibraltar, and then to South Africa for four
years. He was very proud of his South African medals with clasps
of a half-dozen engagements. In 1913 Sergeant James left Wellington
Barracks for Canada where he was for 33 years a member of the Canadian
Bank of Commerce staff at Winnipeg. When the First World War broke
out Mr. James enlisted in the 78th in 1915, but was a few months
later transferred to the Winnipeg Grenadiers, going back to England
as captain and adjutant of the regiment. (part of newapaper clipping
Returning to Winnipeg
after the war he continued with the Canadian Bank of Commerce until
1946, when he retired and moved to Victoria. He and his family came
to Chemainus a year ago.
Mr. James who was married
in Winnipeg, May 23, 1939, to Miss Maude Tomlinson leaves to mourn
his loss his wife, four sons and a daughter, George, Claud, and
Murray of Winnipeg, David and Mary Anne at home; five grandchildren;
three brothers in England.
He was a member of Canadian
Legion, Branch No. 191, and for the last two years, a prominent
figure at the World War One veterans party.
Funeral services will
be held at the Anglican Church on Thursday at 2 p.m. with interment
at Cedar Memorial Gardens
was transcribed by Gerald Majumdar from a newspaper cutting provided
by Graham James.
here to view the original newspaper cutting
more information and photos of the funeral of King Edward VII click
2005 Gerald Majumdar