The Baynham, Cale, James and Majumdar family history
George Cale James

George Cale James

My Great Great Uncle

Born 13 Aug 1875
Tregare, Monmouthshire





Family Stories

George Cale James
13 August 1875 - 12 November 1956

The Chemainus Herald
Thursday, November 15, 1956

George 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 missing here)

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

The above was transcribed by Gerald Majumdar from a newspaper cutting provided by Graham James.
Click here to view the original newspaper cutting
For more information and photos of the funeral of King Edward VII click here

Copyright 2005 Gerald Majumdar