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Canadian Virtual War Memorial

James Wellington Young

In memory of:

Private James Wellington Young

September 27, 1918

Military Service

Service Number:







Canadian Infantry (British Columbia Regiment)


7th Bn.

Additional Information


January 18, 1892
Cypress River, Manitoba

Commemorated on Page 527 of the First World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page. Download high resolution copy of this page.

Burial Information


Pas de Calais, France

Grave Reference:

I. D. 19.


Sains-les-Marquion is a village about 12 kilometres north-west of Cambrai and 2 kilometres south of the D939, Arras to Cambrai road. SAINS-LES-MARQUION BRITISH CEMETERY lies at the junction of the D15 and D16 roads, about 1.5 kilometres from the centre of the village.

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

Send us your images
  • Family photo– Family of James Wellington Young
  • James Young and comrades– The photographer's notes, visible on the photograph, read as follows:
'Some Canadians from Vancouver,  31 Hut, Seaford 15/5/18 Hilton Brighton'. 
Jim Young is in the back row, second from the right.  An "X" is
faintly visible over his head.  The following letter was enclosed with
the photo:
May 16, 1918
Darling Mother:
This is [a photo of] some of our bunch.  Its not a very good one. 
They can't take photos in this country like they can in Canada.  I
have marked a cross over my head so you'll know me.
Don't send anything Mother to England till I give you my address. 
I'll let you know when we get to France.  I have a lot of pictures I
send Tues. so you can expect them.
Its been awful hot here today.  We had our heavy underwear on with a
top shirt and tunic also a heavy pack and our harness along with our
guns.  I nearly melted away, but I guess we got to expect it pretty
warm now.
Write as soon as you can and lets have any news.
Good Bye from Your Loving Son,
  • Burial Report– James (Jim) Wellington Young was killed in action near the village of
Sains-les-Marquion, France during the Battle of Bourlon Wood on September 27, 1918.
  • British War Medal– Authorized on July 26 1919  --  427, 993 British War Medals were
issued to all ranks who came overseas from Canada between August 5,
1914 and November 11, 1918.  

The medal is circular, measuring 1.42 inches, and is made of silver.
The original medal included a ribbon of orange, blue, black and white.
  • Victory Medal
  • Memorial Scroll– Printed from hand-cut wood blocks, the design and  production was
supervised by the London County Council School of Arts.  Printing of
the scrolls began in January of 1919.
  • Newspaper Clipping– A newspaper clipping, most likely October or November 1918, announcing
the death of Pte. James Wellington Young.  The deceased had resided in
Vancouver British Columbia, and his parents resided in the town of
Chilliwack, 60 miles to the east.  It is unclear whether the clipping
was taken from a Vancouver or Chilliwack newspaper.
  • Letter– A letter from the ministry of "Defence and Militia" dated February 15,
1919 which would have accompanied the "Circumstances of Death or
Missing Report".
  • Grave marker– This temporary wooden cross marks the grave of James Wellington Young:
Plot 1, Row D, Grave 19, British Cemetery, Sains-les-Marquion, France.
  • Inscription– A "close-up" of the temporary wooden cross that marked the grave of
James Wellington Young prior to installation of the permanent headstone.

While the name (Pte. J W Young) and regimental number (2020825) are
correct, it is interesting to note that the battalion (4th) and date
of death (29-9-18) are not.  These errors were obviously noted and
corrected, as all information on the permanent headstone is accurate
  • Canadian Memorial Cross– The Canadian Memorial Cross was issued to mother's and widows of
soldiers who were killed in action during the First World War.  The
cross is silver, with a purple ribbon.  It was presented in a small,
black leather box with hinged lid.  A small card was enclosed:  "This
cross is presented to you in memory of one who in the Great War died
for King and Country - H. Guthrie, Minister of Militia and Defence".
  • Grave marker– Gravemarker of James Wellington Young. 

Sains-les-Marquion is a village that lies approximately 12 kilometres
north-west of Cambrai, and 2 kilometres south of the two-lane highway
(D939) that joins Arras and Cambrai.

Sains-les-Marquion was captured by the 1st Canadian Division on the
27th September, 1918, and the cemetery was begun on the following day
by the 3rd Canadian Infantry Brigade. It was used until the middle of
October, 1918.  The cemetery was enlarged after the Armistice by the
concentration of graves from the surrounding battlefields and from
Marquion Churchyard. There are currently more than 250 graves on this site
  • Next of Kin Memorial Plaque– The year 1916 was a turning point in the public's perception of the
war, with the Somme battles resulting in carnage on a scale
unimaginable when British and Canadian troops first arrived in France two years earlier. The British Secretary of State for War, David Lloyd George, set up a Government Committee to decide what memorial should be made available to the soldiers' next of kin.

In August 1917 "The Times" newspaper announced that a competition would be held to obtain a suitable design, and 800 entries were eventually received. The winner, Mr. Edward Carter Preston of Liverpool, was chosen on March 20, 1918, and was awarded a prize of 250 pounds (several "runners up" received lesser prizes). 

The prize-winning designs were exhibited for a time during the spring and early summer of 1918 at the Victoria and Albert Museum, with production of the plaques beginning in December 1919 at a disused London laundry. 

The plaques were manufactured using an extremely difficult process,
each plaque being cast with the individual's full name. The factory
was managed by Manning Pike, an eccentric American engineer and
entrepreneur. Due to slow progress Pike's contract was terminated by
the War Office, and production was transferred to Woolich Arsenal (and
later to other former munitions factories), however some reports
indicate that Pike was later recalled to help complete the project.

In all, an estimated 1,150,000 plaques were manufactured and distributed along with an associated parchment scroll.

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