Guardsman James Scott Crawford – C 120249 – ACTIVE SERVICE (World War II)
On December 5, 1942, James Scott Crawford completed the Attestation Paper for the Royal Canadian Army, in Kingston, Ontario. He was 18 years, 9 months and 10 days old when, as a single man, he enlisted for the duration of the War. James Crawford was born in Lakefield, Ontario and gave his birth-date as February 23, 1923. He indicated that he did not have any previous Military Reserve or Militia experience. He also indicated that after completing Grade 8, in 1937, he left school at the age 15, to work on the family farm; he listed Farmer as his Trade or Calling. James Crawford was 5′ 8¾” tall and weighed 160 pounds. He had a ruddy complexion, blue eyes and light brown hair. James Scott was deemed fit for service (category A-1). His next-of-kin, is listed as his mother, Mrs. Ellen Crawford of Lakefield. James Scott Crawford signed the Oath and Attestation Certificate on December 5, 1942 in Kingston, Ontario. On December 5, 1942, at No 3-A District Depot (DD), he was taken-on-strength and posted to ”B” Wing with the Canadian Armoured Corps – Reinforcements (CAC – Reinf) as a Trooper (Tpr) with Service Number C 120249.
On December 18, 1942 Tpr Crawford was struck-off-strength from “B” Wing CAC – Reinf at No 3-A DD at Kingston on transfer to No 31 Canadian Army (Basic) Training Centre (CA(B)TC) in Cornwall, Ontario. On the same day he is shown attached to No 31 CA(B)TC from 3-A DD CAC Reinf, Kingston for all purposes. February 23, 1943 Tpr Crawford was struck-off-strength from No 31 CA(B)TC 31, Cornwall on transfer to the Canadian Armoured Corps, Training Establishment (CAC, TE) at Camp Borden, Ontario for all purposes. On February 24, 1943 he was attached to A-8 Canadian Armoured Corps Advanced Training Centre (CACATC) for all purposes. On April 7, 1943 Tpr Crawford was admitted to Camp Borden Military Hospital with what was diagnosed as ”Acute Tonsillitis”. He was discharged from the Camp Borden Military Hospital on April 17, 1943. Tpr Crawford qualified as a Tank Gunner Class II on May 3, 1943. On May 20, 1943 he was struck-off-strength on reposting to No 3 Canadian Armoured Corps Training Regiment (CACTR). May 21, 1943 Tpr Crawford was attached from No 3 CACTR to No 1 CACTR for all purposes except pay. June 15, 1943 he is shown as presently attached to No 1 CACTR for all purposes except pay ceases to be attached on return to No 3 CACTR. On June 14, 1943 Tpr Crawford was authorized for the higher rate of pay of $1:50 per day. On June 22, 1943 he was stuck-off-strength from No 1 CACTR on reposting to No 1 Canadian Armoured Corps Training Soldiers Regiment (CACTSR). June 23, 1943 he was taken-on-strength with the No 1 CACTSR. Tpr Crawford, on June 29, 1943, was granted an Embarkation Leave with Ration Allowance from June 29, 1943 to July 6, 1943.
A note on July 7, 1943 indicates that Tpr Crawford qualified as Gunner (Gnr), passed Corps of Motor Transport (CMT), Basic Wireless, Basic D&M and also Tests of Elementary Training (TsOET) and was deemed suitable for Overseas Service as a Gunner. Research failed to establish what some of these acronyms stood for. July 16, 1943 Tpr Crawford was struck-off-strength from the Canadian Army (Canada). On the same day he was taken-on-strength with the Canadian Army (Overseas) and Gnr Crawford embarked for the UK. There is no reference in the File as to the ship he sailed on; he disembarked on July 22, 1943. On July 23, 1943 he was taken-on-strength with No 3 Canadian Armoured Corps Reinforcement Unit (CACRU). August 15, 1943 he remustered from a Gunner to a Gunner Operator ”C” (Gnr Op ”C”). From August 30, 1943 to September 25, 1943 Gnr Crawford attended Wireless Course GO/5, qualified as Operator 2. From October 4, 1943 to October 30, 1943 he attended Gunners Course Task Group (TG)/22. November 10, 1943 Gnr Crawford was Trade tested and passed Gnr Op ”C”, and granted Trades pay as Gnr Op ”C”. Gnr Crawford was struck-off-strength from the No 3 CACRU on December 9, 1943. On December 9, 1943 he was taken-on-strength with the 21st Canadian Armoured Regiment (CAR), also known as the Governor General’s Foot Guards. December 31, 1943 Gnr Crawford was granted a 9-day paid Leave with Money Allowance with effect from (wef) December 11, 1943.
The three month period from December 11, 1943 to March 4, 1944 would have been spent by Gnr Crawford on Advanced Training, doing assigned duties and perhaps some Leave. March 4, 1944 to March 14, 1944 Gnr Crawford was attached for all purposes to the Armoured Fighting Vehicle (AFV) Waterproofing Course, Canadian Tank Corps at Dundonald Galles Camp. He was granted 7 days paid Leave with Money Allowance wef March 14, 1944 to March 22, 1944. Gnr Crawford is now shown as a Guardsman (Gdsm). On July 5, 1944 Gdsm Crawford was awarded the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and Clasp. On July 20, 1944 he embarked the United Kingdom, disembarking in France on July 22, 1944. On August 15, 1944 he was struck-off-strength from the 21st CAR to the *X-4 List CAC. Gdsm Crawford was struck-off-strength from X-4 List to ”D” Sqn, 25th Canadian Armoured Delivery Regiment (CADR) on August 15, 1944. On August 16, 1944 he was taken-on-strength with ”D” Sqn 25th CADR. Gdsm Crawford was struck-off-strength from the 25th CADR to the 21st CAR on September 4, 1944. On September 5, 1944 he was taken-on-strength with 21st CAR. *Unposted reinforcements in the Theatre of War belonging to the Unit or Corps.
The 21st CAR was part of the 4th Canadian Armoured Brigade (CAB) – 4th Canadian Armoured Division (CAD). Throughout its time in Europe, the 4th CAB always fought in support of the 10th Canadian Infantry Brigade. The Brigade saw service in France, Belgium, Holland, and Germany.
February 17, 1945 Gdsm Crawford proceeded on 9 days paid leave in the UK with Ration Allowance and returned March 4, 1945.
On April 3, 1945 the 21st CAR crossed the Twente Canal [Twentekanaal] west of Delden, in Holland. It cleared Almelo on the 4th – 5th and set its sights on Germany. The 4th CAD, crossed the German Border and cleared Neuenhaus, Emlichheim, and Coevorden. It then crossed the Ems River and cleared the area east of the Ems to the Kusten Canal.
Gdsm James Crawford was shown wounded on April 10, 1945. Actually, his Tank was hit with an enemy anti-tank round and burned. As a result, Gdsm Crawford received 1st and 2nd degree Cordite burns to his face, hands, legs and, buttocks. On the same day, after receiving treatment in the Field he was admitted to the No 1 Canadian General Hospital (CGH) where the burns were treated.
From “The History of The Governor General Foot Guards”:
At first light the advance toward Werlte began (April 10, 1945). The force consisted of No 1 Squadron under Major Smith; the Lincoln and Welland Regiment and two Recce Sections under Lieut Giffen and Sgt Kimberley. The Recce Sections led, followed by the heavy tanks and infantry, with Lieut Canavan leading the Squadron. A heavy fog lay on the ground reducing visibility to less than 50 yards. A short distance east of Sogel the lead section came under heavy fire from machine guns, and bazookas. Sgt Kimberley’s tank was almost immediately hit and brewed up. Cpl Roberts and Gdsm Crawford, members of Sgt Kimberley’s tank crew, received serious burns.
On April 10, 1945 Gdsm Crawford was also struck-off-strength from the 21st CAR on being posted to the X-3 List (Medical Reasons) CAC. On April 23, 1945 Gdsm Crawford was evaluated as fit for evacuation to UK, where he was admitted to the Basingstoke Neurological and Plastic Surgery Hospital (BN & PSH), where he underwent treatment for the burns, skin-graphs, and operations. After about 3 months Gdsm Crawford was discharged July 6, 1945 as suitable for travel to Canada. On the same day he is shown as struck-off-strength from the Canadian Army (Overseas) and No 1 Non-Effective Transit Depot (NETD). On July 9, 1945 he was shown as struck-off-strength from No 1 Canadian Repatriation Depot to Canada wef July 6, 1945. About July 9, 1945 Gdsm Crawford embarked from England aboard the Hospital Ship (HS) Letitia and disembarked at Halifax, Nova Scotia about July 16, 1945. After arrival in Canada he boarded a Hospital Train to Kingston, Ontario.
July 18, 1945 Gdsm Crawford was admitted directly from the Hospital Train to the Kingston Medical Hospital (KMH); No 3 District Depot, where he underwent further treatment and skin-graphs for the burns. On August 27, 1945 he was evaluated as suitably recovered to proceed on his 30-day Disembarkation Leave. After his Leave was complete he returned to KMH for further evaluation.
On October 6, 1945 Guardsman James Scott Crawford was discharged from the Canadian Armoured Corps, at No 3 District Depot, in Kingston, Ontario ”to return to Civil Life” (On Demobilization). He had served in the United Kingdom and Continental Europe. His Military File indicates that Guardsman James Scott Crawford was eligible to receive the Good Conduct Service Badge, as well as the:
France and Germany Star;
Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and Clasp; and
War Medal 39-45.
He also would have received the Army Class “A” War Service Badge
His Military File indicates: Guardsman James Scott Crawford served a total of 2 years and 10 months with the Canadian Army (Active Force) – Canadian Armoured Corps; 3 months and 10 days in Canada; 1 year, 2 month and 17 days in the United Kingdom; and 9 months and 3 days in Continental Europe.
An excerpt from an article in Maclean’s magazine by Barbara Ameil, September 1996:
The Military is the single calling in the world with job specifications that include a commitment to die for your Nation. What could be more honorable?
JAMES SCOTT CRAWFORD
James Scott Crawford was born on February 23, 1923, at the family farm on the 10th Line of Smith Township, son of Charles Richard Crawford and Ellen Hephzibah Scott. James Scott went by the name “Jim”. He attended S.S. #6 Smith Township, Ray’s Public School where Winnifred Sage was the teacher for most of the time. Jim completed Grade 8 and then left School at 15 years of age to work on the Family farm.
In December 1942 Jim enlisted in the Canadian Army Armoured Corps. After basic training he went to England and later to Holland and Germany Jim was a gunner on a Sherman tank, in April 1945 his tank was hit by an enemy anti-tank shell. He was burned from the waist down. Jim spent six months in the hospital in England and Kingston, Ontario. He had skin graphs from his waist down. He came home to Canada on a hospital ship, the SS Letitia. After recuperating he bought a truck with which he drew wood and logs and later sand and gravel.
Jim married Ruth Murphy and they had a family of four children: Winston; Stewart; Elizabeth and Lyndon Crawford. In 1954 Jim bought a garage on Highway 28 just west of Lakefield where he operated a repair garage with his brother Charlie and sold Supertest products. From 1964 until 1967 he had a farm machinery dealership; Oliver and Cockshutt. James Scott Crawford died of a heart attack at the garage on July 30, 1970. Ruth Murphy’s parents were Steward Murphy and Lillian Hull.
From the Peterborough Examiner:
Funeral service for James Scott Crawford, 47, of Lakefield who collapsed Thursday afternoon at the garage and service station he has owned and operated for 16 years, will be held Saturday in the Hendren Funeral Home at 1:30 p.m. Rev. Gordon Ballantyne will officiate. Burial will be in the Rosemount Memorial Gardens. Born in Smith Township, Mr. Crawford attended Ray’s Public School. He was the son of Charles R. Crawford of Westwood and the former Ellen H. Scott. Prior to owning and operating Crawford’s Garage and service station, he operated his own trucking business. Mr. Crawford was a veteran of the Second World War, serving with the Fourth Battalion of the Governor General’s Foot Guards. He was wounded in Germany. He was a member of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 77, Lakefield, and attended Lakefield United Church. He had served on the executive of several hockey and lacrosse teams which he sponsored in Lakefield.
THE JAMES SCOTT CRAWFORD FAMILY OF SMITH TOWNSHIP
James Scott Crawford’s paternal grandparents were Richard John Crawford born in 1854 and Agnes “Annie” Jane Hill born in 1861. The family resided at 17 Nelson Street in Lakefield and Richard was a well known carpenter and mechanic. They had a family of twelve children: Frederick Cecil; Violet Elizabeth Laurie; Charles Richard; Roland Alexander; Wellington George; Oral Gertrude; Melville Vincent James; Gordon; Norman Lorne; Ward Beyro; James Clarence and Ruth Laura Lenora Crawford. Agnes “Annie” Jane died in 1923 and Richard John died in 1935; both are buried in Hillside Cemetery in Lakefield, Ontario.
James Scott Crawford’s maternal grandparents were Richard Hill born in 1819 and Elizabeth Langstaff born in 1823. They lived on Bridge Street in Lakefield and had a family of ten children: Thomas Richard; George Ulysses; Sarah; Samuel Alexander; Jane; Agnes “Annie” Jane; Charles Roland; Wellington John; Albert Vincent “Tiny” and Ellen Hill. Richard passed away in February 1902 and Elizabeth died in December 1902; both are buried in Hillside Cemetery, Lakefield, Ontario.
James Scott Crawford’s parents were Charles Richard Crawford born in 1885 and Ellen Hephzibah Scott born in 1886. They married in Lakefield on December 14, 1944. Charles and Ellen resided on a farm on the 10th Line of Smith and raised a family of seven children: Marjorie Ellen; Charles James; Betty Isobel; James Scott; Jean Lenora; Melville Hill and Faye Crawford. Ellen passed away on March 14, 1965 and Charles died February 21, 1971; both are buried in Hillside Cemetery in Lakefield, Ontario.