Private James Walter Sharman – …… — RESERVE SERVICE (Pre-World War I)
James Walter Sharman joined the 57th Regiment, Peterborough Rangers about July 22, 1914. July 3, 1915 James Walter Sharman arrived at Kingston, Ontario probably to inquire about joining the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) Overseas. On July 9, 1915 Pte Sharman had a medical examination completed by Major M. Eastwood of the 57th Regiment in Peterborough, Ontario. He was declared fit for the CEF Overseas. Pte Sharman was discharged from the 57th Regiment before July 23, 1916 to the CEF Overseas.
Private James Walter Sharman – 113540 — ACTIVE SERVICE (World War I)
James Walter Sharman was 25 years, 2 months, 3 weeks and 8 days old when, as a married man, he was Attested, on July 23, 1915, into the Canadian Infantry Corps (CIC), 8th Infantry Brigade, Canadian Mounted Rifles (CMR)*. He enlisted July 23, 1915 at Peterborough, Ontario. James Walter indicated that he was born May 1, 1890** in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England had one year of Active Militia Service with the 57th Regiment, Peterborough Rangers. He was 5′ 4¾” tall, had light-blue eyes, black hair, a 36″ chest, a small scar on the left side of his forehead, a scar on his right knee and he was vaccinated in his childhood. James Walter’s occupations were as a Store Clerk and labourer. James Walter’s next-of-kin was listed as his wife, Mary Loretta Sharman living at 236 Rubidge Street, Peterborough Ontario. On July 23, 1915 he was assigned the rank of Private (Pte) and his Regimental Number, 113540. **Later entries give James Walter’s birth year as 1891. *The 8th Infantry Brigade of the 3rd Canadian Division was composed of four Canadian Mounted Rifle (CMR) units that were “dismounted” and used as regular Infantry Battalions. As such the 8th Infantry Brigade consisted of the Brigade Headquarters, the 8th Trench Mortar Battery and the 1st CMR (from Manitoba), 2nd CMR (from British Columbia), 4th CMR (from Toronto) and 5th CMR (from Québec).
Although not stated he would have been on training for at least two months and then moved to the Halifax, Nova Scotia area to embark Halifax about October 8, 1915 for England. Pte Sharman would have been struck-off-strength from the Canadian Army Active Force – Canada about October 8, 1915 and then taken-on-strength to the Canadian Army Active Force – Overseas about October 9, 1915. The first entry on Pte Sharman’s Records shows that he disembarked SS Missanabie in England on October 19, 1915. Upon disembarkation in England Pte Sharman was assigned to Canadian Base Details (CBD) at Bramshott Camp, England. November 5, 1915 he was granted 5 days leave to November 9, 1915.
On January 28, 1916, from Bramshott Camp, Pte Sharman was transferred for Overseas service with the 8th Infantry Brigade. He embarked at England on his way to France. On January 29, 1916 he landed in France and was taken-on-strength from Bramshott Camp, CBD, to the 4th Battalion, Canadian Mounted Rifles (4th Bn CMR). On February 7, 1916 he left Bramshott Camp, CBD, for the 4th Bn CMR, in the Field, France. February 12, 1916 Pte Sharman joined the 4th Bn CMR in the Field. He was in action at the Ypres Salient (Battle of Mount Sorrel), France when, on June 2, 1916 he was buried by a shell blast. Pte Sharman was rescued from the shell crater and then moved to No 8 Convalescent Camp by No 8 Canadian Field Ambulance (CFA) on June 3, 1916. June 4, 1916 Pte Sharman was admitted to No 4 General Hospital, Camiers, France after being diagnosed with “shell shock”. June 28, 1916 he was transferred to No 6 Convalescent Depot at Boulogne, France.
1st Medical Board;
Proceedings of a Medical Board, dated at St. Leonards, England – July 4, 1916
113540 Pte Sharman J. W. with the 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles (4th CMR), Age 27
Held at Canadian Convalescent Depot (CCD) St. Leonards
Nervous – cannot sleep – heart action rapid, Pulse 128 – C 3
Fit for Permanent Base Duty
Dated at Hastings, Sussex Mar 1917
July 8, 1916 Pte Sharman was taken-on-strength to CBD from No 4 General Hospital; classified as a Temporary Base. On July 13, 1916 he was classified as a Permanent Base as deemed by a Medical Board. Then, on July 16, 1916 Pte Sharman was discharged from No 4 General Hospital and transferred to the Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre (CCAC) in the Field at Folkestone, England. The same day, July 16, 1916, he was taken-on-strength to the CCAC from 4 CMR and then discharged from No 6 Convalescent Depot at Boulogne, France to the 4th CMR.
The SS Missanabie, Pte Sharman’s transport from Canada to England
Examination by Standing Medical Board, Shorncliffe, England – 18 July 1916. Held at Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre (CCAC), Hastings, England.
113540 Pte Sharman J. W. with the 4th CMR, Age 26
Disability Overseas: Neurasthenia
In France 5½ months one month of which in Hospital. Complains of nerves being all gone. When 14 years old he had St Vit dance (?). Complains of rheumatic pain in legs.
Board recommends: Fit for duty after 6 weeks’ physical training.
Dated July 18, 1916.
On July 22, 1916 Pte Sharman was placed on-command to the 1st Canadian Base Details (CBD). At Hastings, England on March 11, 1917 he was struck-off-strength from CCAC on transfer to 2nd Central Ontario Regimental Depot (2nd CORD). Also on March 11, 1917 he was taken-on-strength and attached to 1st CCD from the 2nd CORD.
2nd Medical Board;
Proceedings of a Medical Board, dated at 1st CCD, England – April 17, 1917
113540 Pte Sharman J. W. with 4 CMR, Age 27
Examination held at Standing Medical Board (SMB), Hastings, England
In France 6½ months and back with shell shock. Complains of nervousness, shows slight tremor, reflex is normal. Circulatory, respiratory and Genito-Urinary system normal. Classified D 1
Dated at Hastings, Sussex 18 April 1917
3rd Medical Board;
Proceedings of a Medical Board, dated at Hastings, England – May 31, 1917
113540 Pte Sharman J. W. with 4 CMR, Age 27
Examination held at Standing Medical Board (SMB), 1st Canadian Command Depot, England
6½ months in France, was buried by a shell explosion 2 June 1916. Heart rapid ….unreadable….. uncertain. Is nervous …………….unreadable …….. flessness …………….. .
Board recommends: B 3
Fit for Duty 25 July 1917 confirmed B 3
Dated 3 June 1917 – Hastings, Sussex
July 13, 1917 Pte Sharman was awarded one good conduct badge from 1st Central Ontario Regimental Depot (1st CORD at St. Leonard’s, England. 4th Medical Board:
Proceedings of a Medical Board – Dated November 21st 1917
113540 Pte Sharman J. W. 1st CCD with 4th CMR, Age 26
Examination held at East Sandling, England
Disability: Shell Shock 2 June 1916
Has been seven months in France. Buried by a shell in June 1916 and since has been in England. His reflexes are greatly exaggerated and marked vaso motor disturbance is present as well as marked tremor. His heart is irritable but no organic disease is present. He complains of excitability and sleeplessness. He is not well developed. Other systems normal.
Board recommends: B 3 Permanently.
Dated 24 November 1917.
February 15, 1918 he was struck-off-strength from the 2nd CORD to the 1st CORD at Sandcliffe, England.
Summary and Proceedings of Medical Board in respect of Pte Sharman
Received for Military Hospital Commission (MHC) 1st Canadian Garrison Regiment (CGR) in England, 2nd Central Ontario Regimental Depot (CORD), 1st Canadian Convalescent Depot (CCD).
Joined at Peterborough, Canada July 9,* 1915. (* actual date is July 23, 1915)
Medical disability – Neurasthenia
Proceedings of a Medical Board
History of the Case:
Enlisted July 1915. To England August 1915. To France January 1916. Evacuated to England July 1916, Shell Shock. No entries MHS. He complained of lack of control of his nerves, easily upset. Exertion of even moderate degree can mean marked increase of nervousness. Medical Board 2 November 1917 states he was buried by shell in June 1916. He states he can’t sleep very well. Boarded four times B3 (Sedentary Work Abroad) since 31 May 1917 and Permanent B3 on November 21, 1917.
Condition is OK, is one of hyper-excitability and hyper-irritability. He does not look well. He has lost 20 pounds since leaving France. Marked tremor present of hands and tongue, speech is hesitant. Pulse 96, after 10 “Hip-Bend” 120, returns to 100 in three minutes. No murmurs. Lungs and others systems normal.
Date of Report: 18 February 1918, at St. Martins Plain, England.
Recommendations of Medical Board:
Not fit for duty
Fit for base duty as a B3. Not likely to be raised in six months
No need to invalid to Canada
No need to discharge from service as permanently unfit.
Dated 20 February 1918.
February 26, 1918 Pte Sharman ceased to be attached to 1st CORD and on-command to No 6 Canadian Discharge Depot (CDD) at Buxton, England. On July 26, 1918 Pte Sharman was taken-on-strength and attached to No 6 CDD from the 1st CORD. On March 12, 1918 he was struck-off-strength to Canada; disposal by the Adjutant General (AG) at Witley, England and embarked for Canada from Liverpool, England. About March 22, 1918 Pte Sharman would have disembarked at Halifax, Nova Scotia.
A note in Pte Sharman’s records stated “Have not received subsistence for Landing Leave from 25 March 1918 to 15 April 1918. Signed J. W. Sharman”. Walter James Sharman was discharged from the Canadian Expeditionary Forces on April 24, 1918.
According to his military records; Private James Walter Sharman earned the following medals:
British War Medal; and
He was also awarded War Service Badges – CEF Class “A” and Class “B”.
James Walter Sharman served for 3 months and 17 days in Canada, 1 year, 11 months and 13 days in the United Kingdom and 5 months and 9 days in France for a total time of about 2 years, 8 months and 12 days including travel time. During his time in the Service he allotted $20.00 per month of his pay to his wife, Mary Loretta Sharman.
Mary Loretta Sharman lived at a number of addresses while James Walter was in the Service. She was at 236 Rubidge Street, 423 Chamber Street, 320 Louis Street and 376½ Water Street – all in Peterborough, Ontario.
MEDICAL HISTORY SHEET
Medical data done by the 57th Regiment, Peterborough Rangers on July 9, 1915 is as stated then.
Joined the 8th CMR and was transferred to the 2nd CORD. Examined at St. Martins Plain, England
18 February 1918, diagnosed with Neurasthenia; dated at Shorncliffe, England 20 February 1918. At Fort Henry, Kingston Ontario 22 April 1918 as shell – neurasthenia.
MEDICAL HISTORY OF AN INVALID
STATION Fort Henry DATE April 24, 1918
Unit – No 3 Casualty Unit
113540 Pte Sharman James Walter – Age 26 – Date of birth May 1st 1891.
Enlisted at Peterborough, Ontario on July 7, 1915 (actually July 23, 1915).
Height 5′ 7″, Weight 127 pounds, Hair dark brown, Eyes blue – small scar on right knee, scar on base of right index finger. Address after discharge will be 320 Louis St. Peterborough, Ontario.
Service: 8th CMR July 7th 1915 to January 1916; 4th CMR June 1916 to March 22, 1918 and No 3 Casualty Unit March 22, 1918 to Date.
Date of origin (of disability) June 2, 1916. Place of origin – Ypres Salient, France.
Cause – Being buried by a shell. Present disability – shell neurasthenia.
SUBJECTIVE — Man states that he is very nervous. Says that he cannot sleep at night and has not a good night’s slap for the last two years. Says that he is very easily excited by noise. Says that he does not feel like mingling with company and keeps to himself. He also states that he does not digest his food properly. Has lost about 20 lbs since leaving France.
OBJECTIVE — Man is poorly nourished – complexion is sallow. Has a general tremor of muscles. Marked tremor in fingers. Reflexes are exaggerated. Speech is tremorous and man appears very nervous generally.
Respiratory system normal. Cardiac pulse 80 at rest, heart action slightly irregular.
Genito-Urinary system normal.
History: Scar on right knee. Scar on base of right index finger.
Probable duration of disability: Permanent with improvement.
Treatment: Hospital in France.
Can the former trade or occupation be resumed: Not at present.
Recommendations: Discharge. Category “E”. Disability due to Service.
Does the Medical Board concur with the preceding report: Yes
Is the soldier fit for any service: No
It is recommended that the soldier be discharged. Category “E”. Disability due to Service.
Signed at Kingston, Ontario
Dated April 24, 1918.
Medical Examination upon Leaving the Service
Pte Sharman James Walter – 113540, No 3 Casualty Unit. Born May 1st 1891 in Sheffield, England.
Weight 127 pounds, Eyes blue, Height 5′ 7″. Shell wound. Scar on right patella, scar on second finger of right hand.
Examined at Fort Henry, Kingston Ontario.
Proceedings on Discharge
113540 Pte Sharman James Walter – No 3 Casualty Unit.
Date of Discharge – April 24, 1918
DESCRIPTION AT THE TIME OF DISCHARGE
1 scar, right knee.
Age 27 years, 11 months. Height 5′ 4″. Eyes blue. Hair Black. Trade Labourer.
Intended place of residence 320 Louis St., Peterborough, Ontario.
Medically unfit for further service arising from sickness.
Conduct and character – very good. Qualifications in civil life – Labourer.
Medals and Decorations – as authorized for serving in France, England and Canada.
Statement of Service – 2 years, 275 days
Confirmation of Discharge: at Kingston, Ontario on April 24, 1918.
LAST PAY CERTIFICATE
113540 Pte Sharman J. W. – 4th CMR who was discharged on April 24th 1918, to Class E
The following is a statement of the account of the above named from March 1, 1918 to April 24, 1918.
Last Pay Certificate $43.92 Regimental Pay 55 days @$1.00 — $55.00
Assigned Pay No 243 $20.00 Field Allowance 55 days @$0.10 — $ 5.50
Assigned Pay March $20.00 Separation Allowance (monthly) $25.00 — $20.00
Payment on discharge $ 4.58 Other Allowance – Clothing — $ 2.00
Total $88.50 Total $88.50
A monthly stoppage of $20.00, pay for month of March 1918 to Mrs. M. L. Sharman, 320 Louis St. Peterborough, Ontario.
Dated April 24, 1918 at Kingston, Ontario – Check No. 244 attached.
An excerpt from an article in McLean’s magazine by Barbara Amid, 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?
EXCERPTS FROM THE WAR DIARY OF THE 4TH CANADIAN MOUNTED RIFLES BATTALION
3RD CANADIAN DIVISION
FROM 2ND JUNE 1916
RIGHT SUB-SECTOR OF RIGHT SECTOR – TRENCHES 47 TO 53
The battle area was in the Ypres Salient near Ypres, Belgium. They were in action at the Battle of Mount Sorrel (Battle of Hill 62).
2nd June 1916
The enemy put over about 20 or 30 trench mortars about 7a.m. Gen Mercer and Gen Williams, Capt Fraser and Lt Gooderham arrived at Battalion Headquarters about 7:45a.m. on a tour of inspection of the front line with special reference to the new work at the sap. The CO accompanied them. At 8:30a.m. the enemy commenced a bombardment and a shell burst opposite the party deafening Gen Mercer almost completely, slightly wounding Gen Williams, and deafening Lt Gooderham. General Mercer with two aides was brought to Battalion HQ. General Williams was taken to the dressing station where the CO remained with him. The bombardment increased and we were bombarded in the front line, supports and reserves by thousands of shells of every description. This bombardment was most intense. The front line was also bombarded by trench mortars. The OC of the platoon in SP 12 held his position until about 11:30a.m. when he sent out his remaining men who were mostly wounded and when his last man had left, came out himself.
A mine exploded on the battalion front about 1p.m. and an order came down the line to withdraw. At this time the whole front line was flattened out and there were no trenches of any description, and very few of the battalion that were able to carry on.
NOTE: Private Sharman suffered burial by a shell burst during the heavy bombardment of his Unit’s position on June 2, 1916.
Additional data courtesy of the CEFSG Forum:
On the morning of 2 June 1916 the German XIII Corps began a massive artillery bombardment of heavy calibre shells against the Canadian positions. Nine-tenths of the Canadian forward reconnaissance battalion became casualties during the bombardment. 3rd Canadian Division commander Major-General Malcolm Mercer and 8th Canadian Brigade commander Brigadier-General Arthur Victor Seymour Williams had been conducting an inspection of the front line on 2 June 1916 when the shelling began. Mercer was wounded three times and died early on June 3rd. Williams was wounded in the face and head and taken prisoner.
At 1:00pm, German pioneers detonated a series of four mines near the Canadian forward trenches before the Germans attacked with six battalions. Five more battalions were in support and an additional six in reserve. When the German forces attacked, mainly against positions held by the 8th Canadian Brigade, resistance at the front lines was “minimal”. For several critical hours both the 3rd Canadian Division and the 8th Canadian Brigade were leaderless, and their level of defence suffered accordingly.
Private James Walter Sharman – C 89400 — ACTIVE SERVICE (Veteran’s Guard of Canada 1941 to 1944)
James Walter Sharman was 50 years, 1 month and 3 days old when, as a married man, he joined the Veterans Guard of Canada at Peterborough, Ontario. He was Attested and enlisted on March 28, 1941, into the Veterans Guard of Canada at Peterborough. James Walter indicated that he was born May 1, 1891 in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England. He had one year of Active Militia Service with the 57th Regiment, Peterborough Rangers and 2years, 10 months and 12 days Service with the 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles, CEF in WW I. James Walter was 5′ 4″ tall, weighed 123 pounds, had light-blue eyes, greyish brown hair, a 36″ chest, a small scar on the left side of his forehead, a scar on his right Patella (old shrapnel wound) and he was vaccinated in his childhood. James Walter completed Standard 6 at the Elementary School in Sheffield, England. Standard 6 is equivalent to Grade 7 in Ontario. James Walter’s occupation was given as a Deckhand. James Walter’s next-of-kin was listed as his wife, Mary Loretta Sharman living in Lakefield, Ontario. On July 23, 1915 he was assigned the rank of Private (Pte) and his Regimental Number, C 89400.
Pte Sharman was taken-on-strength on March 23, 1941 with No 3 “A” Company, Veterans Guards of Canada (VG of C) at Internment Camp 31, Fort Henry, Kingston Ontario. On October 10, 1941, while in Ottawa he was granted a 14-day Furlough. Since Pte Sharman was unable to be actively employed, due to the wound he suffered in WW I, he was employed as Head Batman and Mess Orderly with No 10 Company. Pte Sharman subsequently transferred to Camp 40, Farnham, Québec. On September 17, 1942 Pte Sharman was admitted to St. Anne’s Hospital, Montréal Québec. Then on September 28, 1942, at Allanburg Ontario, Pte Sharman was authorized to wear the Canadian Volunteer Service Ribbon. November 2, 1942 he was confirmed as Category 6.1 and was transferred to Camp 30, Bowmanville, Ontario where, on January 1, 1943, he was granted an increase in pay to $1.50 per diem. Pte Sharman was awarded two Good Conduct Badges, one may have been awarded on January 1, 1943; there is no indication as to when the other one was awarded.
From Bowmanville, Ontario Pte Sharman was transferred to Camp 23, Monteith, Ontario and on June 6, 1943 and was granted a 4-day Leave with Ration Allowance. July 7, 1943 he was granted a 14-day Furlough. June 1, 1944 a comprehensive Medical History on Pte Sharman was completed which found that he was unfit for further Military Service and recommended that a Medical Board be convened to confirm the findings. On June 6, 1944 Pte Sharman was struck-off-strength from No 10 Company on transfer to No 3A District Depot, Kingston Ontario. June 7, 1944 Pte Sharman was taken-on-strength to No 3A District Depot and was the subject of many medical reviews and Boards. The Medical Board concurred with the Medical History Report on June 12, 1944. Private James Walter Sharman was discharged at Kingston, Ontario on June 26, 1944; he had been assessed as being unable to meet the required military physical standards.
According to his military records; Private James Walter Sharman earned the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal, the War Medal 1939 – 45, also referred to as the General Service Medal. On request; the War Medal 1939 – 45 was sent to James in Lakefield.
Pte Sharman was insured with Prudential Life. His last Pay was $140.00 which includes a $65.00 Clothing Allowance and a $45.00 Rehab Grant. His War Service Gratuity was $292.50.
Pte Sharman was awarded a 10% pension from WW I due to Neurasthenia, a term used to label a mechanical weakness of actual nerves. He received $10.00 monthly for the shrapnel wound to his right knee since 1939.
JAMES WALTER SHARMAN
James Walter was born May 1, 1891* in Sheffield, Yorkshire England, son of Harry Sharman and Jane Wraff. In 1909 he immigrated from England to Canada. James Walter was a machinist by trade in 1911. On November 22, 1911 James Walter Sharman married Mary Loretta Watson, born April 24, 1891, at Peterborough, Ontario; James Walter was 21 years old and Mary Loretta, born in Peterborough, was 20 years old. Mary Loretta’s parents are John Nicholas Watson and Bridget Ellen Callahan. James & Mary had three children: James Walter (Jr), (his military stone lists his name as Walter James) born November 7, 1912, died February 4, 1970, married O’Delle Watson, born 1904, died December 8, 1982; Doris, born about 1915 married Ernest Prete and Phyllis Mae born September 8, 1920, died October 17, 1988, married Robert Chittick, born April 17, 1917, died May 10, 1996. When James Walter (Jr) was born the family was living at 236 Rubidge Street, Peterborough and his father’s trade was a Shovel Maker. According to the 1921 Census for the City of Peterborough James Walter and the family were living at 376½ Water Street. *James Walter Sharman’s date-of-birth is given as May 1, 1888 on his headstone in Hillside Cemetery, Lakefield Ontario, May 1, 1891 is the correct date.
About 1923 my (Barbara Pike’s [Chittick]) grandfather, James Walter Sharman, left a good job in Peterborough to go farming and he lost his shirt — I remember my Mom (Phyllis Mae) saying she went to school with no shoes. They didn’t stay there long and moved to Lakefield along the canal about 1930. This was where I was born in 1937. My parents Phyllis Mae Sharman and Robert Irwin Chittick were married on July 21, 1937 and moved in with Mom’s parents; Mom died October 17, 1988. Then about 1940 we all moved to Rabbit Street to the old house between Hamptons and Peters, near the railway tracks. Grandpa James Walter Sharman worked at the Lakefield Canoe Company as a Foreman and was known for playing jokes on the workers. About 1947 he built a house across from the old Curling Rink on Colborne Street and my Uncle Walter built a house on the lot beside him. I was probably around 8-10 years old then. My parents, Phyllis Mae and Robert Irwin Chittick, stayed in the house on Rabbit Street until 1953 when I was 16. They then had a house built on Bridge Street, next to the Lakefield High School. James Walter (Jr) and O’Delle had a son named Jack; James Walter (Jr) was also a Private with the Hastings & Prince Edward Regiment.
Most of this Personal information was provided courtesy of Barbara Pike (Chittick).
When James Walter Sharman enlisted with the Veterans Guard of Canada on March 28, 1941 his documents provided the following information on employment:
he gave his occupation as a Deckhand and indicated, in descending order, that he was a labourer on a Government Tug Boat; he worked as a Rodman (surveying) in a Government Engineering Department and he was a painter and decorator in Peterborough.
James Walter Sharman passed away on October 10, 1971, he is interred in Hillside Cemetery beside his wife Mary Loretta who passed away December 15, 1964.
THE JAMES WALTER SHARMAN FAMILY OF LAKEFIELD
James Walter’s grandparents are unknown at this time.
James Walter’s parents are Harry Sharman and Jane Wraff. Harry and Jane had James Walter and probably other children who are unknown at this time.