Private James Leith

James Leith was born on March 27th, 1895 in Aberdeen, Scotland. James was one of seven children born to Alexander and Jane Leith. The family immigrated to Canada on July 3rd, 1910 on board the SS Athenia. After settling in Galt (Cambridge), James’ father worked as a road labourer, his older brother Alex was a machinist and he worked as a labourer for an iron foundry.

James was a member of the 29th Regiment for one month when war broke out in 1914. James volunteered to join the Canadian Expeditionary Force, and fought for the 1st Battalion in Belgium. Sadly at just 20 years old James was killed in action on April 22nd, 1915 during an attack at St. Julien during the Second Battle of Ypres. Following James’ death, his brother Alex volunteered to join the CEF; he fought on the Western Front and as returned safety home after the war. Private James Leith is commemorated at the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial in Belgium.

Service number: 7054


“Canadian Virtual War Memorial: James Leith,” Veterans Affairs Canada, accessed March 21, 2015,