James Henry Webster, Private 409377, 20th Battalion, Canadian Infantry
Died 1st October 1916 in France, aged 29
Son of Ralph and Sarah Ann Webster of 23 Lord St, Macclesfield, Cheshire, England.
The death of Private Webster was reported in the Macclesfield Times on 27 October 1916:
ANOTHER CANADIAN KILLED: MACCLESFIELD PARENTS’ LOSS – Another Macclesfield man serving with the Canadian Infantry has been killed in action. We refer to Private James Henry Webster, second son of Mr and Mrs Ralph Webster, 23 Lord St, who were informed on Friday of their son’s death in France on October 1st. The deceased soldier, who was 29 years of age, was educated at the London Road School. he entered the employ of Messrs Heath Bros., printers, and afterwards became a barman at the Park Tavern, where he remained for four years. Subsequently he was engaged in a similar capacity in Birmingham, and two years last March he emigrated to Canada, where he was engaged in farming. As a lad he attended the Primitive Methodist Sunday School, Byron Street.
Private Webster enlisted in the Canadian Infantry in September 1915, and came to England in December, when he visited his parents at Macclesfield. After training at Shorncliffe, he was drafted out to France in February. In letters home he stated that he had been having a rough time and had obtained some interesting souvenirs, including some German helmets and a collection of six rings.
His father has been employed at Messrs Lonsdale & Adshead’s brewery, Park Green, for over 35 years. A brother of the deceased, Private Albert Webster, has been serving in France with the Cheshire Regt for over 12 months. He enlisted two years ago, and was formerly employed at Messrs Smith’s brewery, Bond Street.
Private James Webster has no known grave and is commemorated on the Vimy Memorial near Arras, France. The Vimy Memorial is the great memorial to all Canadians who served their country in battle during the First World War, and also bears the names of 11,000 Canadian servicemen who died in France – many of them in the fight for Vimy Ridge – who have no known grave.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private James Webster.
Locally, Private James Webster is not known to be commemorated on any war memorials.