William James Mostyn

Canadian Expeditionary Force

Personal Details

Born: He was born James Worthington Mercer on 3 September 1887 in Whitchurch, Shropshire and baptised on 28 October 1887 at St. Alkmund`s Parish Church, Whitchurch.

Family: He was the eldest of seven children born to Walter Edward Mercer, a tailor and his wife Margaret, nee Worthington. He married Marie Jeanne Gabrielle Lotti between 1916 – 1919, though no marriage documentation can be found for this. The couple had five children, Jean Marie, James Albert, Frederick Frank, Walter and one other.

Residence: At the time of his baptism in 1887 his family were living in Claypit Street, Whitchurch, Shropshire. By 1891 they had moved to 85 Beech Street, Crewe, Cheshire. Ten years later they were at 501 Chorley Old Road, Bolton, Lancashire. When he enlisted in 1916 his address was GPO Saskatoon, Canada. At the time of his death his home was in New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada.

Employment: When he enlisted in Canada in 1916 he was a farmer. In 1940 he was a labourer.

Died: 21 April 1947 in New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada, aged 59.

Military Details

Regiment: Canadian Expeditionary Force (Canadian Army Medical Corps.)  

Rank: Sergeant

Service Number: 523999

Date of Enlistment: 10 July 1916

Date of Discharge: 31 October 1919

Reason for Discharge: Demobilisation

Other Information: There are some records within his military documents which state that he deserted, though there is no evidence to say that he was found guilty.

Medals and Awards

James was awarded the Campaign medals (Victory and British War Medals)

Campaign Medals

Great War History Hub Whitchurch Shropshire Medals Front Image

The British War Medal (also known as 'Squeak') was a silver or bronze medal awarded to officers and men of the British and Imperial Forces who either entered a theatre of war or entered service overseas between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918 inclusive. This was later extended to services in Russia, Siberia and some other areas in 1919 and 1920. Approximately 6.5 million British War Medals were issued. Approximately 6.4 million of these were the silver versions of this medal. Around 110,000 of a bronze version were issued mainly to Chinese, Maltese and Indian Labour Corps. The front (obv or obverse) of the medal depicts the head of George V. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.

The Allied Victory Medal (also known as 'Wilfred') was issued by each of the allies. It was decided that each of the allies should each issue their own bronze victory medal with a similar design, similar equivalent wording and identical ribbon. The British medal was designed by W. McMillan. The front depicts a winged classical figure representing victory. Approximately 5.7 million victory medals were issued. Interestingly, eligibility for this medal was more restrictive and not everyone who received the British War Medal ('Squeak') also received the Victory Medal ('Wilfred'). However, in general, all recipients of 'Wilfred' also received 'Squeak' and all recipients of The 1914 Star or The 1914/1915 Star (also known as 'Pip') also received both 'Squeak' and 'Wilfred'. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.


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