James Kent was born in Stratford, Essex on 23rd February 1899.
The 1901 Census on Ancestry.co.uk shows that the Kent family were living at 12, Vicarage Cottages, West Ham. The Head of the household, George Kent, age 35 born in Stratford in 1856, a Stonemason’s Labourer by trade. His wife Matilda, 35 years of age also from Stratford born in 1865 and their children were Nellie age 11, William age 5 and James age 3.
Canadian Passenger Lists 1865-1935, on Ancestry.co.uk
In 1907 the Kent family emigrated to Canada aboard The S.S.Kensington.
The 1911 Census for Canada on Ancestry.co.uk reveals that the Kent family were living at 155A Drolet, Quebec.
Head, George Kent age 50 was a chef by trade and living with his wife Matilda age 45 and their children William age 15, James age 12, Charles age 7 born in 1903 and two older daughters not mentioned on the 1901 England Census, Matilda age 26 born 1885 and Nellie May age 22 born 1889.
Library of Canada, Soldiers of the First World War 1914-1918.
James Kent was drafted into the 2nd Depot Battalion of the Ontario Regiment on 28th August 1918, his address, 134, Drolet Street, Montreal, Quebec, next of Kin, Mrs Matilda Kent (Mother) and trade, Labourer.
After basic training in Canada, James embarked for England on board the S.S.Durham Castle and on arrival, 25th September 1918 was posted to Whitley Army Camp to complete his training.
As hostilities were coming to an end, James was transferred to Kinmel Camp in Rhyl to await repatriation to Canada.
Kinmel Park Camp was a segregation camp used to house Canadian Soldiers awaiting repatriation to Canada after the end of WW1. Unfortunately the conditions at that time were extremely harsh with a lack of every kind of commodity, the camp was overcrowded and the services were poor, there were shortages of clothing, food and blankets. As a result of this situation, a vast number of servicemen and women became ill and many succumbed to the Influenza Epidemic or complications associated with this infection. Tragically, James contracted Influenza, and was admitted to the Canadian General Hospital where he died on 26th October 1918, he was 19 years of age.
He is buried in St. Margaret’s Cemetery, Bodelwyddan.
James Kent is commemorated on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.