b. 27/03/1888 Dumfries, Scotland. d. 11/08/1918 Amiens, France.
Tait was born on 27 May 1888 in Maxwelltown (Dumfries), Scotland to James Bryden Tait and Mary Johnstone. He married Jessie Spiers Aitken from California. He joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force in February 1916. Tait was 32 years old, and a lieutenant in the 78th (Winnipeg Grenadiers) Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force, during the First World War. He died in action on 11 August 1918 in Amiens, France. He was awarded the VC for his actions.
For most conspicuous bravery and initiative in attack. The advance having been checked by intense machine-gun fire, Lt. Tait rallied his company and led it forward with consummate skill and dash under a hail of bullets. A concealed machine gun, however, continued to cause many casualties. Taking a rifle and bayonet, Lt. Tait dashed forward alone and killed the enemy gunner. Inspired by his example his men rushed the position, capturing twelve machine guns and twenty prisoners. His valorous action cleared the way for his battalion to advance. Later, when the enemy counter-attacked our positions under intense artillery bombardment, this gallant officer displayed outstanding courage and leadership, and, though mortally wounded by a shell, continued to aid and direct his men until his death.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: GLENBOW MUSEUM, CALGARY, CANADA.
BURIAL PLACE: FOUQUESCOURT BRITISH CEMETERY, FRANCE.
James Tait's VC on display at the Glenbow Museum, Calgary, Canada (online photo).
James Tait VC is buried in the Special Memorials section Grave 8. (top right of map).
Troqueer Church, Dumfries