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Family appeal

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By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale

ARE you related to Lt James Edward Tait VC MC?

That’s the question being posed by Dumfries and Galloway Council, who want to trace relatives of the serviceman so they can attend a special commemoration. Lieutenant Tait was born in Maxwelltown on May 27 1888, the son of James Bryden Tait and Mary Johnstone Tait. He emigrated to Canada where he worked as a civil engineer. He married Jessie Spiers Aitken, who was from West Arcadia in California. In 1916 he enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force and was commissioned as an officer. He served with the 78th Winnipeg Grenadiers Battalion. And he received the Military Cross for his conduct at the battle for Vimy Ridge on April 9 1917. Lt Tait died in action on August 11 1918 at Amiens and is buried at the British Cemetery at Fouquescourt in France. He was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions at the Battle of Amiens.

Now the local authority are organisation a ceremony on August 8 at Maxwelltown War Memorial and service at Troqueer Church to mark the centenary of his commendation. Councillor Archie Dryburgh said: “The event to commemorate Lieutenant Tait’s award of the VC is our way of thanking the soldiers born in Scotland who served with the Canadian Expeditionary Force, fighting alongside the British Army and other allies in what was supposed to be the war to end all wars.”

If you are a relative of Lieutenant James Edward Tait VC, or have any information about his family, please contact Dumfries and Galloway Council on 01387 273899 or email [email protected]

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