RBCM Archives

Series MS-2516 - James Kingsley papers

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James Kingsley papers

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  • textual material

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MS-2516

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  • 1893-1987 (Creation)
    Creator
    Kingsley, James, b. 1893

Physical description area

Physical description

Originals, 5 cm, microfilm (neg.), 1893-1987, 35 mm [A01500(5)]

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Name of creator

Kingsley, James, b. 1893

Biographical history

James Kingsley was a storekeeper and real estate agent from Parksville, B.C.

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Scope and content

Autobiographical notes of James Edward Kingsley Sr. covering the period 1893-1987; and his diary of service as commander of No. 32 Company, Pacific Coast Militia Rangers during World War II, 9 March 1942 - 11 February 1946. Also included in this unit are the minutes of the Parksville and District Community Society 1923-1938. A History of Mount Arrowsmith Branch of 49 Royal Canadian Legion by James Kingsley Sr. and Walter Avery has been transferred to the B.C. Archives Library. Microfilm (neg.) 1893-1987 35 mm [A01500(5)] Photocopies 1893-1987 5 cm James Edward Kingsley Senior, was born on 23 October 1893 in Victoria, one of the three children of Jack Edward Kingsley (born New South Wales) and Mary Kingsley (nee Mills, born Ontario 1871). His father was a streetcar motorman in Victoria, but in 1897 the gold rush drew him to the Yukon. The remainder of the family moved to Parksville in 1901 to live with Mrs. Kingsley's father William Mills. Here Jim continued his schooling and in 1903 the family went to the Yukon. His parents bought the Bonanza Clothing Store at Grand Forks, where Jim worked in the store and did a variety of other jobs including hauling water by dog-sled and selling newspapers. He also started grade 4 and went to school part time. In 1907 his mother died and he returned to Victoria for schooling, but quit after six months. In 1908 he went to stay with his grandfather in Parksville where he did farm work and other assorted jobs before becoming an apprentice carpenter building houses and bridges for the government. In early 1916 he joined the 103rd Battalion. At age 22 he was promoted to the rank of corporal and was ordered to England. Within a year he became the youngest ever quartermaster sergeant in Canadian army records. However, as he had come to fight, at his own request he reverted to the rank of private and was sent to France. He fought at Vimy Ridge, Passchendaele (where he was promoted to corporal) and at the Cambrai Battle near Vimy Ridge, where he was wounded and invalided home. After spending time in various hospitals he was finally checked into a convalescent home in Qualicum Beach. Here he met Alice Golding, whom he married on 20 January 1921. Following his recovery Jim took a shoe repair course in Vancouver and then began a shoe repair business in Parksville in 1921, later adding clothing, fishing and sporting goods. His son, James, was born in 1923 and his daughter Mary in 1926. On 9 March 1942 Kingsley was summoned to Victoria to discuss the formation of a Civil Defence Corps, to be known as the Pacific Coast Militia Rangers. At a meeting in Parksville on 3 April, Kingsley was chosen as commander. On 11 April he received confirmation of his appointment as Captain commanding the 32nd Company of the Pacific Coast Militia Rangers. Kingsley held this post for the remainder of the war, finally receiving his discharge on 11 February 1946. Kingsley had sold his business in 1943. After the war he traveled for a time, then went into the real estate business, working for Butcher, McLennan and Lenhart of Nanaimo. In 1956 he bought out Parksville Realty but, due to the boom in real estate, the strain proved too much, so he sold out the business in 1959. He then worked with Dudley Wickett for a short time, then retired permanently and continued his travels, eventually visiting Africa, Europe, South America, Australia and the United States. Kingsley has has held many positions in the community, including a number of terms as a Parksville alderman. Kingsley and his wife were charter members of the local legion and he has held all the offices in the local legion including honorary president. He has also served for five years in the Great War Veteran's Association. MS-2516 comprises Mr. Kingsley's autobiographical notes; his diary of his time in No. 32 Company, Pacific Coast Militia Rangers; and the minutes of the Parksville and District Community Society 1923-1938. The material written by Mr. Kingsley is not to be quoted for publication without the permission of the donor's family. The records which constitute MS-2516 were loaned to the PABC for copying by J.E. Kingsley Senior. A History of Mount Arrowsmith Branch 49 Royal Canadian Legion by James Kingsley Senior and Walter Avery has been transferred to the BC Archives Library. Source: MS Finding Aids Loaned for copying by J.E. Kingsley Sr., Parksville, 1988. Finding aid: reel/volume list.

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Accession number(s): MS-2516

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