Dumfries To Celebrate Centenary Of War Hero Lt James Edward Tait

A paving stone commemorating Lt Tait will be unveiled and wreaths will be laid in his memory at Maxwelltown War Memorial.

A service of commemoration will be held at Maxwelltown West Church.

Those attending and organisations represented will include Lord Lieutenant of Dumfries; Lt Col Tim Partello, Canadian Army Liaison Officer to the British Army; MSPs; Legion Scotland; Guid Nychburris Festival Association; The Queen of the South; and Dumfries and Galloway Council.

Lieutenant James Edward Tait VC MC [1886-1918]
Wednesday 8 August 2018
1100: Maxwelltown War Memorial
1145: Maxwelltown West Church

All members of the public are invited to attend.

James Edward Tait, was born on 27 May 1886 in Greenbrae, Maxwelltown. He emigrated to Canada, where he worked as a civil engineer. He married Jessie Spiers Aitken from West Arcadia, California. He enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force in February 1916 and served with the 78th [Winnipeg Grenadiers] Battalionduring World War 1. We was awarded the Military Cross [MC] in 1917 . He died in action on 11 August 1918 at Amiens in France, and was awarded the Victoria Cross [VC] for his actions.

Lt Tait is buried in Fouquescourt British Cemetery, France. His Victoria Cross is held in Glenbow Museum, Calgary, Canada and

VC citation – The London Gazette, 24 September 1918

For most conspicuous bravery and initiative in attack. The advance having been checked by intense machine-gun fire, Lieutenant 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, Lieutenant 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.

Councillor Archie Dryburgh, Armed Forces Champion, Dumfries and Galloway Council, said: “As an ex-serviceman , it has been a privilege and an honour to be involved with the planning of the events to commemorate the centenary of Lieutenant James Edward Tait being awarded the Victoria Cross for his gallant act of bravery during World War 1.”
Councillor Rob Davidson, the Council’s Depute Leader , said: “Lieutenant Tait was an immensely courageous man and I am glad that our Council has arranged this commemoration of his being awarded the Victoria Cross. It will be a privilege to lay a wreath in Lieutenant Tait’s memory. Much credit is due to Archie Dryburgh for the work he has done as Armed Forces Champion to arrange these Victoria Cross commemorations.”

The sandstone for the plinth on which the commemorative paving stone is laid was donated by Marshall Stancliffe Stone, Locharbriggs Quary, Dumfries.

Photo link attached:
Lt James Edward Tait VC MC