Dates of existence
22 Aug 1910 - 24 May 1996
James Joseph Claxton was born in Ireland on August 22, 1910 and immigrated to Canada as a teenager. Despite a love for his adopted country, he never forgot his Irish roots. In 1941, he joined the Irish Fusiliers of Canada (Vancouver Regiment) where he was able to serve the British Commonwealth along side his many Irish-Canadian compatriots. The following year, his regiment was deployed for active overseas combat in North Africa, Italy and North Western Europe. At the end of World War II, Claxton returned to British Columbia where he explored this province by settling for a time in Kamloops, Kelowna, Salmon Arm and finally Burnaby. He owned a jewellery store in the New Westminster area for several years in which he showcased his extensive collection of Royal Irish Constabulary badges and ephemera. Claxton was an active leader for the Salmon Arm Boys Scouts of Canada group, and was a member of both the Irish Fusiliers Association and the Toc H (an international charity and membership movement that emerged from a soldiers' club in Belgium during World War I). He also served aboard the M.S. Columbia III (ca. 1960) – one of the last ships then maintained by the Anglican Church’s Columbia Coast Mission. This mission provided religious, medical and social services to remote coastal settlements, logging camps and First Nations communities along the inner coast from 1905 to the late 1960s. James Joseph Claxton passed away at the Royal Columbian Hospital, New Westminster at the age of 86. He was cremated and buried at sea off the northern tip of Vancouver Island at Cape Caution.