James Joseph Lucas

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James Joseph Lucas

Also Known As: "Grampa Luke", "Jim"
Birthplace: St George Hanover Sq, London, England
Death: August 19, 1998 (88)
Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada
Place of Burial: Cremation. Ashes on veddar mountain, overlooking cultas lake
Immediate Family:

Son of Richard Lucas and Martha Elizabeth Lucas
Husband of Eleanor Frances Lucas
Father of Private User; Barbara Elizabeth Andrews; Private User; Linda Eleanor Olund; Private and 2 others
Brother of John Patrick Lucas; Martha Elizabeth Hulme; Richard James Lucas; Annie Margaret Lucas; Frederick Lucas and 1 other
Half brother of Jane Catherine Cobbing; William Lucas; Walter Lucas; Thomas James Lucas; Arthur Lucas and 2 others

Managed by: Michael John Olund
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About James Joseph Lucas

Grampa Luke was born in London England. His father died when he was 4, and he ended up in St Vincent's orphanage in Mill Hill, London, where he was raised by nuns. At the age of 15 (1925) he was sent to Canada on the ship Montclare as one of the "British Home Children", along with his brother Jack and sister Martha. Jim and Jack were sent to work on farms in Peterborough Ontario. Jack was later sent to Quebec.

Durring the great depression, he was at a relief camp at Harrison Mills BC. He was part of the 1935 "On-to-Ottawa Trek" where striking relief camp workers rode across the country on top of boxcars. The trek culminated in the "Regina Police Riot".

Like many other On-to-Ottawa Trekkers, he was recruited by the communist party of Canada for the Spanish civil war. He served as a medic with the Mackenzie-Papinieau Battalion or Mac-Paps, a battalion of Canadians who fought as part of the XV International Brigade on the Republican side in the war (fighting agains Franco and the rebel forces). He was shot in the leg. This affiliation with the Communist party resulted in CSIS keeping tabs on him for many years after.

He worked as a longshoreman in Vancouver, and later was a lineman for BC Hydro, building towers and stringing wires across the mountains


  • There is a short passage about him in: "Renegades: Canadians in the Spanish Civil War" by Michael Petrou (2009):

"Weissman's evaluations of individual Canadians were similar. Canadian James Lucas was "excellent at the front" but politically backward. "He has anarchist tendencies," Weissman said, and blamed Lucas' lack of good political guides. An unsigned note scrawled on the bottom of another report on James Lucas reveals the attitude of much of the brigade leadership toward the Canadian volunteers: "The key to this comrade's trouble and to the trouble of so many of the Canadians, was the poor political leadership they had and the lack of political education back in Canada."


  • He is listed as a Mac Pap at page xx of the list in William Beeching's book on the Mac Paps - titled "Canadian Volunteers - Spain 1936 - 1939" (published in 1989).


  • He is also on the list of On-to-Ottawa Trekkers compiled by Bill Waiser at p. 278 of his 2003 book, "All Hell Can't Stop Us - the On-to-Ottawa Trek and the Regina Riot."


  • He is also listed on the national monument to the Mac-Paps in Ottawa.
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James Joseph Lucas's Timeline

April 24, 1910
St George Hanover Sq, London, England
October 27, 1949
Age 39
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
August 19, 1998
Age 88
Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada
September 1998
Age 88
Cremation. Ashes on veddar mountain, overlooking cultas lake