William Thomas JAMES
Rank: Private
Number: 31031
Unit: 8th Battalion South Lancashire Regiment
Date of Death: 4 October 1916
Age: 40
Cemetery: Puchevillers British Cemetery, Somme, France

William was born in Heaton Norris in 1876. His parents were Charles and Emma who, in 1901, were living at 5 Longsight Street, Stockport with their two daughters - Maria (then 19) and Polly (13). William had got married the year before and had set up home with Edith (nee Woodbridge) just down the road at No. 9. Both of them worked at one of the local cotton mills.

William's is not an early army service number and he will not have been at the front for very long before he died. On 1 October 1916, the Battalion was in trenches at a captured position known as "Zollern Redoubt". During the day, "D" Company's specialist grenade throwers were attached as extra re-enforcements for a Canadian attack on Regina Trench. Over the next two days, the Battalion's War Diary reports no particular action or casualities. Diaries did not always mention men who had been wounded so it is not possible to be precise about when or how William received the injuries from which he died on the 4th, but it would have been sometime from the first of the month.

He was evacuated from the front line and taken to one of the field hospitals (3rd or 44th Casualty Clearing Station) at Puchevillers. There, military surgeons would have done all they could to save his life, but without success.

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