James Alfred JEMISON
Rank: Rifleman
Number: 5280
Date of Death: 9 June 1918
Age: 33 (wrongly recorded as 37 by War Graves Commission)
Cemetery: Stockport Borough Cemetery

In the early 1880s, Benjamin Jemison and Mary Jane Partington married at St Paul’s Church, Portwood. James was born in 1884. They are thought to have had several more children over the years but, in 1901 when a national census was taken, only James and 4 year old Walter were alive. James was working as a cotton bobbiner in a mill. The Census records that Mary Jane was a widower but this is not accurate as Benjamin did not die until 1907.

In 1906, James married Margaret (Maggie) McGowen and they are thought to have lived at 2 Sykes Court, King Street West , where Maggie was known to be living in the early 1920s.

James’ first unit is recorded as being the 4th Battalion of the Rifle Corps. This was part of the pre-War regular army and James’ low service number suggests that he might have been serving then. If so, he will have been in India when War was declared. The Battalion arrived back in the UK on 18 November 1914 and went overseas again on 21 December.

His later recorded unit, “depot”, indicates he had returned to the UK and had been home for some considerable time and had been taken off the strength of the 4th Battalion. The cause of his return is not known – it may have been as result of wounds or illness. Army records published after the War note that he “died”. This designation as opposed to “died of wounds” normally indicates a death from natural causes but he may also have been wounded.

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