Rank: Private
Number: S/10974
Unit: 1st Battalion GORDON HIGHLANDERS
Date of Death: 19 July 1916
Age: 39
Cemetery: Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France

Nothing is known of James’ early life but, in 1905, he married Annie Tinsley at St Mary’s Church, Stockport. They would live at 6 Holborn Street and would have five children together. James earned his living as an “outdoor worker”.

His service number indicates he enlisted into the army shortly after war was declared. After training, he went overseas on 29 September 1915. On 18 July 1916, the 1st Gordons attacked German positions near the Maltz Horn Farm, as part of the Battle of the Somme whioch had been ongoing since the first of the month. They gained their first objective but were unable to hold on and were forced back with around 260 casualties, dead, wounded or missing. The next day, while three of the Battalion’s four battalions were moved back to Dublin Trench, “A” Company remained near the front line to bury those of their comrades whose bodies they had been able to recover. James has no known grave and was probably killed by shellfire.

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