Rank: Private
Number: 315279
Unit: 1/6th Battalion ROYAL WELSH FUSILIERS
Date of Death: 9 March 1918
Age: 30
Cemetery: Jerusalem War Cemetery, Israel

James' mother had died by the time of the 1901 Census and he and his four younger siblings were raised by their father, John. They were then living in a "two up, two down" in Horbury, Wakefield. They had all been born in the area. It is not known when James moved to the Stockport area but, in 1913, he married Ada Street at Edgeley Methodist Church. Her address, after the War, was 75 Ingleton Road but it is not known if this was the home she and James shared.

When he joined the army, James' service number indicates he was assigned to the 23rd Battalion and that it was sometime after the beginning of 1917. The 23rd Battalion had been formed in 1915 for home service duties only and was comprised mainly of men considered too old or of not sufficient fitness to withstand the rigours of trench warfare. However, with mounting casualties, men like James were transferred to fighting units.

The 1/6th Battalion had seen action at Gallipoli in 1915 and was then transferred to Palestine where it continued to face the Turkish Army. The Battalion's War Diary is held at the National Archives. Its faded pencil written notes are now hard to read. But it can be made out that at 7am on 9 March, the Battalion was ordered to attack Turkish positions on the heights of Tel Asur. They would be in support of the 1/5th Battalion and would advance across the Jordan Valley, astride the Jerusalam to Nablus road. The position was secured by late morning and the 1/6th moved up to reinforce the 1/5th. During the afternoon, there were several Turkish counter-attack attempts. It was hard fighting.

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