Rank: Private
Number: 1174
Unit: 1/6th Battalion CHESHIRE Regiment
Date of Death: 15 October 1916
Age: 29
Cemetery: Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France

James had been born in Romiley and was still living there at the time of the 1901 Census when he was recorded, aged 14, as working as a steam fitter apprentice. His commemoration on the Bredbury and Romiley Memorials indicates that he still probably had family living in the area.

It's thought that when James got married, to Harriett, they lived in the Hyde area. Certainly, he enlisted into the army in that town. He may be the James Marshall commemorated on the War Memorial at St John's Church, Godley, Hyde. His service number confirms he was a pre-war member of the Territorial Army and would have been mobilised when War was declared in August 1914. An account of the Battalion's early activities is here.

Prior to his death, James had been detached from his Battalion and had joined the 118th Trench Mortar Battery commanded at Brigade level - the next higher echelon. Trench mortars were a new invention and the 3" Stokes Mortar only came into use in the autumn of 1915. The weapons were used in a variety of offensive and defensive roles - mainly to suppress enemy machine guns or sniper posts with rapid heavy fire. This meant that they, themselves, became targets for enemy artillery and this is probably how James was killed. Click here for details of the fighting in which he was killed.

After the War, Harriett had married a Mr Foster and was living at 47A Back Victoria Street, Newton, Hyde

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