Rank: Private
Number: 265575
Unit: 1/6th Battalion CHESHIRE Regiment
Date of Death: 7 July 1917
Age: 31
Cemetery: Mendinghem Military Cemetery, Poperinge, Belgium

James had been born in Heaton Norris. Later his parents, William and Martha, were living at 23 Cunliffe Street, Edgeley. The 1901 Census records William as working as a railway engine driver, then aged 41. Martha was 45. James was 14 and already working as a gold printer in the hat industry.

James' original service number, 1878, suggest he was probably a pre-war member of the Territorial Army and was mobilised into the 6th Cheshires when was declared in August 1914. Click here for an account of the Battalion's early months of service.

The Battalion's History records that, on 6 July, enemy aircraft attacked the front line killing three men and wounding eleven others. James was one of the eleven. He was evacuated from the trench to a Casualty Clearing Station some miles behind the lines, where he died. He is buried in the adjacent cemetery. A chaplain at the Station wrote "He was seriously wounded by a bursting shell in the legs, back and neck. He was attended to be skilled surgeons and nurses and I can assure you everything possible was done for him. Before he died, he turned to me and said "write to my mother, give her my best love. Tell her it is bad luck to be knocked out just as I should have been coming home on leave. Tell her that I will be alright". The poor lad could not realise that he was seriously hurt. After that he became drowsy and said he would go to sleep and he did, but it was the sleep of death."

James passed away in the early hours of 7 July.

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