James EGAN
Rank: Gunner
Number: 297007
Unit: 2nd/104th Heavy Battery ROYAL GARRISON ARTILLERY
Date of Death: 15 April 1917
Age: 25
Cemetery: Amara War Cemetery, Iraq

Nothing is known of James early life, except that army records published after the War indicate he was born in Stockport and enlisted into the army in the town. He is known to have been married and there is a record of a man of this name marrying Nellie Jones in 1916 in a civil ceremony registered in the town. The couple lived at 68 Parsonage Street, Heaton Norris and James worked at the Crown Mill of Stott Brothers Ltd in nearby Denton.

The 1916 wedding would be consistent with him marrying his fiancée before he went overseas on active service. Many soldiers did so. The 2/104th Heavy Battery was a regular army unit which was in India until 1916 when it was transferred to the Mesopotamia theatre of the War in modern day Iraq. James will have joined it there, as one of a draft of new troops to bring it up to fighting strength.

Although the local newspaper reporting his death stated that he had died of gunshot wounds, the army records mentioned earlier simply record that he “died” – a designation for a death from natural causes as opposed to “died of wounds” or “killed in action”. And, certainly, on the day he died, theBbrigade was not in action and was well out of range of the Turkish army which, in any event, was fast retreating.

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