James EYRES
Rank: Private
Number: 48055
Unit: 1st Battalion SOUTH WALES BORDERERS
Date of Death: 29 September 1918
Age:
Cemetery: Brie British Cemetery, Somme, France

All that is known for certain about James is that, according to Army records published after the War, he was born in Stockport and enlisted into the forces at Chester. An examination of the 1901 Census suggests that he was probably the 2 year son of John James Eyres and Rose Eyres who were then living at 27 Ince Street, Heaton Norris.

On 28 September 1918, James and his comrades once more moved into the front line, this time near the village of Pontruet. The next morning they would take up the attack on the now retreating German army. The Borderers would attack on a frontage 500 yards wide with other units on their right and left. The Battalion War Diary, written immediately after the event, takes up the story:-

"The dispositions before the attack were "A" Coy [company] right front, "B" Coy left front, "D" Coy support and "C" Coy in reserve. At Zero, "B" Coy advanced 850 yards and took Faucille Trench (First objective). A certain amount of opposition was met with from MGs [machine guns] but this was overcome. The plan of attack was to wait for the 1st Gloucesters before going on to the second objective but OC "B" Coy, seeing the Gloucesters held up by MG fire, pushed his attack forward to second objective, Foreats Trench, making excellent use of the cover which the ground afforded. When "B" Coy was established in Foreats Trench, "C" Coy came up behind the trench and formed up ready to start for the third objective, which was the village of Thorigny and Talana Hill. At zero (6pm), "C" Coy advanced under cover of a barrage meeting with very heavy machine gun fire and darkness coming on "C" Coy did not advance further than about 500 yards in front of Foreats. Here they dug in and waited till morning. "D" and "A" Coys were supporting "C" Coy."

The next day, "C" advanced at 8am. The men of "A" attacked the machine gun nest head on, whilst other troops worked their way round behind it and managed to capture the small garrison and its guns. After this, there was little opposition and the Battalion moved forward to capture and consolidate the third objective in the village.

During the two days, seven men had been killed. James was one of the 31 to have been wounded. He was evacuated to an army field hospital some miles behind the lines where military surgeons would have done all they could for him but without success.

   
           
   
     
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