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Private Laurence James

9720 1st Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment

Laurence James
Son of Mr John & Mrs Annie James

Aged 18 years

Died 11th September 1914

Commemorated on La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial

Born at Kettering, enlisted at Northampton. Brother of Reginald Ernest James.
The photograph is taken from the Rushden Echo, with the following note:

Private L James of Rushden

Reported, unofficially, to be missing, Private James (“Pop”) son of Mr and Mrs James, of Rushden has not written home for a considerable time. The War Office report that he was with his regiment on Oct. 10th. We trust that he may turn up safe and sound.

The Rushden Echo, 15th January, 1915, transcribed by Jim Hollis

Rushden Soldier Dead? - Unofficially Reported Killed - Comrades Evidence

We deeply regret to announce that Pte. L. James (Rushden), known as “Pop” is reported killed, although not officially. A Rushden soldier who arrived home this week told a “Rushden Echo” representative that he knew for certain that “Pop” James was killed. It will be remembered that about four months ago Pte. James was officially reported to be missing, and since then nothing has been heard from him. He is a son of Mr. and Mrs. James, of Robinson-road, Rushden. Having made many friends, he will be greatly missed, especially as he was of a very amiable disposition. He was formerly a Boy Scout.

On enquiry at the residence of Mr. James, father of Pte. L. James, we learn that a Higham Ferrers soldier (Pte. B. Freeman) sends the following information:-

“Private James was wounded in the arm in the battle of the Aisne and was taken to a hospital, but where, I don’t know. I hope he is all right. His wound might prevent his being able to write.”

The Rushden Echo Friday 19 February 1915, transcribed by Nicky Bates

Germans Shoot Civilians - After Binding them with Ropes - Rushden Soldier's Clear Evidence - German White Flag Treachery - "Steelbacks" in close Quarters with the Enemy

Pte Chas. Tew (Rushden), of the Northamptonshire Regiment, has paid a seven days' visit to his wife and family after having spent four or five months in hospital owing to an attack of enteric fever contracted at the Aisne.

He was called up as a reservist at the beginning of the war, and drafted out to the front with his regiment, participating in the retreat from Mons.

Pte Tew also witnessed the notorious German atrocity, viz., when the enemy approached the British trenches under cover of a white flag and opened fire on our men when they left the trenches to take them prisoners. To a "Rushden Echo" representative Pte Tew said:

".. ..It was on Sept. 17th that the Germans played a dirty trick on us. They left their trenches and approached us over the brow of the hill, carrying a white flag. Naturally we thought they wished to surrender, and we got out of our dug-outs with the idea of taking them prisoner. As soon as they saw our numerical inferiority the front line lay down and their rear ranks opened a murderous fire on us with rifles and machine guns, with the result that the Northamptonshires suffered very severely. Fortunately, our reserve line noticed what was happening, and opened fire in their turn, with the result that we captured about 200 of the enemy. Ever since that day two Rushden men in my regiment have been missing - Ptes. James and Ingram. I couldn't tell you what happened to them, as I never saw them after that...."

The Rushden Echo Friday 27 September 1918, transcribed by Nicky Bates

Rushden's Casualty List

Pte Reginald Ernest James, 47240, Lancashire Fusiliers, son of Mr and Mrs J T James, of 54 Robinson-road, Rushden, is officially reported suffering form a gas shell wound, severe. For a time he was in the 12th St Louis (U.S.A.) General Hospital, Rouen, but is now in a Convalescent Depot at Trouville. This is the second time Pte James has been wounded, the first occasion being on February 3rd this year, but he was not sent to England, and he returned to the trenches, about the beginning of August last. He is 24 years of age, and prior to enlistment was for some years employed by Messrs. Eastman Ltd., butchers, Rushden. Joining the Colours in March 1916, he first went to the western front in September, 1917. As a lad he was a member of the Rushden C.L.B. His brother Pte Lawrence James, Northants Regiment, has been missing for four years.

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