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James Dolan was the son of Richard Armistead Dolan b.1855, a labourer and previously a coal miner, and Sarah Ellen Dolan (née Grimshaw) b.1857.

James first appeared on the 1891 Census when he was lodging at 20 Kent Street, Farnworth with his father and siblings Margaret S b.1877 and Richard b.1884.

In 1901, aged 14, James was living in as a pupil of Bishop Brown Memorial Industrial School for Roman Catholic Boys, Stockport. His father was lodging at 4 Rose Street, Farnworth.

James gained a step-mother in 1902 when his father married Mary Jane Flitcroft on 22nd November.

In 1911 James was living in a lodging house at 76 Dock Street, Fleetwood, Lancashire. He was working as a shoemaker.

James enlisted into the Army at Preston and joined the 6th (Service) Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment with the number 11605.

He sailed for Gallipoli from Avonmouth aboard HMT Braemar Castle on 15th June 1915 and was killed in action at Chunuk Bair on the 9/10th August 1915.

The official despatch about the action states;

“The two battalions of the New Army chosen to hold Chunuk Bair were the 6th Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. The first of these arrived in good time and occupied the trenches. Even in the darkness their commanding officer, Lieut-Colonel H.G. Levinge, recognized how dangerously these trenches were sited, and he began at once to dig observation posts on the actual crest and to strengthen the defences where he could; but he had not time given him to do much.

The second battalion, the Wiltshires, were delayed by the intricate country; they did not reach the edge of the entrenchment until 4am, and were then told to lie down in what was believed, erroneously, to be a covered position. At daybreak on Tuesday 10th August, the Turks delivered a grand attack from the Chunuk Bair Hill-Q against these two battalions, already weakened in numbers, though not in spirit, by previous fighting.

First our men were shelled by every enemy gun, and then, at 5.30am, were assaulted by a huge column consisting of no less than a full division, plus a regiment of three battalions.

The Loyal North Lancashire men were simply overwhelmed in their shallow trenches by sheer weight in numbers, whilst the Wiltshires who were caught in the open, were literally almost annihilated. The ponderous mass of enemy swept over the crest, turned the right flank of our line below, swarmed round the Hampshires and General Baldwin’s column, which had to which had to give ground and were only extricated with great difficulty and very heavy losses.

Towards this supreme struggle the absolute last two battalions from our general reserve were now hurried, but by 10am, the effort of the enemy was spent. Soon their shattered remnants began to trickle back, leaving a track of corpses behind them, and by nightfall, except prisoners or wounded, no live Turk was left upon our side of the slope.”

The following article appeared in the Farnworth Weekly Journal on 17th September 1915.


Mr. R. H. Dolan (sic) of 29, Bentinck-st, Farnworth, has received word that his son, Pte.James Dolan (11605), aged 29 of the 6th L.N.L., was killed in action at the Dardanelles on August 10th. Previous to joining the Army in September last year Pte. Dolan was a shoemaker, working at Stockport. He left for the Dardanelles in June. According to his last letter he reached the firing line about July 6th. In a letter of that date he stated:-“I am going into the firing line tonight to do my little bit. I cannot say much about this place except that the weather is terribly dry.” Pte. J. Dolan’s brother, Pte. ? Dolan of 2 Green-st, Bolton, is in the L/N.L. and has been in France for nine months, and his step-brother, Pte. J. W. Flitcroft (5386), is also in the Army and training in the 4/5th L.N.L., which he joined three months ago.

James is remembered on the Helles Memorial in Gallipoli, and the Farnworth War Memorial in the UK.

Helles Memorial

Helles Memorial

Rank: Private
Service No: 11605
Date of Death: 10/08/1915
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 6th Bn.

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