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sanderson-1James Sanderson was born in Wesham in 1896 the son of Thomas and Margaret Sanderson (nee Akrigg). Thomas and Margaret were married in 1886.

James had six brothers and two sisters, namely; Thomas Benjamin (1886), Elizabeth Agnes (1889), William (1890), John (1893), Richard (1894), Harry (1898), Sarah Isabel (1899) and Joseph Hudson (1907).

James`s father Thomas was originally from the tiny hamlet of Wharles near Kirkham and his mother Margaret was from Westmorland. Not long after the couple married they went to live at 3 Saltcoates Cottages in Lytham where Thomas was working as a farm labourer.

By 1901 the family were in Wesham living at 5 Garstang Road and Thomas Sanderson had left farm work and was employed by the local council as a road repairer.

Ten years later James and his family were living at the same address in Wesham. His two youngest siblings were at school and his father was still working on the roads. James and his older siblings were all working in the local cotton mills. Number five Garstang Road was fairly large with seven rooms but nevertheless probably a little crowded having three other relatives living with the family at the time; Alice Cottam a 14 year old niece, John Nichol a cousin and unemployed farm labourer and Sarah Ellwood who was Margaret`s mother.

On the 1 September, 1914 James enlisted at Preston at the age of 18 years and 9 months. He was given the service number 12781 and posted to “B” Coy, 6th Battalion. He confirmed he was single, living at home with his parents and that his occupation was a spinner. The Medical Officer noted that he was 5`8” tall, had grey eyes and brown hair and weighed 156lbs. James named his father Thomas as his next of kin and his address as 5 Garstang Road, Wesham.

Four of James` brothers also enlisted, Thomas Benjamin with the Royal Engineers, William R.A.M.C., Richard 7th Battalion Loyals and Harry initially with the South Lancashires. Mr. and Mrs. Sanderson were understandably very proud of their five sons and this prompted the following article to be printed in the Preston Guardian.


One misdemeanour is recorded in James’s service record which states that he received 5 days confined to barracks in December, 1914 for “not complying with an order”.

James was appointed Lance Corporal (unpaid) on 1 February, 1915 then Lance Corporal (paid) on 14 April, 1915 while the Battalion were still in England training.

The 6th Battalion came under the command of 38th Brigade in the 13th (Western) Division. In the Spring of 1915 it was decided to send reinforcements to General Hamilton`s force in the Gallipoli Peninsula and the 10th, 11th and 13th Divisions were ordered to prepare for embarkation.

On the 14th June, 1915 the Battalion transport left Farnborough Station for Avonmouth to board the “Japanese Prince”. Later on the same day the Headquarters entrained at Frimley for the same port and the remainder of the Battalion followed a couple of hours later and boarded the “Braemar Castle”. The total strength of the 6th Battalion being 31 Officers and 946 other ranks.

The “Braemar Castle” set sail at 11am on the 17th June and going by Malta, Alexandria and Mudros the Battalion landed at night in Cape Helles on the 6th July.

Sadly, James was killed in action on 1 September, 1915 during the fierce fighting at Chunuk Bair. His body was never recovered and so his name was recorded on the Helles Memorial.

James Sanderson was awarded the 1915 Star, British War and Victory Medals

Additional family information

sanderson-331448 Corporal Harry Sanderson 11th Battalion East Lancashire Regiment (formerly 60486 Manchester Regiment). Died 28 June, 1918. Buried Aval Wood Military Cemetery, Vieux-Berquin, Nord, France. Harry was awarded the British War and Victory Medals.


sanderson-413953 Lance Corporal Richard Sanderson 7th Battalion Loyal North Lancs. Went to France on 17 July, 1915 with the 7th Battalion. At some point he transferred to the Tank Corps as 92728 Temp Sgt.  Richard survived the war and was awarded the 1915 Star, British War and Victory Medals. He married Mildred Gardner on 25 June, 1924 at Christ Church, Wesham. He was employed as a Postman at the time of his marriage.


sanderson-5388344 Private William Sanderson RAMC, 2 Northern Field Ambulance. William enlisted on 8 January, 1915 and was discharged on 4 August, 1917 due to accidental wounds. William did see service overseas. He received a Silver War Badge with the number 126835 and was also awarded the British War and Victory Medals.


sanderson-6WR/257357 (formerly 68567) Corporal Thomas Benjamin Sanderson Royal Engineers. Thomas went to France on 1 May, 1915. He survived the war and was awarded the 1915 Star, British War and Victory Medals for his services to his country.

Thomas married Elizabeth Hannah Clarkson in 1907 and they had five children. Thomas passed away in 1934 aged 47 years.


James and his younger brother Harry are also both remembered on the Wesham War Memorial.


The Wesham War Memorial

Rank: Lance Corporal
Service No: 12781
Date of Death: 09/08/1915
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, “B” Coy. 6th Bn.

Janet Davis
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