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Hollinghurst 1James Hollinghurst was born in Preston in 1894 and was one of eleven children born to Henry and Jane Hollinghurst (nee Taylor). Henry and Jane married in Preston in 1890, the couple`s first seven children were all born in Preston although not all of them survived;

  • William (1890)
  • James Francis (1892-1893)
  • James* (1894)
  • Ann (1897-1897)
  • Twins Henry and John (1898-1898)
  • Jane (1899)

Not long after Jane was born the family left Preston and moved to 10 Catherine Street East in Horwich near Bolton where James` father Henry was employed as an “excavator”. Henry and Jane`s remaining four children were all born in Horwich; Mary Alice (1902), Henry (1904-1904), Elizabeth (1906) and Ann (1909).

In 1911 the family were still in Catherine Street in Horwich and by this time James had found work in the machine fitters shop in the Horwich Loco Works, his brother William was also a general labourer there. James` father Henry was working for Liverpool Corporation Waterworks as a general labourer.

James enlisted on the 17th August 1914 at Horwich where he joined the 4th Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment and was given the service number 1646. He confirmed that he had been employed at the Lancs & Yorks Railway Company`s works prior to his enlistment and that his home address was 22 Catherine Street East in Horwich. James named his father Henry of the same address as his official next of kin. He signed his agreement to serve abroad in the event of a national emergency at Preston.

On the 22nd August 1914 the Battalion went to Swindon to start their training, spending some three months there before moving to Sevenoaks in Kent in November of that year. In March 1915 the Battalion relocated to Oxted and the following month they were moved to Bedford where they joined the 51st Highland Division.

James went to France with the main body of the 1/4th Battalion on the 4th May 1915 sailing from Folkestone on board the SS Onward. The strength of the Battalion was 31 Officers and 1003 other ranks.

Extract from the Battalion War History;

“At last we were really on our way, after all the delays and waitings we were going overseas like the rest! And it had all been done so quickly, that only now as we stood on the darkened boat and watched the lights of England receding, did we begin to realise what it meant – this stealthy journey of nearly a thousand souls across the Channel, which many of us had never seen before, and which many were never to see again”.

Just a few weeks after landing in France the Battalion received news that they would be taking part in their first major action, the Battle of Festubert on the 15th June 1915. The attack was often referred to as “the great bayonet charge” and great losses were incurred.

Sadly, James Hollinghurst was one of many who were posted missing after the attack and his parents had the following article inserted into the Preston Guardian hoping that someone may know of his whereabouts.Hollinghurst 2

James` death was finally accepted for official purposes on the 6th May 1916 almost twelve months after he was killed.

His body was never recovered from the battlefield and so his name appears on the Le Touret Memorial to the Missing. After the war Henry Hollinghurst took receipt of his son`s medals, the 1915 Star, British War and Victory Medals.

James` name is also remembered on the Horwich Loco Works Memorial. The inscription on the front of the memorial states;                             

                                “To the everlasting memory of our Glorious Dead 1914-1918 created by Horwich Loco Works Employees”

Horwich Loco Works Memorial Horwich Loco Works Memorial2

Rank: Private
Service No: 1646
Date of Death: 15/06/1915
Age: 20
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1st/4th Bn.

Janet Davis
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