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James Martindale was born in the third quarter of 1897 in Bolton and was the son of James and Mary Alice Martindale of 6, Parkinson Street, Bolton. The family had lived at this address since at least 1901 where James is recorded, aged 3, alongside his sisters Elizabeth, Lilly and Alice; and his older brother John. In 1901 their father was working as a moulder in an engine makers.

The 1911 census, the last snapshot of the family we have, shows their father was now working as a moulder in an iron works, his older brother John, age 15, was working the steam hammer in an iron foundry and our James, age 13, was cleaning in a spinning mill. There had been three new additions to the family over the past 10 years, daughters Bell and Annie; and son Thomas.

James Martindale enlisted in the Army at Bolton and joined the 7th (Service) Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment with the number 17667.

Unfortunately his service papers have not survived but as he was only entitled to the British War Medal and Victory Medal we can deduce he sailed to France to join his Battalion in the field in January or February 1916 and was killed in action soon thereafter. His death is officially recorded as ‘killed in action on 24th February 1916’ which was the night that the 7th LNL took over the trenches at Neuve Chapelle following two days rest at Croix Barbee,

The War Diary says that the relief was complete by 09:45 P.M. on the 24th, and that the next day it snowed for several hours and was very quiet despite two men being killed. The two men the diary says were killed on 25th can only be 17667 Private James Martindale and 12875 Private Henry Hart, also from Bolton.

Rank: Private
Service No: 17667
Age: 18
Date of Death: 24/02/1916 or 25/02/1916
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 7th Bn.

Paul McCormick
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