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James Brogden Makinson was born in Horwich near Bolton in the September quarter of 1894 to Robert and Emily Makinson (nee Farrington), his parents married in Holy Trinity Church in Horwich in 1892. James had four sisters although sadly one died in infancy; Mary E. (1892), Susannah (1896-1897), Edna (1901) and Emily (1902). In the Census taken in 1901 James and his family lived at 4 George Street in Horwich where Robert Makinson was employed on the railways as a signalman. James` Uncle Noah Makinson, a machine miller on the railways was also boarding with the family at the time.

By 1911 James and his family had moved to 22 Wood Street in Horwich and James now had a job as a clerk at the Victoria cotton mill. His father Robert had left the railways and was now working for Bolton Corporation as a motorman (tramways). James` eldest sister Elizabeth was a cotton weaver and his two younger sisters were both attending the National Girls School.

Unfortunately there are no surviving service records for James so his date of enlistment is unknown but we know that he embarked for France on the 3rd June 1915. After arriving at the Base Depot he was then posted to the 1st Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. Prior to James` arrival the 1st Battalion had been involved at Aubers Ridge where they had suffered numerous casualties and as a consequence through the months of June, July and August 1915 they received several drafts of men to bring them back up to strength. This was achieved by early September 1915 just in time for their participation in the Battle of Loos (25th September – 15th October 1915). During the Battle of Loos the 1st Battalion once again suffered numerous casualties, on the opening day alone the losses amounted to 16 Officers and 489 other ranks, killed, wounded and missing. James, however, managed to survive.

After the Battle of Loos concluded it would be many months before the Battalion would be engaged in any major operations although they continued to suffer casualties on a daily basis during time spent in and out of the trenches. The Battalion`s next major action would be during the Battle of the Somme in the summer of 1916.

On the 4th August 1916 the Battalion relieved the 10th Battalion Royal Fusiliers in the trenches around High Wood.

Sadly, James` involvement in the war came to an end when he was killed during an attack on High Wood on the 18th August 1916.

Read the Battalion orders for the attack on the 18th August – click here

After the war James` parents took receipt of his 1915 Star, British War and Victory Medals to which he was entitled and they would also have received his Memorial Plaque and Scroll in recognition of his sacrifice.

James` body was recovered and he was originally buried somewhere out on the battlefield, his grave was later found and he was reburied in Delville Wood Military Cemetery on the Somme. His family had the words AT REST” inscribed at the foot of his headstone.

Photo July 2016

Photo July 2016

Rank: Private
Service No: 19790
Date of Death: 18/08/1916
Age: 22
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1st Bn.
Cemetery: DELVILLE WOOD CEMETERY, LONGUEVAL

Janet Davis

Janet Davis

Janet Davis has been researching her family history for many years and through this she discovered many relatives who served in WW1. This interest then led Janet to do many walking the battlefield tours with her husband. In April 2013 she discovered this website and volunteered to help. Janet believes that there are lots of stories still to be told, most of them very sad but at the same time they are a fascinating insight into the men, their families, what they did and where they came from.
Janet Davis

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