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Ranson 1James Clement Ranson was born at 33 Garden Walk in Ashton on Ribble, Preston on the 8th September 1885 to John and Annie Ranson (nee Howard). James` parents married in the parish church of St. John in Preston on the 11th April 1871.

James had four brothers, two of which died and he also had three sisters; John Thomas (1872-1879), Annie (1873), Howard (1875-1879), May (1877), John Howard (1879), Harold (1888) and Margaret (1892).

When James` parents married his father was employed as a bookkeeper and by 1891 he was working for a cotton manufacturer as a cashier and the family residence was a large nine roomed house at 26 Newton Road in Ashton on Ribble.

By 1911 James, Harold and Margaret were the only ones still living at home with their parents in Newton Road. Mr. Ranson was now the manager of a cotton mill, James was a wood pattern marker, Harold a machine fitter and the youngest Margaret was an art student. The family had also acquired a 52 year old general servant by the name of Elizabeth Whalley, a single lady from Preston.

After war was declared James and his brother Harold both went to enlist into the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment at Preston. James was issued with the number 2648 which would later become 200667 and Harold was allocated the number 2651. Both brothers joined the 4th Battalion, James with “C” Company and Harold with “B” Company.

James and his younger brother Harold both sailed to France with the main body of the 1/4th Battalion on the 4th May, 1915.

On the 15th June, 1915, prior to the planned attack at 6pm on the German trenches around Festubert James sustained shrapnel wounds to his head and was taken to a hospital in Rouen for treatment. He subsequently returned to a hospital in England to recover from his injuries.

Meanwhile his younger brother Harold remained with the 1/4th Battalion and went into action with “B” Company at 6pm that same evening in what was referred to later as `the great bayonet charge‘.

After he returned to England James managed to send a letter home to his parents in Preston explaining what had happened to him. The information appeared in the paper on the 23rd June 1915.

The letter also refers to `Hal` which was his younger brother Harold;Ranson 2What James didn`t know when he sent the letter to his parents was that his younger brother Harold had been killed during the action. Whether his parents were aware of Harold`s death is unknown but it`s very likely the news hadn`t reached them by then.

James eventually recovered from his injuries and served out the war with the 1/4th Battalion. At some point he attained the rank of Lance Corporal and the Medal Rolls state that he was discharged on the 24th February 1919. After the war he was awarded the 1915 Star, British War and Victory Medals in recognition of his service for his country.

There are no marriage records for James until the 15th June 1939 when he married a widow, Ada Annie Preston (nee Smith) in St. Helen`s Church, Overton near Lancaster. Ironically the date of their marriage coincided with the twenty fourth anniversary of Harold`s death.

James Clement Ranson died aged 62 years on the 15th August 1947 at “Ashleigh”, Kingsway Avenue, Barton near Preston. He left a will amounting to £1,910 18s 5d to his widow Ada Annie Ranson. His occupation was a merchant.

Additional family information

2651 Private Harold Ranson was killed in action on the 15th June 1915. Harold`s body was recovered and he was buried but after the war his body was exhumed from the original burial place and reburied in Arras Road Cemetery, Roclincourt, Pas de Calais, France. Harold was also awarded the 1915 Star, British War and Victory Medals in recognition of his service for his country.


Janet Davis
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One Response to 200667 LCPL. J. RANSON. L.N.LAN.R

  1. Jenny copeland says:

    Thank you for these stories. The personal information of the men and their families provides the link which enable the details to touch us all, even for a fleeting moment in our busy lives. RIP and thank you for your sacrifice.

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