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Private James Whittle

Civilian Occupation: Common Bank BleachworksJAMES-WHITTLE

His sacrifice is recalled at CEMENT HOUSE CEMETERY and he is recorded in the Chorley Memorial Album in Astley Hall on page CMB/II/23a.  He attended Sacred Heart, Chorley.

Notes of his life and service include:

Enlisted 11th November, 1914, [see below for variation on date], served in France, where he was wounded. Took part in all Battles engaged by his Unit, from March to October 1917. Went to France 8th February, 1917. Killed 26th October, 1917. Attended Church of the Sacred Heart.

The CWGC gives that he was the son of James and Ann Whittle, of 56 Lyons Lane, Chorley. Chorley Guardian photograph of 17/11/1917 adds occupation, agreeing age and address.

The Register of Soldiers’ Effects matches his date of death in Belgium and also confirms the name of his father. The Medal Rolls Indax and Index of Awards Medals and Awards notes he has the Service Number 201054 and an  earlier number, 3319.

His Service Record Survives. It gives his address as 56 Lyons Lane when he Attests 12/11/1914. He is given the Service Number 3319. He agreed to serve outside the UK 22/1/1915. He is recorded as having been admitted to hospital 12/9/1916-28/9/1916. He is also recorded to have been wounded 10/6/1917. He was awarded Field Punishement No 2 on 27/2/1917 for entering a front line trench dugout during the night. There are 9 other incidents resulting in disciplinary action, mostly for being late to parede. He was wounded 10/6/1917.

His next of kin are given as James Whittle (father), Ann Whittle (mother), Annie (sister), are given at the address of 56 Lyons Lane, Chorley.

1911 Census has him at 74 Lyons Lane, Chorley:  James Whittle (44, Head, Coal Miner, Underground, Born in Skelmersdale), Annie Whittle (41, Wife, married 23 years, 9 children, 5 living, 4 dead, Born in Chorley), Roger Whittle (22, Son, Labourer, Railway Goods, L&Y, Born in Chorley), Annie Whittle (18, Daughter, Cotton Creeler, Card Room, Cotton Mill, Born in Chorley), James Whittle (14, Son, Labourer, Bleachworks, Born in Chorley), Frances Whittle (6, Daughter, Born in Chorley), Hugh Whittle (2, Son, Born in Chorley).

1901 Census has the family at 89 Standish Street, Chorley: James Whittle (34, Head, Coal Miner, Hewer, Born in Skelmersdale), Annie Whittle (31, Wife, Born in Chorley), Roger Whittle (12, Son, Labourer, Cotton Mill Creeler, Born in Chorley), Annie Whittle (8, Daughter, Born in Chorley), James Whittle (4, Son, Born in Chorley).

1891 Census shows the family at 68 Standish Street, Chorley: Thomas Downs (24, Head, Coal Miner, Born in Chorley), Jane Downs (24, Wife, House Keeper, Born in Chorley), Catherine Downs (7, Daughter, Scholar, Born in Chorley), Hugh Downs (5, Son, Born in Chorley), Mary Downs (3, Daughter, Scholar, Born in Chorley), Ann Downs (1, Daughter, Born in Chorley), James Whittle (24, Brother-in-Law, Coal Miner, Born in Skelmersdale), Ann Whittle (21, Sister-in-Law, Cotton Weaver, Born in Chorley), Roger Whittle (2, Nephew, Born in Chorley), Jane Whittle (7 months, Niece, Born in Chorley), Hugh Gilmartin (60, Father-in-Law, General Labourer, Born in Ireland), Ann Gilmartin (55, Mother-in-Law, House Keeper, Born in Ireland).

There is a connection that James Whittle has to other casualties from his community. Thomas Downs married Jane Gilmartin in Chorley by Registrar in 1884. The 1891 Census is significant as it shows that their son, also Thomas Downs [CMB/II/13b] was the nephew of James Whittle [CMB/II/23a] who had married Jane’s sister Ann Gilmartin in 1888 in Chorley by Registrar.

Thomas Downs, the son of Thomas and Jane Downs, was the cousin of William Durkin  [CMB/II/15a] through marriage of Thomas Downs senior’s sister, Margaret, to Thomas Durkin.

Rank: Private
Service No: 201054
Date of Death: 26/10/1917
Age: 20
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 2nd/4th Bn.

Adam Cree
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