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James Lawton was the son of Joseph Lawton; and husband of Annie Lawton, of 2, Weiss Passage, Ossulston Street, Euston Road, London. He was born in Marylebone, Middlesex in 1880.

Between 29th December 1896 and 28th December 1908 he served with the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, service number 5049. Prior to enlisting he had been working as a bottle washer, he was 18 years old.

James was initially posted into the 2nd Battalion, then posted to the 1st Battalion on 8th June 1901. He was promoted to Corporal for an act of gallant conduct in the field (no further information). On 18th September 1902 he was posted back into the 2nd Battalion. Between December 1902 and June 1904 he was acting Lance Serjeant. At the time of his discharge, after 12 years service, in 1908 he was at the rank of Corporal.

For his time in South Africa with the Regiment fighting the Boers, he was awarded the Queens South Africa medal with the Orange Free State, Cape Colony and the South Africa 1901 and 1902 clasps.


James and Annie (nee Nye) were married on 15th April 1906 They lived together at 3 Wellings Place, Paddington Green. Annie later moved to the Euston Road address (see Para. 1) after his death. They had five children together, James (12/1906), Annie Margret (2/1909), Thomas James (5/1911), Patrick (8/1913) and Esther Irene (1/1916).

James re-enlisted at Fulham on 5th September 1914, he was 34 years 4 months old and had been working as a labourer.

At his enlistment medical he was described as being 5ft 6in tall, with brown eyes and black hair. He had a tattoo of a sailor on his right arm.

He entered the service again as a Private, but was promoted to Corporal nine days later (14th September). The following month he was again promoted, to Serjeant, but also taking the appointment of Acting Company Serjeant Major. Promotion to substantive Warrant Officer Class II came on 11th March 1916.

On 31st July 1915 he sailed for France with the 10th Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment.

James was wounded on 29th June 1916 by a gunshot wound to his right leg, he was evacuated to the Royal Victoria (Netley) Hospital, England on 4th July 1916; but succumbed to his wound on the 19th.

lawton med report

James Lawton was awarded the 1914/5 star, British War Medal and Victory Medal for his service during The Great War.

He is remembered in the Paddington Cemetery.

Rank: Company Serjeant Major
Service No: 3737
Date of Death: 19/07/1916
Age: 39
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 10th Bn.
Cemetery: PADDINGTON CEMETERY, Screen Wall. 3 W. 9814.

Paul McCormick
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