Private 46258 James Duffield

Duffield James 96 400x600

Died of Wounds on Monday, 22nd April 1918, age 39.
Buried in Grave III. B. 47. at Aubigny Communal Cemetery Extension, Pas De Calais, France.

13th Bn., Royal Scots. 45th Brigade of 15th Division.

Husband of Mrs Mary Ann Duffield, of 101 Park Lane East, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Wolverhampton, Resident: Tipton.

First landed France & Flanders, post 31st December 1915.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library Memorial.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/51829/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
3 Chapel Street, Tipton, Staffs.
Joseph Duffield (47, Coal Miner, born Tipton), his wife Maria (46, born Tipton), and their 5 children: James (23, Riveter, born Tipton), John T. (17, Blacksmith, born Tipton), Joseph (15, Blacksmith, born Tipton), Sarah J. (11, born Tipton), and William (4, born Tipton).

Marriage of James Duffield and Mary Ann Dean registered September quarter 1905 in Dudley.

1911 Census
101 Park Lane East, Tipton, Staffs.
James Duffield (33, Ironworker, born Tipton), his wife Mary Ann (31, born Tipton), and their 3 children: James (5, School, born Tipton), Sarah (4, School, born Tipton), and Eli (11 months, born Tipton). A further child, Mary Lily was born in May 1913.

Personal Data

James Duffield attested with the Royal Scots Regiment on 4th June 1916. He was a 37-year old married man with 4 children, employed as a miner at the Moat Colliery in Tipton, he was 5 feet 5 inches tall, and weighing 140 pounds. He was not called up until April 1917 when he trained for 3 months with the 3rd Royal Scots. He was given leave from the 23rd to 30th June, but he overstayed until 2nd July for which he was lightly punished by being admonished. This was likely to have been the last time he saw his wife and children.

After James's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £19/12/8d (19 pounds, 12 shillings and 8 pence); this was paid to his widow, Mary A., in August 1918. His War Gratuity was £3/10/0d (3 pounds and 10 shillings), this was also paid to Alice in December 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that James had enlisted in April 1917.

Action resulting in his death

James embarked for France on 17th July 1917, to join the 13th Royal Scots in the 15th (Scottish) Division. James would have seen action during the 3rd Battle of Ypres in 1917, and the first Battle of Bapaume and first Battle of Arras in 1918.

In mid-April the 13th Royal Scots took over trenches east of Arras, near Tilloy-les-Mouflaines. On the 20th April, the 11th Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders, in the same brigade as the 13th Royal Scots Brigade, launched a trench raid which cost them 20 men killed over 2 days, but the 13th Royal Scots were not involved.

On that same day, the 20th April, James received 'Gun Shot Wounds' (likely from a machine gun) in the back & buttocks. He was treated at the 47th Field Ambulance and 42nd Casualty Clearing Station, but died of wounds on 22nd April. He was buried in the Aubigny Communal Cemetery Extension.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald June 22 1918
Private James Duffield, of 101 Park Lane East, Tipton, of the 13th Royal Scots, has died of wounds in a Casualty Clearing Station in France. He leaves a widow and four young children. He joined up on March 29th 1917, and went out to France on July 13th 1917. Before going into the army, he was engaged as a collier with Mr E.C. Lewis, Moat Colliery, Park Lane West, Tipton, for about nine months, and prior to that was for some years a moulder at Messrs. Shaw's foundry, Willenhall.
His death from wounds came as a painful shock to his family, as on April 11th Mrs Duffield received a letter from her husband stating that he hoped to be home with his wife and children some time very soon, and was only waiting for his 'pass' to come through, and when he reached London he would send a telegram as to the time they might expect him. Ten days later the wife received a telegram from the Casualty Clearing Station, France, stating that he was dangerously wounded. On the following day she received letters from the Chaplain and the Nursing Sister informing her of her husband's death.
The following letter was written to the widow by the Sister in charge of the hospital:- "Dear Mrs Duffield, I as so sorry to have to tell you that your husband was wounded and brought to this hospital. He had very bad multiple wounds, and there was no hope for his recovery, as he never recovered from shock. He had no idea he was dying, and the only request he made was that I should write to you and say he was not too bad, and that you were not to worry, he would write himself as soon as he could. I hope it will comfort you to know that he had every care and attention and chance for recovery. He will be buried here in the cemetery, and his grave will be marked by a cross. Please accept my deepest sympathy in your great loss."
The Chaplain in a very sympathetic letter dated April 22nd, said:- "It is with the deepest regret that I have to inform you that your husband J. Duffield, died of wounds in the 42nd Casualty Clearing Station. He was brought in yesterday morning, and the doctors did all that was possible to help him but it was of no avail. He lived until the evening, and then passed peacefully away."