Private 294810 James Fletcher

Fletcher James 96 430x600

Died on Thursday, 21st November 1918, age 28.
Buried in Grave VIII. C. 29. at Busigny Communal Cemetery Extension, Nord, France.

Labour Corps, 105th Company.
Formerly 12798 1st Bn., Worcestershire Regiment.

Son of James and Louisa Fletcher, of 1, Gough Buildings, Horseley Heath, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: West Bromwich, Enlisted: Unknown, Resident: Tipton.

First landed France & Flanders, 5th November 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Not commemorated on any Tipton memorial.
Commemorated here because identified as Tipton on Commonwealth War Graves site.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/274107/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
3 Scott Street, Tipton, Staffs.
James Fletcher (29, Bricklayer's Labourer, born Tipton), his wife Louisa (30, born West Bromwich), and their only child: James (10, born West Bromwich).

1911 Census
19 Horton Street, West Bromwich, Staffs.
James Fletcher (39, Bricklayer's Mate, born Tipton), his wife Louisa (40, born West Bromwich), and their 2 surviving children of 6: James (20, Iron Worker, born West Bromwich), and Susannah (3, born Tipton).

Personal Data

After James's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £37/10/8d (37 pounds, 10 shillings and 8 pence); this was paid to his father, James, in April and December 1919. His War Gratuity was £25/0/0d (25 pounds exactly), this was also paid to his father in December 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that James had enlisted in approximately August 1914.

Action resulting in his death

James was initially Private 12798 with the 1st Battalion, Worcesters, when they landed in France on the 5th November 1914. He would have either been a regular or a reservist soldier.

James served throughout the war, and by the time of his death on 21st November 1918 was in the Labour Corps. This generally meant that the soldier had been wounded or sick, and was no longer fit for infantry service, but not unfit for labouring duties with the Labour Corps. We do not know when he transferred, but with the 1st Worcesters he could have seen action at Neuve Chapelle and Aubers, the Somme, Ypres, the 1918 Retreat and subsequent Advance to Victory.

Busigny was captured on 9th October 1918 by the American 30th Division and British Cavalry, and the next 2 months saw the arrival of the 48th, 37th and 12th Casualty Clearing Stations. It is possibile that James died during the flu epidemic which was rampant in November 1918, but this is supposition as no records have survived. James died in the 12th Casualty Clearing Station, and he is buried in Busigny Communal Cemetery Extension, 15 miles south east of Cambrai.

Newspaper Cuttings