Private 49809 James Harold Pooler

Pooler James Harold 96 407x600

Died Home on Wednesday, 11th December 1918, age 21.
Buried in Grave C. "C." 290. at Tipton Cemetery, Staffordshire, United Kingdom.

11th Bn., Essex Regiment. 18th Brigade of 6th Division.
Formerly 30811 Notts & Derby Regiment.

Son of James and Elizabeth Pooler, of 18, Cleton St., Dudley Port, Tipton.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Unknown, 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/395357/

Genealogical Data

Birth of James Harold Pooler registered June quarter 1897 in Dudley.

1901 Census
11 Tividale Street, Tipton, Staffs.
James Pooler (36, Stocktaker at Sheet Mills, born Tipton), his wife Elizabeth (34, born Tipton), and their 5 children: Leonard (10, born Tipton), Edith (8, born Tipton), Lily (6, born Tipton), James (4, born Tipton), and Elizabeth (1, born Tipton).

1911 Census
7 Court, 5 House, Dudley Port, Tipton, Staffs.
James Pooler (47, Labourer at Iron founders, born Tipton), his wife Elizabeth (45, born Tipton), and their children Leonard (19 Labourer at Iron founders, born Tividale), Edith (18, born Dudley Port), Lily (16, born Dudley Port), James Harold (14, born Dudley Port), Elizabeth (11, born Dudley Port), Elsie (9, born Dudley Port), Sydney (7, born Dudley Port), Victor (4, born Dudley Port), and Arthur (6 months, born Dudley Port).

Personal Data

James's elder brother Leonard was also killed on 16th August 1917, serving with the 4th Worcesters at Ypres. James's elder brother Leonard was also killed on 16th August 1917, serving with the 4th Worcesters at Ypres.

After James's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £2/11/3d (2 pounds, 11 shillings and 3 pence); this was paid to his mother and Sole Legatee, Elizabeth, in April 1919. His War Gratuity was £19/0/0d (19 pounds exactly), this was also paid to his mother in April 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that James had enlisted in approximately November 1914.

Action resulting in his death

James Pooler first served with the 15th (Nottingham) Battalion, Sherwood Foresters (15/SF). The 15/SF was raised in February 1915 as a Bantam Battalion for men under the normal height requirement of 5 feet 3 inches. They trained initially near Nottingham, but became part of 35th Division training at Masham, North Yorkshire, and then on Salisbury Plain.

They moved to France on 1st February 1916 and it is reasonable to assume that James was with them, having enlisted in November 1914. The Division had heavy losses during the Battle of the Somme, seeing action at Bazentin, Arrow Head Copse, Maltz Horn Farm and Falfemont Farm. The men sent to reinforce the Bantam Battalions were not considered to the same standard as the initial Bantams – short men but physically strong. Many were rejected, and from then on, the Bantam nature of the 35th Division ended.

The 15/SF saw action during the 1917 Battle of Passchendaele, and the 1918 actions during the 100 Days.

We do not know when James transferred to the 11th Battalion, Essex Regiment, but it is reasonable to assume that this would have been after recovering from wounds or sickness.

The Pension Card for James shows that he died at the Military Hospital, Felixstowe on 11th December 1918 – exactly a month after the Armistice came into effect. We do not know the cause of his death, whether It was from wounds or from sickness – the second phase of the influenza pandemic peaked in November/December 1918. James was transported back to Tipton where he was buried in Tipton Cemetery.

Newspaper Cuttings