Private 36042 James Whitehouse

 Whitehouse James 96 426x600

Killed in Action on Monday, 27th May 1918, age unknown.
Buried in Grave I. F. 30. at Jonchery-Sur-Vesle British Cemetery, Marne, France.

4th Bn., South Staffordshire Regiment. 7th Brigade of 25th Division.

Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Tipton, Resident: Unknown.

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, and St. Matthew's memorials.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/323464/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
11 Chaters Passage, Tipton, Staffs.
James Whitehouse (30, Furnaceman, born Tipton), his wife Louie (26, born Tipton), and their 5 children: Jabez (9, born Tipton), William (7, born Tipton), James (5, born Tipton), Emma (3, born Tipton), and Mary Ann (11 months, born Tipton).

1911 Census
2 Spring Vale, Tipton, Staffs.
James Whitehouse (39, Forgeman, born Tipton), his wife Louie (36, born Tipton), and their 8 surviving children of 10: Jabez (19, Forgeman, born Tipton), William (18, , born Tipton), James (16, Moulder, born Tipton), Emma (13, Home Duties, born Tipton), Mary Ann (10, School, born Tipton), John (10, School, born Tipton), Lizzie (5, School, born Tipton), and Annie (1, born Tipton).

Personal Data

After James's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £9/13/9d (9 pounds, 13 shillings and 9 pence); this was paid to his father, James, in June 1919. His War Gratuity was £5/0/0d (5 pounds exactly), this was also paid to his father in November 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that James had enlisted in approximately February 1917.

Action resulting in his death

The 4th Battalion, South Staffs as part of 25th Division had significant and costly involvement in the bloody defensive actions following the German attacks on 21st March 1918. At the end of April 1918, 25th Division was one of the five divisions of Commonwealth forces posted to the French 6th Army in the Soissons area to rest and refit, supposedly in a quiet area. Here, at the end of May, they found themselves facing the overwhelming German attack which pushed the Allies back across the Aisne to the Marne.

The Battle of the Aisne began with a German attack in the early morning mist of 27th May. Their superior numbers forced the British into retreat, despite some heroic stands to slow the German advance. At 10.00am, the remaining British reserves were brought into action. By the evening, the British line had been forced back over 3,000 yards.

Those still capable fought a withdrawal as the Germans continuously advanced beyond the River Marne. Casualties between 27 May and 14 June were 4338 officers and men, of whom 2511 were missing.

James was killed in action on the first day, Monday 27th May 1918. He is buried at Jonchery-sur-Vesle British Cemetery, near the River Marne.

Newspaper Cuttings

Birmingham Daily Post 8th June 1918
South Staffords Regiment, Whitehouse, 36042, J., (Tipton).