Friday, 13 February 2015

Faces of the Fallen - an update on our project and a story about one of them

Faces of the Fallen

For those of you following our project to find photo of all the RWF who fell in WW1, I can report that photos are still coming in but with your help we could find a lot more. Please tell everyone you know that we are looking for them. Many of the photos bring interesting stories and questions in with them.
Here is one of them from our follower - D Leighton James. MBE
My grandfather’s ½ brother George James was killed serving with RWF at Passchandaele 1917. (The day before Hedd Wyn was killed). Early during 2014, I had heard of your mammoth task in finding photographs to fit names of RWF personnel KIA in WW1. I have been trying to locate a photograph of my Great ½ Uncle for past months.

My Great Grandfather Thomas James farmed with his first wife Ann who bore him 9 children, she dying soon after the 9th child’s birth as did the child. My Great Grandfather married his 2nd wife Phoebe who bore a similar (8?) number of children! One of those being George James.

Pte George James 55440, 19th Bn Royal Welch Fusiliers.
Died 30 July 1917 age 23.
Son of Mrs Phoebe James of Gotty Maenclochog, Clynderwen, Pembrokeshire.
Remembered with Honour
BARD COTTAGE CEMETERY, Boezinge, nr Ypres. 

There are two unanswered questions I puzzle over.
1). What was George’s occupation before he joined the Army. Possibly a farmhand, although he might have worked elsewhere. Would that be recorded on his joining-up papers in RWF records?
2). Why, I wonder was it only George’s mother’s name Phoebe on the CWGC records, considering his father Thomas was living when he was killed. His father Thomas James died 1926 aged 77.
Possibly his mother was younger than his father and more literate.

My son Colonel D R Huw James is still a serving officer after serving with the Royal Welch Fusiliers before the merger with RRW.  He assumed command of 1Bn Royal Welsh 2006-2008 directly after the merger.

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