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James Freeman


James Freeman was born in 1883 in Aspull, Wigan. His parents were Thomas and Mary Ann Freeman. Thomas was a Coal Miner in Wigan and was originally from Liverpool.

Early Life

In the 1901 Census, James is listed as an Assistant Teacher (aged 18) and living with his parents at 127 Wigan Road, in Westhoughton, Bolton. He had two younger brothers Peter (aged 12) and Thomas (aged six). James married Alice Crook at St. Bartholomew’s Church in Westhoughton on December 29, 1908. They went on to live at 479 Manchester Road, in Westhoughton, Lancashire.

Chester College

James attended Chester College and left in 1902. By the time of the 1911 Census, he was a Head Teacher and was living at 658 Manchester Road, in Chequerbent. James and Alice had a son, Kenneth, who was 6 months old at this time.

Military Service

James enlisted into the Army and joined the Royal Garrison Artillery 225 Siege Battery as a Gunner and was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant on March 6, 1917. The Battery would include five Officers and 177 other ranks, 17 riding, six draught and 80 heavy draught horses and three two-horse carts and 10 four-horse wagons. Siege Batteries were equipped with heavy howitzers, sending large calibre high explosive shells in high trajectory, plunging fire. The 225 siege battery was posted to France on 11th January 1917

Lest We Forget

James was killed in action on August 20, 1917. He was 35 years old.

Post Mortem

James is buried at the Voormizeele Enclosures at West-Vlaanderen, in Belgium. He was awarded the British War and Victory Medals for his service to King and Country. The medals were sent to his widow, Alice, at her home address in Westhoughton, Bolton. The name of the other address on the card is unknown, possibly a relative.