CARR, JAMES 242306 Private 1/5th Battalion 166th Brigade 55th Division

THE KING’S OWN (ROYAL LANCASTER REGIMENT)

Born Leyland  Enlisted Leyland  Living Leyland

Killed in Action  France / Flanders  16th August 1916

Ref: ‘Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919’, Part 9.

Primitive Methodist Chapel, Leyland Lane, Leyland

– Souvenir Booklet of the Jubilee Celebrations, October 12th to November 2nd 1919 –

The Roll of Honour includes:-

“James Carr ‘Reported Missing’ since August 17th, 1916”.

It would seem that James Carr’s fate was not known precisely at the time that this booklet was compiled. This was not unusual, as, in the years following the end of the war, although extensive enquiries were made by the British Red Cross and Order of St. John, the actual circumstances surrounding a soldier’s death were often never established.

James Carr’s name is on the:-

War Memorial, Church Road, Leyland

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

With no known grave, James Carr’s name is on the:-

THIÈPVAL MEMORIAL, FRANCE

Men of the King’s Own are commemorated on Pier 5 Face D and Pier 12  Face B.

No next-of-kin information.

The memorial is some 6 km north of Albert; and Thièpval village is 3 km north-west of Pozières on the D73 road. Pozières lies on the D929 – Albert to Bapaume road – 6.5 km north-east of Albert. The memorial commemorates 72,085 men who died in the Somme sector up until March 20th, 1918 – the eve of the German push back across the battlefield – and who have no known grave. The memorial was designed by the eminent architect Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944).

The 1/5th Battalion King’s Own War Diary.

The battalion ‘War Diary’ shows that the 1/5th were engaged on the Somme to the south-west of Longueval near the village of Montauban at the time that James Carr was killed in action.

Although both ‘Soldiers Died’ and the C.W.G.C. give his date of death as 16th Aug. 1916, the ‘War Diary’ shows that it was more likely the 14th of August when he died. The Battalion was given a very difficult task on that day; they were ordered by Brigade to dig a ‘Fire Trench ’ in front of the battalion trenches varying from 50 to 100 yards from the enemy front line trenches: this was in preparation for an attack on the German trenches, an operation designed to straighten out the British line at this point, timed to take place on the 16th of August.

After a ‘Covering Party’ reconnoitred the area during the afternoon, the ‘Digging Party’ set out that night with 3 officers and 106 other ranks. As it was a bright moonlit night, the men were ordered to dig whilst kneeling down: the position being exposed to hostile sniping. They completed their task with the following losses:- Missing: 2nd Lt R. Higginson. Other Ranks: Killed 22, Wounded 29. They were not shelled but enemy snipers were active throughout.

The morning after at 11.15am, the working party was inspected by the Major General Commanding the 55th Division who thanked all ranks for the work that they had done the previous night. At about 12 noon orders were issued that the Battalion would probably move back to a rest area at 2.30 pm, and later, orders were given that the Battalion would parade at 3.15 pm and march to Meaulte (précis).

Although James Carr is in the ‘Records’ as having been killed in action on 16th August, it is clear from the battalion records that the 1/5th King’s had gone on rest on the 15th and were still on rest and then in training for some weeks after their experience of 14th August: it seems most likely that James Carr died on that day. It could also be that ‘Soldiers Died’ is in error in describing James Carr as ‘Killed in Action’: it maybe that he was wounded on the 14th and died of his wounds on the

16th of August.

Note:- No newspaper account has been found of James Carr’s death.

Carr, James. WE Waring  2003