James William Summers (1888-1917)
Tipton born Inn owner served in the 15th DLI
James William Summers was born in 1888 in Tipton, Staffordshire. On the 1891 census James is listed as the son of William Summers. William is married to Hannah Summers and is recorded as having a number of children and step children. This is a little unclear but would suggest both William and Hannah had had previous marriages. James grew up in the Brown Lion pub in Tipton which his father owned. He worked at this pub as a brewer and eventually became the owner of the pub after his father’s death in 1915.
By the time of the 1911 census, Hannah Summers had died. James was living at the pub with his father and his sibling or half sibling Florence. Florence’s husband William, who worked as a school teacher, and their two young children William Leslie and Mary were also living at the pub. A boarder and servant Eliza completed the household. At this time James was working as a brewer. Both of his older sisters were working as teachers at elementary schools.
James attested into the army on 10 December 1915 under the Derby Scheme. He was mobilised on the first day of May 1916 and posted to the 10th Staffordshire Regiment at Rugeley Camp. He served with this regiment as a private with the service number 24796 before being promoted to Lance Corporal on 17 June 1916. Whilst still at Rugeley Camp James was posted to the 9th Training Reserve Battalion as Lance Corporal 32502. On his arrival at Etaples on 20 December 1916 James was posted to the 15th Battalion Durham Light Infantry. At this time he reverted to the rank of private with the service number 53487.
James was reported missing and later confirmed killed in action on 3 May 1917. He is commemorated on the Arras Memorial and remembered on several memorials in his home town of Tipton. Records report his effects were £9, 3s, 5d which included a gratuity of £5, 10s. This, along with the £875 listed on his will, was left to Florence.
There is further information about James on the ‘Tipton Remembers Website’: https://www.tiptonremembers.net/index.php/summers-james-william. This includes an article that appeared in the Tipton Herald in December 1917, citing a letter from Florence which requests any further information concerning her brother.
Birth date: 1888
Death date: 03-May-1917
Armed force/civilian: Army
Residence: Brown Lion Inn, 32 Brown Lion Street, Tipton, Staffordshire (1891, 1901, 1911 Census)
Employment: Brewer (1911 Census)
Inn Owner (Tipton Remembers Website)
Family: Father: William Summers
Mother / Stepmother: Hannah Summers
Siblings / Stepsiblings: Edward Summers, Samuel Whitehouse, Phoebe Whitehouse, Betsy Whitehouse, Sarah Summers, Florrie Summers, Mary Summers, William J. Summers
10th Battalion Staffordshire Regiment, 9th Training Reserve Battalion Staffordshire Regiment
Service Numbers 24796, 32502
15th Battalion DLI
Service Number 53487
Medal(s): British War Medal
Memorial(s): Arras Memorial
Book of Remembrance DLI 1914-18 , Durham Cathedral
Tipton Library Memorial
War Memorial, Victoria Park Tipton
Contributed by swejk, darlington
Comments on this story
There are no comments on this story yet.