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James Wilson (1896-1917)

From Burnhope, served with 14th Battalion DLI, died of wounds 1917.

James Wilson was born in Grange Villa, Durham, in 1896. Later the family moved to Burnhope, where James worked as a banksman in the local colliery.

On 12 February 1916, James Wilson, then 20 years old, enlisted in the Army and was posted to the 4th Battalion DLI at Seaham Harbour for training. On 10 December 1916, 38871 Private James Wilson left Folkestone for active service on the Western Front, joining the 14th (Service) Battalion DLI on 8 January 1917 near Cambrin in France.

There was daily shelling on this section of the front and on 8 February Private Wilson suffered multiple shrapnel wounds. Two days later, on 10 February 1917, James died in a nearby casualty clearing station and was buried in Bethune Town Cemetery.

A few months later, James’ few personal belongings – letters, photographs, postcards, coins and a religious book – were sent home to his father in Burnhope.

For more information:
Commonwealth War Graves Commission,-/

North East War Memorials Project

Civil Parish: Lanchester

Birth date: 1896

Death date: 10-Feb-1917

Armed force/civilian: Army

Residence: 6 The Avenue, Burnhope, County Durham.

Employment: Banksman in Burnhope colliery.
Note: A banksman worked at the surface and was responsible for loading and unloading the cages and signalling to the engineman responsible for winding the cage.

Family: Parents: Peter Wilson. James’ mother had died before he enlisted.
Siblings John, Thomas, George, Margaret.

Military service:

Enlisted 12 February 1916. Served as 38871 Private, 'C' Company, 14th (Service) Battalion DLI.
Died of wounds 10 February 1917.

Medal(s): British War Medal, Victory Medal.

Memorial(s): Bethune Town Cemetery, France
Burnhope Memorial Garden

Gender: Male

Contributed by Burnhope War Memorial Research Group. | With additional research by Durham County Record Office.