For King and Country

Person Details

HOLLANDS, James Arthur

Memorials

Name: Cookham School Lane, Cookham
NIWM Ref: 7925
RBWM Ref: WM151

Person Details

Date of birth: 27/02/1898
Place of birth: Peshawar, India
Gender: Male
Date of death: 19/07/1916
Place of death: Laventie, France
Manner of death: Killed in action
Age at death: 18
CWGC Ref: 328003
TWGPP Ref: 3971313
Address: The Stores Cookham Rise

Military details

Military Organisation: Army
Rank: Private
Service Number: 3380

Relatives

Mother Alice Catherine HOLLANDS
Father Charles HOLLANDS
Brother Charles Stephen HOLLANDS
Brother Albert HOLLANDS
Sister Marjorie HOLLANDS

Additional information

James was the second son of Charles and Alice Hollands. James's father had been a gardener in Kent according to the 1981 census. He later joined the Army and had 24 years of service, ending up as a Sergeant Major before running the Stores in Lower Road, Cookham Rise, circa 1911. He served much of his Army career in India and James was born in Peshawar (now in Pakistan) on 27th February 1898. Another brother, Albert, and sister Marjorie, were born there, Marjorie in 1909, so it seems that they did not come back and take up shop keeping until after that time. James attended Cookham Dean Primary and then Cookham Rise with his last attendance being on 3rd April 1912 when he reached the age of 14. He may have worked in his father's shop or he may have done some labouring like his brother Charles, we do not know. However, Charles senior signed up again on 29th September 1914 for 1 year, "or longer if the War was to last for longer than 1 year!" so both boys and their father volunteered early in the War. The family suffered a double blow, as James died on the Western Front a year after his older brother Charles was killed at Loos.
James enlisted as a Private with the Royal Berkshire Regiment - in the 2nd/4th Battalion - and travelled to the Western Front. James was killed at the Battle of Fromelles in the early days of the Battle of the Somme. On the day of his death, the military report was as follows: "Artillery preparation opened at 11am attack at 6pm 2/1 BUCKS on our LEFT. AUSTRALIAN Division on Left of 2/1 BUCKS. 183rd Bde on our Right and 182nd Bde on Right of 183rd Bde, 8th and 61st Divisional Artillery behind our lines. Casualties Officers 3 Killed (Lt Col J H BEER, 2/Lieut G S ABBOTT and 2/Lieut F C D WILLIAMS) and 2 wounded (Major T SHIELDS and 2/Lieut D R GIBSON). Other ranks 35K, 115W and 8 Shell Shock. Bn relieved by 2/4 OXFORD and BUCKS LI at 1030pm. Marched back into billets at RUE DE LA LYS (G.27.c.2.2 1/2)." James is buried at Laventie Military Cemetery at La Gorgue, south west of Armentieres. His grave/memorial reference is Plot lll.C.13.

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