For King and Country

Person Details

JAMES, Frank


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

Person Details

Date of birth: 30/03/1897
Place of birth: Taplow
Gender: Male
Date of death: 31/10/1914
Place of death: Ypres Salient, Belgium
Manner of death: Killed in action
Age at death: 17
CWGC Ref: 1616039
TWGPP Ref: 3722985
Address: Spring Cottage Taplow
Address: White Place Lodge Sutton Road Cookham

Military details

Military Organisation: Army
Military Unit/Group: 5th Battalion, Dragoon Guards
Rank: Private
Service Number: 8067


Father Ernest Walter JAMES
Mother Mary Ann JAMES
Brother Bertie JAMES
Sister Amy JAMES
Brother Crispen JAMES
Brother Ernest JAMES

Additional information

The Cookham War Memorial Committee records say that Frank was a soldier before the outbreak of War. If this is correct he must have joined the Territorial Army which had a lower recruitment age of 17, which would have allowed him to join sometime after 30th March 1914. Frank's regiment, 5th Dragoon Guards (Princess of Wales) was part of the 1st Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, and landed in France on 16th August 1914. The regiment was involved in two battles at the time of Frank's death - the Battle of La Bassee (from 10th October) and the Battle of Messines (from 12th October.) Both of these battles were in the area just south of Ypres and lasted into November. Regimental records show that on the day Frank was killed, 31st October, one captain, three sergeants, two corporals, two lance corporals and 15 privates from the regiment died. Frank is commemorated on the Menin Gate, Ypres, West Flanders, in Belgium which bears the names of more than 54,000 officers and men with no known grave.
Frank was from a local Buckinghamshire family. His father, Ernest, was born in Little Missenden in 1867 and worked as a gamekeeper. The 1871 census shows his grandfather as a woodman and his grandmother was a "straw plat" maker. Straw plaiting was a cottage industry done by women in low income families and involved making plaits of straw 20 yards long, which were then sold to the hat makers to be made into straw hats. Frank was born in 1897 in Taplow and in 1901 his father was a gamekeeper for the Astors on the Cliveden Estate, living in Spring Cottage on the Thames (near the My Lady ferry) later to be made famous by the Profumo Affair in the 1960s. By 1911 they were living in White Place Lodge, on White Place Farm Cookham, also part of the Cliveden estate. Frank had at least two older and three younger siblings. We know his Mother was born in Penn, sister Amy was born in High Wycome, and Ernest, Sydney and Frank were born in Taplow. Frank attended Holy Trinity Primary School and Cookham Rise Secondary School. School records show that his last day of school was 30th March 1911 and the reason for leaving was that he was 14 years old.


Summary: Ypres salient

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