J. C. F. Cross
Service no. 27166
Private, Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment), 13th Batallion; formerly 1875, King’s Royal Rifle Corps
Killed in action on 29 September 1918, age 26
Son of Mrs. G. Cross, of 161 Hartington Road, South Lambeth, London.
Remembered at Vieille-Chapelle New Military Cemetery, Lacouture, France
British Army WWI Service Records 1914-1920
James Charles Frederick Cross, who joined up in St. Paul’s Churchyard, London on 14 September 1914, just over a month after war was declared, survived nearly to the end of the war. He died barely six weeks before the end of hostilities.
Cross’s service file, badly damaged in the Second World War, documents his many movements and transfers, but these are difficult to decipher. I can discern that he was first assigned to the Army Service Corps; that he landed in France on 25 March 1913 and was wounded in action two months later; that in June 1916 he was given 10 days’ detention for neglecting to comply with an order; that he joined the King’s Royal Rifle Corps at Etaples on 22 June; and that he was transferred to the Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment) later that same month. He seems to have been wounded again, in September and was classed PB (assigned to Permanent Base at Etaples, which must have been a welcome relief to soldiers, almost as good as being sent to “Blighty”). On the 16 October he came down with “ear disease.”
A note in the file tells us that Cross’s body was moved to Vieille-Chapelle. When his mother Georgina signed her name with a mark on Form W.5080 she declared herself a widow. There was no mention of Cross’s half-sister sister Beatrice.
Information from the 1911 census
In 1911 James Cross lived at 22 Larkhall Lane, London SW4. The family occupied 3 rooms. James’s father Charles Cross, 67, was a milkman from Devon; Georgina Cross, 47, was from Oxfordshire. They had been married for 23 years and had two children. Beatrice Emily Cross, 36, a child of Charles’s first marriage, was a boot saleswoman born in Limehouse. James Charles Frederick Cross was, in 1911, a warehouseman born in Battersea.