Service no. 14197
Private, The Buffs (East Kent Regiment), 7th Battalion
Born in Stockwell; enlisted in Lambeth; lived in Stockwell
Died of wounds on 10 August 1918, aged 18
Remembered at Tincourt New British Cemetery, Somme, France
British Army WWI Service Records 1914-1920
When Samuel James joined the Army he gave his next of kin as his father, also called Samuel. However, the Army form has been amended. The elder Samuel has been deleted and “Miss D. A James – sister” has been added – her 65-year-old father had died of a cerebral haemorrage on 19 October 1918, just a few weeks after his son perished in the war.
Eighteen-year-old Samuel James went missing at the Front on 30 June 1918. Later, it turned out that he had sustained a gunshot wound in his chest and been taken prisoner and that he had died on 10 August 1918 in the field hospital at Peronne.
James, who described himself as a decorator’s assistant, had signed up at Lambeth on 6 January 1917 and joined the Training Reserve of the Royal Sussex Regiment, transferring to the regular battalion on his 18th birthday, and then joining the East Kents. Standing only 5 feet 4 inches and weighing 7½ stone, with a 34-inch chest to which he could add 3 inches, his physical development as judged to be only “fair”. James committed only one recorded misdemeanour: being slack when on sentry duty at Colchester on 22 October 1917.
Information from the 1911 census
In 1911 Samuel James was an 11-year-old schoolboy. He lived at 37 Burgoyne Road with his parents and sister. Samuel James, 56, was a bricklayer, born at Ludchurch, Pembroke. His wife, Catherine James, 35, was born in Lambeth. They had 3 children:
Dorothy James, 13, born in Lambeth
Samuel James, 11, born in Lambeth
Catherine James, 3, born in Lambeth
Service records – died as POW (GSW)