680655 CPL/S.S. J. TITTERINGTON. R.F.A.
James Titterington was born in the second quarter of 1898 in Preston. His father was Matthew Titterington (b. 1858 in Preston), a dockyard labourer. His mother was Margaret Ann (Maggie) Fellows (b. 1858 in Preston). Matthew and Maggie were married in 1881 and they had nine children, though they lost three in infancy. In fact, their first born was a boy whom they named James (b. 1885) but he died within a few months. The children who survived were: Thomas (b.1886), Frederick (b. 1889), Mary (b. 1891), Bertha (b. 1895), then James, and finally John (b. 1901). In 1911, James was still at school. The family lived at 40 Spa Road, Preston.
James’ father Matthew died in early 1915, around the time that James enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery. James was underage, probably just turned 17, when he enlisted, and he was posted to “A” Battery of 286 Brigade. He was assigned service number 680655. James was a shoeing smith and obviously good at his job as he was at some stage promoted to Corporal.
He landed with his Division in France in 1917 and was engaged in the defence of Armentières in the early part of the year and later at the Second Battle of Passchendaele. In April 1918, the Division was engaged in the Battle of the Lys, when they were forced by the Germans to retreat from Armentières towards Hazebrouk. James died of wounds at 15th Casualty Clearing Station on 16 April 1918. He had just turned 20. The War Diary describes the action when James was probably wounded:
14.04.18 The Brigade supported the 2nd Battalion Australians in rushing a farmhouse near Merris. This operation was successful, 40 of the enemy being killed. The batteries were shelled and they withdrew to positions 1000 yards west. Harassing fire was carried out by day and night. 4 OR killed, 13 OR wounded.
Rank: Corporal/Shoeing Smith
Service No: 680655
Date of Death: 16/04/1918
Regiment/Service: Royal Field Artillery, "A" Bty. 286th Bde.
Grave Reference: I. C. 5.
Cemetery: EBBLINGHEM MILITARY CEMETERY
Additional Information: Son of Margaret Ann Titterington, of 40 Spa Road, Preston, Lancs., and the late Matthew Titterington. Educated at Christ Church School, Preston.