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680892 GNR. J. ISHERWOOD.  R.F.A.


James Isherwood was born in the second quarter of 1895 in Preston and baptised at Preston St Peter’s on 8 May.  His father was James Isherwood (b. 1869 in Preston), a cotton spinner. His mother was Catherine Connor (b. 1871 in Rathfriland, Co Down, Northern Ireland).  James and Catherine were married in 1894 and they had nine children, James jnr being the first.  The others were: Elizabeth (b. 1896), George (b. 1897), Annie (b. 1899), Isabella (b. 1901), Catherine (b. 1903) and finally John (b. 1907).  In 1911, the family was living at 75 Byron Street, Preston.  James jnr was a cotton piecer.


James jnr was 19 when War broke out and may have already been in the Territorials.  He was assigned service number 2574 and posted to “B” Battery of 276 Brigade, Royal Field Artillery.  Most of 276Bde went to France with 55th Division in September 1915 but James was among a contingent who joined them in the field later in the year.  He landed in France on 23 December 1915.  His service number was later changed to 680892.


In October 1916, after their engagement in the Battle of the Somme, 55th Division was transferred to the “quieter” Ypres Salient.  The Divisional History says that in the following 10 months, the Division was engaged in constant raids and a number of minor operations.  The Division as a unit was not actively engaged in the June operation which resulted in the capture of the Messines ridge (7-14 June 1917), but the Divisional artillery did cooperate in the attack and was subsequently complimented by the Army Commander on its efficient work.


James Isherwood died of wounds near Vlamertinghe on 3 July 1917.  He was 22 years old.


Rank:  Gunner

Service No:  680892

Date of Death:  03/07/1917

Age:  22

Regiment/Service:  Royal Field Artillery, “B” Bty, 276 Bde.

Cemetery/memorial reference:  III. E. 16.


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