Dedicated to the memory of all the men and women of the Bridgnorth area who died during the two World Wars.
Herbert James was born in Chetton in 1891. He was the son of William James, an agricultural labourer, and his wife Edith. By 1901 William had died and his widow and her large family were living in Eardington.
By 1911 Herbert was working as a carter for an Agricultural Engineer. He probably joined the army before the outbreak of war as he went to France with the 1st Battalion King's Shropshire Light Infantry (a regular battalion) in September 1914.
Herbert was killed in action on the 9th August, 1915 during the Battle at Hooge (when the 6th Division retook positions lost at the end of July during the attack in which the Germans used liquid flame throwers against the British for the first time). The Regimental History records:
The attack was launched at 3.15 a.m. on August 9th on a front of about 1,000 yards, and was completely successful. The artillery co-operation was most skilfully carried out, and largely contributed to the success. Flammenwerthers, which had been used by the enemy against the 14th Division when taking the position, were found in the enemy trenches, one being captured by the battalion.
Not only was all the lost ground regained and held, in spite of desperate counter-attacks, but, in addition, an important spur, north of the Menin Road, on the extreme left of the attack, was won and consolidated with the final position. The signal success of this action won great praise for the Division, and the attack was for some time afterwards regarded as a model of the effective use of close co-operation between infantry and artillery. The battalion had done their work splendidly, the men behaving with the utmost steadiness, following their officers confidently and amply justifying the confidence reposed in them. The price was heavy. [4 Officers & 41 Other Ranks killed]
Herbert is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial. He was awarded the Victory and British War Medals and the 1914 Star. His name appears on the War Memorials at Quatford and Quatt.
This memorial has mostly been compiled from official sources. It would be good to be able to expand it with more personal material - memories, stories, photos, etc. If you have any suitable material or any corrections please contact Greg. For news of updates follow @BridgnorthHeros on Twitter.