18105 PTE. J. CARR. K.L.R.
James Carr was born on 5 January 1897 in Longton and baptised on 14 February at Penwortham St Mary’s. His parents were James Carr (b. 1864 in Longton), a farmer, and Dorothy Bamber (b. 1861 in Longton). They married at Penwortham St Mary’s in 1887 and had 9 children, 8 of whom survived infancy: Sam (b. 1888), William (b. 1890), Dorothy Alice (b. 1892), Cicely Jane (b. 1895), James, John Richard (b. 1899), Mary Elizabeth (b 1901) and Elsie Margaret (b. 1906). The older boys, Sam and William, were born in Manchester where it seems James (Snr) was working as a mercantile clerk, but in the early 1890s they returned to the Longton area where the rest of the children were born. In 1911, the family was living at Hugh House Farm, Leyland, where James was working as a farm labourer for his father. Shortly afterwards the family moved to Lostock Hall and lived at 17 King Street.
When James enlisted at Southport on 5 September 1914 he gave his age as 19 years and 9 months, but in fact he was still only 17. At the time he was living with his father at 17 King Street, Lostock Hall, and working as a merceriser at Leyland Bleach and Dye Works (mercerising is a process in the treatment of cotton fibres prior to dying). He was 5’ 3” tall and weighed 109lbs. He had a 34” chest, fair complexion, grey eyes and brown hair. He was given service number 18105 and posted to 12 (Service) Battalion of the King’s (Liverpool Regiment).
12KLR was part of 61st Infantry Brigade in 20th Division. James embarked for France with his Battalion on 24 July 1915. The Battalion was initially deployed at Fleurbaix, near Armentières on the France-Belgium border and was there throughout the autumn and winter of 1915. In February 1916 they moved north to Elverdinghe near Ypres. In April they withdrew to Calais for training before returning to the line at Ypres in May and were finally moved to the Somme in August 1916. The Battalion was engaged in the Battle of Guillemont from 3-5 September, during which they recorded a total of 187 casualties (killed and wounded) from all ranks. August and September saw fierce German defence against the British and French advances, especially at Guillemont. James was wounded in action on 3 September 1916. He had shrapnel wounds to his arm and a fractured femur and tibia. He was taken to XV Corps Main Dressing Station where he died of his wounds two days later on 5 September, exactly two years after signing up. He was 19 years old. He is buried at Dartmoor Cemetery, Bécordel-Bécourt near Albert on the Somme.
During the same action, on 3-5 September 1916, 45 officers and men of 12Bn the King’s (Liverpool Regiment) were killed, including James Carr.
His effects were returned to his older sister, Dorothy Alice, who received £4 and 6d and a War Gratuity of £8 10s.
Service No: 18105
Date of Death: 05/09/1916
Regiment/Service: The King's (Liverpool Regiment), 12th Bn.
Grave Reference: I. A. 30.
Cemetery: DARTMOOR CEMETERY, BECORDEL-BECOURT
James’ older brother Sam also served. He joined the Royal Field Artillery on 11 December 1915 as a Driver and was given service number 159867. He married Ellen Eaves at Farington St Paul’s on 28 July 1909 and they had two children, May (b. 1910) and Sam (b. 1911) and they lived on Lupton Terrace, Lostock Hall. Sam was initially in the Reserve, mobilised on 31 August 1916 (just a few days before his brother was killed) and sent to France on 21 December 1916. He ended the War in Germany with 30 Battery, 39 Brigade. He was demobilised on 3 April 1919. He died in 1958.
It’s possible William Carr also served but no firm records have been found. His wife was Martha (maiden name not known) and they had two children, Fred (b. 1910) and James (b. 1911) and they lived at Sephton Street, Lostock Hall.