Turner, James Edward
Turner, James Edward

James Edward Turner was born in the first quarter of 1920 in Leyland. His father was Harry Turner (b. 1894 in Bamber Bridge), a table hand at Leyland Rubber. His mother was Ethel Mary Tonge (b. 1897 in Leyland). Harry and Ethel married in 1919 and James was born the following year. The couple had at least two other children: Joan (b. 1930) and Harry jnr (b. 1932). Harry was brought up in Lostock Hall, as before he married he lived with his family at 7 Garfield Terrace, Croston Road. By 1939, the Turner family had moved to 23 Prospect Avenue, Lostock Hall.

James was 19 when War was declared in 1939. I don’t know the date he enlisted but he joined the Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire) and he was posted to 1st Battalion. At the outbreak of the Second World War, the 1st Battalion, Loyal Regiment were part of the 2nd Infantry Brigade. The brigade was attached to the 1st Infantry Division. In September 1939 they were sent to France as part of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and remained there alongside the French Army until May 1940. The 1st Loyals participated in the fighting in France and Belgium in 1940, including acting as part of the rearguard for the Dunkirk evacuation.  After spending two years on home defence, the 1st Loyals would eventually see action again as part of the British First Army, fighting in the North African Campaign, in the Tunisia Campaign in early 1943, and in the Italian Campaign. At the Battle of Anzio (January 1944), the 1st Division saw some of the fiercest fighting of the war. Here the 1st Loyals lost a company during a German counterattack but managed to repel them. In May 1944 the battalion fought in the breakout of the Anzio bridgehead, and then in Operation Diadem (also called the 4th Battle of Monte Cassino). Then throughout the summer, as part of the British Eighth Army, they fought in the battles around the Gothic Line (between Florence and Bologna in northern Italy). In January 1945, the battalion, along with the rest of the 1st Division, were sent to Palestine. 1st Bn remained in Palestine until the end of the Palestine Mandate in 1948, though by this time James had been demobbed.

Turner, James Edward

Anzio, 1944

James Turner died at home on 14 January 1946.  He died of uraemia, caused by chronic nephritis (kidney failure). I don’t know to what extent his illness was caused or exacerbated by his military service.  He was 25 years old.

Rank: Private

Service Number: 3857683

Unit/Regiment: Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire), 1st Bn

Date of death: 14/01/1946

Age: 25


Grave Reference: Grave 15-16.

Additional Information: Son of Harry and Ethel Mary Turner, of Lostock Hall.

Turner, James Edward