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Capt Arthur de Bells Adam (MC)
1885 - 1916

CPL David Wallace Crawford
1887 - 1916

Lce-Corpl John Joseph Nickle
1894 - 1916

Pte 17911 Morton Neill
1897 - 1916

Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft
1883 - 1918
Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft

Pte 308326 James Speakman

  • Age: 26
  • From: Wigan, Lancs
  • Regiment: The King's (Liverpool Regiment) 18th Btn
  • K.I.A Wednesday 24th October 1917
  • Commemorated at: Kemmel Chateau Mil Cem
    Panel Ref: M.9

James Speakman was born in Wigan on 31st July 1891, the son of William Speakman and his wife Fanny (née Fairhurst).  William, from Leigh, and Fanny from Pemberton, married in Wigan in 1869 and had eleven children, three of whom died in infancy. James was the youngest of the surviving children. He had siblings Mary Jane,  Ellen, Matilda, William, Robert, Albert, and Henry.

James was baptised in All Saints, Wigan, on 31st August 1891, parents’ residence 19 Miry Lane, and his father’s occupation factory overlooker.  His sister Matilda died aged 21 in 1899.

In 1901 the family is living at 7 Miry Lane, Wigan, with six children.  His mother is listed as Frances.  His father, 51,  Ellen 25, William 21, and Robert 16 all work in a cotton mill. The three younger children are at school, James is 9.

1911 James is the only child at home with his parents, living at 12 Herbert Street (off Miry Lane). His father is 60, a cotton spinner, his mother is also 60, James is 19, a cotton spinner like his father.  They state they have had eleven children, of whom five have died.  They have a 28 year old boarder, a coal miner.

His father died in Jun 1914 aged 64.

James enlisted in Wigan in about April or May 1916 (based on the amount of the War Gratuity), as Private 4487, Manchester Regiment. He was later transferred to the 1/8th Bn King’s (Liverpool) Regiment as Private 6363, and subsequently transferred to the 18th Bn K.L.R. with the regimental number 308326, and finally to the 19th Bn.

He was killed in action on the 24th October 1917, aged 26, and now rests at Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery, Belgium.

He was reported killed in Wigan Observer 29th Nov 1917

His mother, Fanny at 2 Fletcher Street, Wigan, received James’ effects, including a War Gratuity of £7-10s and a pension of 12/6d a week.  Fanny remarried in 1920 to Samuel Whalley, and moved to 46 Clayton Street, Wigan.  She died in 1926, aged 76.

James has not been definitively identified on any memorial although there is a J Speakman commemorated at St. Thomas, Wigan, Church and Schools and on 

Wigan Cenotaph, 1 Waddingtons Yard.



Killed On This Day.

(104 Years this day)
Wednesday 5th December 1917.
Pte 17536 John Hugh Baxter
22 years old

(104 Years this day)
Wednesday 5th December 1917.
Pte 52198 Clifford Smith
23 years old

(104 Years this day)
Wednesday 5th December 1917.
Pte 203219 John Swinburn
30 years old

(103 Years this day)
Thursday 5th December 1918.
Pte 25358 Wiliiam Robert Jackson
25 years old

(103 Years this day)
Thursday 5th December 1918.
Pte 260436 Leo Murphy
34 years old