2507 Pte James William ANSELL 1/4th York Lancaster Regiment.
DIED OF WOUNDS RECEIVED 13th July 1915
James William ANSELL was born at Sheffield in 1894 and can be traced to 71 Powell Street, Netherthorpe where he lived with his parents James and Mary as well as his siblings Leonard and Ethel.
The 1901 census record shows the family living at 96 Mushroom Lane, Netherthorpe, Sheffield.
James attested at Sheffield on 24th September 1914 and was inducted to the ranks of the 1/4th Hallamshire battalion of the York and Lancaster Regiment. He was allotted service number 2507.
In the photograph below he can be seen standing on the right.
The T-4 shoulder titles are clearly visible.
The top trio of medals are those awarded to James.
On 13th April 1915 James was sent out to France where he entered the Western front theatre of war.
On the 13th July 1915 James was wounded in the chest and died as a result of the injury he sustained. The battalion war diary shows that his battalion were operating in the Elverdinghe area in Belgium. On the day he died the battalion had relieved the 1/5th York Lancs in trenches near the Yser canal.
They were subjected to heavy shelling by the enemy and interestingly large numbers of German prisoners who were with them at the time were killed as well. The trenches were subjected to heavy and sustained rifle fire and also gas shells.
The officer writes ‘ SLIGHTEST BREATH OF WIND BLOWING TOWARDS US NOT ENOUGH TO TAKE THE GAS AWAY ‘
James is buried at the Ferme Olivier Cemetery near Ypres, Belgium.
He is also remembered at St Stephens Church Sheffield.
June 2nd 1915 France
Dear sister, In answer to your dear welcome letter. I write these few words to you from the front. I am quite alright dear sister and in good health as I hope you all are at home. We are having lovely weather out here and it would be quite alright if there wasn’t a war on but I would sooner be at home and in dear old Sheffield. We are out of the trenches and having a rest behind the firing line ( somewhere in France ). I am enclosing a bit of shrapnel off a German shell which exploded in our trenches, I don’t know if it will arrive as far as sheffield but I am hoping so. What do you think of Lenoards courting affairs? I expect it will be you next. Has he bust his bike up yet or is it still living? There will be no touching him now he is a shell inspector. I wish I was a shell inspector in Sheffield instead of inspecting them when they burst over our trenches. It is alright watching them burst but it is different when you can hear the pieces of shell whistling towards you, we rush for the dug outs as fast as we can for when the shell bursts there are hundreds of pieces flying all over and they tear big holes in. I don’t want any big holes putting in me, I want to come home just as I came away. You would hardly know me and Arthur now, we are quite brown like Gurkhas and you will be surprised when you do see us. Tell Tots she must behave herself or she will not get any sovereigns from France when I come home. Tell dad the pipe is alright although it has seen some service and I quite enjoyed a smoke out of it. Well I must close dear so heaps of love, remember me to Clara Sorby. Your loving brother Jim xxxxx Tots xxx more than she deserves.
James sister Ethel married a Percy FISH who served with the West Riding Regiment, Warwickshire Regiment and Manchester Regiment. It is his British War Medal and Victory Medal that hang with James trio. Below are pictures of Percy, Ethel and associated ephemera.