Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Tomlinson, James - Private (19905)

Pte James Tomlinson
3rd Battalion,
Grenadier Guards,
Killed in Action
31st July 1917
Age 29

Commemorated on Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial

Newspaper Reports:

The Haslingden men who enlisted in the first days of the war left an example of patriotism that neither song or story can overrate, and though they fall they will always be remembered as "The Deathless Army," for, with the true soldier's contempt of death, they voluntarity answered their country's call and followed the flag with a devotion to duty that has made the record of the work of the First Expeditionary Force one of the greatest epics of the war.

Private James Tomlinson, whose wife and child reside at 16, Rudd Street, Haslingden and who is reported to have been killed in action, was one of those who responded to the call in September, 1914.  His death seems only too probable, as a couple of soldiers have written notifying his relatives of it, and a chaplain writes confirming it and adding that he buried him.

The deceased, who was 29 years of age, enlisted in the Grenadier Guards, and went through some fierce fighting with that famous regiment.  
He was in the tick of it at Loos, where the Grenadiers were badly hit and a month afterwards he was wounded while reading a "Haslingden Guardian" in the second line of trenches.  GHe was invalided to a London hospital, and after recovering he was put on guard at some of the principal London buildings for a time.  He returned to the front in August, 1915, since when he had not had a leave.


He was on the roll of honour of Ebenezer Baptist Church, and was a prominent member of the cricket and football teams in connection with the Sunday School, while in local football circles generally he was well known and respected.  He was a weaver at Messrs. Carr and Parker's Mill.
Official news of the death of Private Tomlinson was received at Haslingden on Tuesday, and the letter which one of the soldiers referred to had written to Mrs. Tomlinson, and which was dated August 9th, is as follows:-
"It is with the greatest regret that I have to inform you that your husband was killed in action on July 31st, whilst taking part in an attack, which no doubt you have read about in the papers; and being his chum, he asked me to let know if anything happened him.
"He was well liked by all his comrades.  Being so kind-hearted, he didnt care what he did for a comrade, and they all wish me to convey to you their deepest condolence and sympathy.  I am sure he will live for ever in our memory, as he was a hero of the first class, one of the sort that they turn out in Lancashire".


Private James Tomlinson (29), Rudd Street., killed in action, was said to have been mentioned in despatches, after proving "a hero of the first class".  He went through the battle of Loos in 1915, the year after joing the Grenadier Guards, He had been a weaver at Carr Parker's and attended King Street Chapel



A memorial service was held at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Haslingden on Sunday night, on Pte Jasmes Tomlinson, Grenadier Guards, who was killed in action on July 29th, 1917.  There was a large congregation, and the members of the Mens Class and the Recreation Club had the central pews.  Mr. W. Bricknell of Bacup, preached on the words, "Eternal Life," and referred to the estimable qualities and genial and unselfish character of the deceased.  The solo, "God Who madest Earth and Heaven," was sung by Mr. James Proctor and the organist (Mr. John Richard Bradshaw) played "The Dead march" in "Saul" at the close of the service.


Newspaper Memorials:

In ever loving memory of my dear husband, Pte. James Tomlinson, Grenadier Guards, who fell in action July 31st 1917.

"He did not stop to reason,
When first the war began,
But went and did his duty,
Like a soldier and a man,

In the bloom of youth God took him,
In the pride of his boyhood days,
None knew him but to love him,
None mentioned his name but with praise.

From his sorrowing Wife and Child, Gertrude 16 Rudd Street., Haslingden.

"At Rest"

From his Brother and Sisters.

"Though death divides, fond memories cling."

From his wife and Gertrude.