Sunday, 28 June 2015

Down, James - Gunner (98120)

Gunner James Down
284th Siege Bty,
Royal Garrison Artillery,
Died of Wounds,
16th October 1917,
Age 35,
Buried Godewaervelde British Cemetery

Newspaper Report:

A memorial service for Gunner James Down, Royal Garrison Artillery, whose widow and child live with the wife's father (Mr. W.J. Serridge), at Peel Street, Haslingden, was held at the Primitive Methodist Church on Sunday night, when the Rev. W.H. Paulson was the preacher, and Mrs. Walter Taylor the soloist.  The Rev. Paulson said that Gunner Down was called up on June 9th 1916, and went to the front on March 23rd, 1917.  News of his death was sent by the sister in charge of a clearing station, who said he was brought in suffering from a gas shell wound and passed peacefully away on October 16th.  She added that he was buried in a military cemetery hear the clearing station, and that a cross marked his grave.  The deceased was born at Edgeworth, but as a boy he came to live with his parents at Helmshore, and attended the Wesleyan Sunday School there.  Musically inclined, he accompanied the singing at the week-night services, and sometimes in the Sunday school.  He was married 12 years ago at Haslingden Primitive Methodist Church to Elizabeth Ann Serridge.  A weaver at Grane Road Mill he enjoyed the confidence and respect of all who knew him.  At work and in the home he showed the same genial and kindly presence, and his life was one of singular kindness and modesty.  Mr. Paulson read a letter which he had received from Gunner Down just before the Sunday school anniversary services, in which the deceased said he hoped the sermons would be a great success.  He added that he often thought of the splendid sermons he had heard, and the happy hours he had spent at the church.  Those memories gave one great confidence and courage when far away from home. He prayed that peace would soon come again, so that they might all be with their loved ones once more.  The deceased enclosed a French note as a contribution to the collection.


Gunner James Down, R.G.A., died in a base hospital on October 16th 1917, as the result of wounds received a few days earlier.  He was 35 years of agee, and leaves a wife and a daughter, who are staying with Mrs. Down's father, Mr. W.J. Serridge at 22 Peel Street, Haslingden.
The deceased was a weaver at Grane Road Mill when he enlisted 18 months ago and he had been at the front for eight months.  He was on the Primitive Methodist church roll of honour.
A hospital commandant, who reports the casualty, writes that the deceased was struck on the head with a gas shell, and that he was very badly wounded when admitted to the base hospital.

Newspaper Memorials:

In loving memory of my dear Husband, Gunner James Down, Royal Garrison Artillery, who died of wounds in France, October 16th 1917.

"When alone in my sorrow and bitter tears flow,
There stealeth a dream of the sweet long ago;
When unknown to the world he stands by my side,
And whispers "Dear wife, death cannot divide."
Fondly I loved him, he's dear to me still,
But in grief I must bend to God's holy will;
My sorrow is great, my loss hard to bear,
But angles, dear husband, will guard you with care."

From his sorrowing Wife and Daughter, Lizzie and Alice, and Father in law, 25 Peel Street, Haslingden.

"Ever his memory will be cherished,
In our hearts a tender spot,
For his many acts of kindness,
Which will never be forgot."
"A beautiful memory left behind."

From Sally, 25 Peel Street., and nathan, serving in Mesopotamia.

"A friend, one of the best,
Worthy of everlasting love."

From Edwin and Ida Serridge, 25 Peel Street, Haslingden.

"Time may heal the broken hearts,
Time may make the wound less sore,
But time will never heal the longing,
For the loved ones gone before."

From Will and Ruth, 14 Back Street, Haslingden.

"Sleep on, dear husband, so true and so kind,
No friend on earth like you I find,
For me you always did your best,
May God grant you eternal rest.

Friends may think that I forgot you,
When at times they see me smile,
But little do they know what sorrow,
That smile hides all the while."

From his sorrowing wife and daughter, also father in law, 25 Peel St, Haslingden.

"We have lost, heaven has gained,
One of the best this world contained."

From Will and Ruth, 14 Rock Street, Haslingden.

"Upright and just in all his ways,
Honest and faithful to the end of his days,"

Eva, Harry, and Sarah, 4 Clegg Street, Haslingden.

"How we miss him, none can tell,
Ever in our hearts he dwells."

Edwin and Ida, 25 Peel Street., Haslingden.

"Dearer to memory than words can tell,
Are the thoughts of him we loved so well.

Ever remembered by Nathan and Sally, 25 Peel Street, Haslingden. 

Gunner James Down - Census Information - (Click over to enlarge)