Friday, 19 June 2015

Haigh, James - Private (3149)

Private James Haigh
1st Battalion,
Welsh Guards,
Killed in action,
23rd July 1918,
Age 31
Buried Beries New Military Cemetery.

Newspaper Report:


Mrs. Haigh, 14 Rock Street, Haslingden, has received notification that her husband, Private James Haigh (31) of the Welsh Guards, was killed by a shell on July 23rd, It is a coincidence that her brother, Pte. Robert Revens (36) was killed on July 22 of last year. Private Haigh was formerly a quarryman employed at Hutch Bank quarries, but for the last two years he was in civil life he was a firebeater at L. Whittaker's Grane Road Mill.  He formerly attended Laneside Church, but when about 17 he began to attend Grane Road Primitive Methodist Chapel through being a member of the football club connected with that place of worship, and he became a Sunday school teacher with the Primitives.  He was also connected with the Rechabites.  Volunteering two years ago, he was accepted in the Welsh Guards.
A letter from the regimental headquarters to Mrs. Haigh states that Private Haigh was on duty in the front line when he was killed.  He was buried in a British Military Cemetery, service being held at the funeral, and a cross is being erected over his grave.  It is added that it may be some slight consolation to the wife to know that his death was instantaneous. A letter from deceased's sergeant states that deceased when killed was on sentry duty in the front line.  He never suffered any pain as he was killed at once.  He will be greatly missed by the platoon, as he was a man who never shirked his duty, whatever it was he had to do, and he was liked and respected by all, officers and men alike.  The sergeant expresses his sympathy with the widow and all the relatives.


James Haigh was 32.  On September 27th 1916, he joined up and on March 14th 1917, he went to France. He was wounded on July 18th 1917, and was home for six months in hospital.  During those six months he regularly attended their services on his visits home.  He sailed for France again on Easter Sunday of this year.  On July 27th there came from the chaplain a letter saying that James was killed by a shell during a heavy bombardment.  He was a private in the Welsh Guards, and was in the first line trenches on duty as sentry when he was struck at 1 in the morning on July 23rd.  James was born at Whitworth, and came to Haslingden when three years of age.  He first went to Grane Road Chapel when about 17; a big, strong growing boy, and attached himself to the football team.  From that he came into closer touch with the Church and Sunday school.  During a mission at the church he was converted.  From that time onward he identififed himself with every movement of the church and Sunday School.  He became a teacher in the Sunday school, and a prominent member of the Men's Meeting and a Christian Endeavourer.  During the six years he marked in himself a great improvement in every respect, mentally and spiritually.  "We deeply regret the loss of these two young men," concluded Mr. Paulson, "and as a church we tender our deepest sympathy to those more nearly concerned- with the widow and the fatherless child in the case of James Haigh, and with the relatives and friends of Benjamin Heys."

Newspaper Memorials:

In fond and loving remembrance of my dear Husband, Private James Haigh, of the Welsh Guards, who fell in action on July 23rd, and was buried at Borles au Bois in France.

"The happy hours we once enjoyed,
How sweet the memory clings;
No morning dawns, no night returns,
But what I think of him."

Sadly missed by his loving Wife and Child, 18 Foundry Street, Haslingden.

"A loving son and brother kind,
A beautiful memory left behind."

"A sorrow too deep for words."

From his loving Mother and Sister Ethel, 5 Rock Street.

"A good life is often too short,
But a good name endureth for ever."

"A sorrow too deep for words."

From his loving Sister and Brother in law, Annie and Joe, Nephews Jack and Jim, 5 Rock Street.

"He was our true friend, true and kind,
He proved to us in heart and mind;
A truer friend we never knew,
Our tears start afresh when we think of you."

From Mr. and Mrs. Whatmough and Frank, 5 The Square, Whitworth.