James was the son of Thomas & Elizabeth Lloyd, (nee Moulton) who, I believe married at St. Mary’s Church, Chester in 1873. (CE14/7/431). He was one of 16 children born to the couple, although as the 1911 census tells us, they were to lose 6 of these children.
The 1881 census shows the couple living at 29, Curzon Street, Chester, Cheshire. Thomas, 31, was a Railway Labourer. His wife, Elizabeth was 27. Their listed children were Sarah 7, Annie 6, Thomas 5, Bertha 3 and Samuel 1. They had all been born in the City of Chester.
James was born about1884, the 4th son of Thomas & Elizabeth. He was first recorded on a census in 1891 living at 44, Curzon Street, Lache -cum- Saltney,Chester. ( This address was kept throughout their story). Thomas Lloyd, 41 was a Railway Platelayer who had been born in Churton, Cheshire. His wife, Elizabeth Lloyd, 37, had been born in Eccleston, Cheshire. Their first born son, Thomas, 14, was a Sheet Repairer “Railway” who had been born in Chester. Daughter Bertha E. 13, and a scholar had been born in Flintshire. All the rest of the family had been born in Saltney and they were:- Samuel 11, William 9, Emma7, James 6, John 5, Alfred 3, Ellen 1 and baby Lizzie 2 months. (Lizzie was one of the children lost to the couple, she died in 1892, age 1 (Cheshire West CAS/50/56).
The 1901 census saw the household greatly reduced in size. They were still living at the same address. Thomas, 51, was a Railway Platelayer, Elizabeth was 47. Their listed children were William 19, a Railway Labourer. James 16 and John 15 were both Railway Sheet Repairers. Ellen and George, 3 made up the household.
The family was again at the same address on the 1901 census. Thomas, then 61, was a ‘General Packer, Railway Coy. Goods Dept’. His wife of 38 years, Elizabeth was 57. The form confirms that 16 children had been born and 6 of them had died. Their eldest daughter Sarah Jones, 37, had suffered bereavement as she was recorded as a widow. Their son Samuel 31 was a General Labourer in a Yard. James 26, was a General Labourer, Ellen, was 21, and George, 12 was at school.
James Lloyd’s Army Service Records have survived and are accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk. The following details are taken from them.
In 1902 James joined the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, enlisting at the age of 19 years.He was given the Regimental number of 7641. On his Attestation in 1902 he had stated that his trade was as a Tarpaulin Worker. The description of him on enlistment said he was 5 feet 4 3/4 inches tall, weighed 112 lbs, had a chest measurement of 31 inches with an expansion range of 3 1/2 inches. His complexion was ‘fresh’ his eyes and hair were brown. His religion was Weslyan. He had distinctive tattoos that featured his own initials – JL then a small circle with a dot in the middle on the back of his left forearm and rings on middle and fourth finger of his left hand and some dots on the web of his thumbs on both hands.
A few months into his service with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, he was transferred to the Cheshire Regiment, his regimental number changing to 7553 His Army Service records, show that he served in India and was in Bombay. He was quite a character, as whilst he was in India, he had a few brushes with authority. He once refused to go out on fatigues when ordered. Another time, he was ‘Drunk in Barracks at about 1.40pm’. He was once absent off Furlo for 12 hours 45 minutes, for which he served 8 days Confined to Barracks and forfeited 2 days pay.
He served his time and left the Army in February 1911 but when WW1 came, he was one of the first to be called upon as he was in the Reserve for 9 years. He was called up when the war began and he was in France very soon after it started. Sadly he was missing and presumed dead on or after the 22nd October 1914. Elizabeth, his mother wrote the following letters to the Army and her anxiety is palpable.
44, Curzon Street, Saltney, Chester. 22nd November 1914
I hope you will excuse the liberty I have taken in writing to you, I should feel very grateful to you if you could give me information of my son Pte. James LLOYD, No. 7553 – E Coy, Cheshire Reg: Reserve Expeditionary Force was the last address he sent us on the 19th of Sep & we have not heard anything from him since. & I have sent letter, cards and cigarettes, & no word as come to say whether they have been received & I am feeling very uneasy, at not hearing from. I have four sons taken away from me since the war began in August, I hear from the others but this one I have not heard of since the 19th September & any information you could give me I should be very grateful for.
Yours very respectfully,
I have enclose an envelope that his pension paper comes in thinking it might be something to go from (Writing very faded)
(Army replied 23rd November 1914)
44 Curzon Street, Saltney, Chester December 31st 1914
Sir, I hope you will excuse my troubling you again with reference to my son J. LLOYD (7553) Private in the Cheshires. I had a notification from you on the 28th of November that he was reported missing, & I have not heard or seen anything since reading last Monday’s paper and he was mentioned in the missing column there & I have not heard from him since the 19th of Sep: and the day he went away the 6th of August from Chester Castle he promised to leave me a hifle? a day but I have heard nothing of that either, & I feel very anxious about him and if it would not be giving you to much trouble I should feel grateful for any information.
Yours resps. E. LLOYD
(Army replied 1st January 1915)
Poor Elizabeth had to find out from the newspaper that her son was missing.
The records include correspondence concerning the receipt of medals and a plaque and scroll. Many of the papers are duplicates. Please make contact through the website if you would like to see more
James Lloyd in the UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919 confirms his regimental details and that he was born in Saltney, Cheshire and enlisted in Chester and he was formerly 7641, R.W. Fus.
James Lloyd in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 states that the Sole Legatee was his father Thomas Lloyd, £6 16s 5d and War Gratuity of £5. 0s 0d Dated 28th May 1919
James Lloyd in the British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920 does not tell us his first Theatre of War, but tells us that he entered it on the 16th August 1914.