Doubleday, James Lloyd

James Lloyd Doubleday was the brother of Clement Doubleday, who’s story is also on the memorial, please click on the link to read the details of their parents.

James Lloyd was born circa 1883 in Chester, Cheshire, and the first time he is seen on a census was in 1891. The family were living at 11, John Street, Chester (St. Mary with out the Walls), father Frederick, 30 was a Railway Wagon Lifter born Macclesfield, his wife Martha had been born in Chester, as all the children on this census had been.   James Lloyd, 7, a scholar, Agnes, 6, Lucy, 4, Frederick, 2 and Martha was 10 months old. There was also a lodger living in the household.

James’s story on the 1901 census was the same as Clements, please click on the link, but James was to marry Mary Ann Hesketh in St. Peter’s Church in Chester in 1903.   (Cheshire West CE64/2/393).

By 1911 James and Mary Ann had moved to Manchester living at 2, Hayfield St., Ardwick, Manchester (3 rooms), James, 28 was a Blacksmith’s Striker at a Wagon & Carriage Builder’s Works and Mary Ann, 27 had been born in Chester, just like James.   They had been married 8 years and they are to tell us such a tragedy, as 4 children had been born to them, but 3 of their children had died.   2 of those were daughters – May & Doris, born in 1912 and 1914 respectively   Their son James, age 6 had survived, he had been born in Saltney,Chester.

James Doubleday in the UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919 states, wrongly that James was born in Ardwick, Lancs and resided there, which I believe was correct and he enlisted in Manchester.

James Doubleday in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 states that the Sole Legatee was widow Mary Ann Doubleday – £14 2s 4d and War Gratuity of £9. 0s.0d

James Doubleday in the British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920 does not tell us where his first Theatre of War was nor when he entered it.

I have extracted the War Diaries for the 4th November 1918 in the hope it explains how and where James died.

UK, WWI War Diaries (France, Belgium and Germany), 1914-1920
Regiment or Unit:       Royal Welsh Fusiliers
Sub Unit:         2nd Battalion
Division:          38th Division
Diary Entry Start Date:           Nov 1918
Diary Entry End Date:            6 Nov 1918
Diary Dates:    1918 Feb – 1919 Apr
Diary Entry Location:             Foret De Mormal


ENGLE FONTAINE 4th November 1918

The 38th Divn attacked the South Eastern outskirts of ENGLE FONTAINE and the FORET DE MORMAL.   On the right the 18th Divn attacked & on the left the 17th Divn attacked.   Zero was 5.30 am when the Divn on the left was to open the attack.   The 115 Bn was to open the attack of the 38th Divn. at Zero + 45 i.e. 6.15 am.   The order of battle of the 115 Inf. Bde was, – on the right 2/R.W.F., in the centre 10/S.W.B. & on the left 17/R.W.F.   1 Tank was allotted to each Battalion.   The Bn was formed up by 5.0 am with final objective, the first 38 Divl objective the BLUE LINE, a River? running roughly N & S 500 yds East of the Western Edge of the FORET DE MORMAL, in the wood.   A first Brigade objective had been given which was the Western Edge of the FORET DE MORMAL where Coys detailed to capture the BLUE LINE were to leap frog through the Coys leading the Attack up to the Eastern Edge of the FORET DE MORMAL.   The 18th Divn. attacked at 6.15 am.   The order of battle of the 115th Bde was, as stated above and at 5.0 am the Bn was formed up to go over in the following order:-

Right Front Coy. “C” Coy, Left Front Coy “D” Coy, Right Support Coy “B” Coy.,Left Support Coy. “A” Coy.

The taskallotted to the Bn.was not easy as two changes of direction had to be carried out & the front varied from 300yds to 800yds owing to the right resting on a stream (RUISSEAU des ECLUSETTES), which twists a great deal in its course.

The Front on the forming up line was about 500yds & on the final objective about 1200yds?   The greater part of which was in a clearing.   This meant that on reaching the leap frog line a third Coy had to push into the Front Line, the dispositions ordered therefore, were, that on reaching the Leapfrog Line “B” Coy would become the Right Front Coy.,”C” Coy the Centre Front Coy, “A” Coy leapfrogged through “D” Coy & become the Left Front Coy, 4 Coy remained in the Leapfrog Line in Reserve.

There were not sufficient troops within the Coys to completely mop up, & to have done it with troops of the Coys which became engaged in these houses, would have unduly delayed the Advance, Bn H.Qrs was made responsible for the final mopping up of these houses.

Attack at 6.15 am. Behind a very heavy and accurate barrage put up by the 38th Divn Artillery.   The morning was very misty and though it made the keeping of direction difficult, it hampered the enemy’s movements considerably & was very helpful to the Battalions in overcoming opposition, which was particularly heavy in M.G. & T.M. fire.

The Tank allotted to the Bn failed to appear, but one TANK N.T., allotted to the 18th Divn, which had lost its way was intercepted and rendered valuable service to the Regiment during the Advance.   During the whole advance there was gap of about 400x between the Right of the Battalion, and the Left of the Division on our Right and the Enemy Enfiladed the Bn heavily with M.g fire & T.M. fire from his flank.   The Tank gave considerable help in keeping down this fire.   On the Final Objective being occupied, the Reserve i.e. Coy “D” Coy, crossed the RUISSEAU des ECLUSETTES. (Battn. Right Boundary) and cleared the Enemy from just beyond the Right of the Final Objective and the Ground in rear as far back West as the village of HECQ.

This Coy dropped posts during the manoeuvre & formed a defensive Right Flank to the Battn,   Btn. HQs in the meantime had moved into Reserve in the position formerly occupied by “D” Coy leaving our post on the ENGLE FONTAINE – HECQ Road, where it crossed the RUISSEAU des ECLUSETTES.

The Battn captured:- 1 Field Gun, 6 Trench Mortars, 28 Machine Guns (Light & Heavy).

The Casualties were :- 2/Lt W.R.C.KEEPFER, Killed & 2/Lt’s G.P. JONES, C. HASLAM, R.E. GRIFFITHS and Lt. D. LLEWELLYN, Wounded.   10 O.Ranks Killed & 65 O.Ranks wounded & Missing.

Enemy Casualties:- Killed – about 40, Prisoners – 4 Officers, 120 O.Ranks Approx.

At 4.0 pm the Battn returned to Billets vacated in the morning.

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