Thursday, 18 February 2016

Leslie Walter James 1924-1945, age 20

Barnsley Chronicle 5th August 1944
Thanks to Barnsley Archives
Born: 1924 Q2 in the Barnsley registration area. 

Son of: Walter and Adelaide May James nee Barnett. Walter (1898-1978, died age 80) married Adelaide May at Gawber Church on 17th November 1923. Leslie was the eldest of their 5 children and his parents lived at Cross Street in Barugh Green.  

Husband of: Hannah Agnes James nee Corker.  Agnes and Leslie married at St Mary's Church, Barnsley in 1944, Q1. They had no children. 

After Leslie's death in 1945, Agnes married Wilfred R Birch in 1948.  

Military Service: Leslie was a Trooper in the Reconnaissance Corps of the Royal Armoured Corps, 15th Regiment, Service number 14333225. 

He was wounded in 1944. The Barnsley Chronicle on 5th August 1944 reported:
Wounded Barnsley Trooper Progressing Favourably.
Visiting him in hospital at Driffield last week, Mrs L. W. James, 57 Shaw Street, Barnsley found her husband, Trooper Leslie W. James (20) Reconnaisance Corps, progressing favourably after sustaining burns on the face and hands while on active service in Normandy. He joined the Army in November 1942 and arrived in France on June 28th. 

It appears that he was on an armoured car moving along a village road when a German sniper lobbed a hand grenade in the car. Trooper James was severely burned and he says he never saw the accompanying officer again. 

Formerly a clerk at the Abattoir, Pontefract Road, he was married only 18 weeks ago at St Mary's Church, his bride being Miss A. Corker, daughter of Mr and Mrs W. Corker, 7 Shambles street. The son of Mr and Mrs Walter James, 3 Cross Street, Barugh Green, Leslie attended Higham Methodist Chapel and was a Lance Corporal in the Home Guard. His father served in the last war. 

Death: 27th March 1945 in Germany.  

Buried: Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany in grave 58.C.11. Leslie was previously buried in Hamminkeln, Germany but moved to Reichswald Cemetery on 17th April 1947. His grave bears the following inscription
"He will receive us
With outstretched arms." 

Find a grave link: here 
Commonwealth War Graves Commission link: here  
Remembered: St Thomas Church War memorial, Gawber. 

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