James Whaley/Finn, Private 18086, 2nd Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers
Killed in action 12th October 1916 in the Somme, France, aged 50
Served as James Finn; correct name James Whaley.
More information will be added here when research is complete.
The death of James Whaley was reported in the Macclesfield Times on 10 November 1916:
FIGHTING AT FIFTY – OLD WARRIOR FALLS IN FRANCE
Official intimation has been received… of the death of Private James Whaley, of Macclesfield, who was killed in action in France on October 12th. He enlisted in the name of Finn, by which he was also known locally. The deceased was born and brought up at Hurdsfield, where his mother still resides, and he was formerly a cotton weaver at the Lower Heys Mill. He had also worked in Lancashire. Private Whaley, who was in his 50th year, served for some time in the Cheshire Militia, and he joined the Cheshire Regt at the outbreak of the war. Subsequently he was transferred to the Lancashire Fusiliers and had been in France 18 months. In July he spent a short furlough in Macclesfield, and his last letter to his daughter, written on October 1st, spoke of gallant deeds that were being done by the lads at the front. He leaves a widow and two children.
Private James Whaley has no known grave and is named on Pier and Face 3 C and 3 D of the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private James Whaley, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.