James Slack, Corporal 33446, 2nd Battn, Yorkshire Regiment (formerly 18975 East Yorks Regt)
Died 25th August 1917 in Belgium, aged 24
James Slack was born in 1892 and baptised on 23rd July 1893 at St Mary’s Church, Bosley, Cheshire, the son of Mary and James Slack, a goods porter for the North Staffordshire Railway Company, of Bosley.
By 1901, James was living at 7 Higginbotham Street (now South Park Road), Macclesfield with his parents and younger siblings Lucy (6), Abraham (3) and Mary (1). James was educated at Christ Church School and connected with the Newtown Primitive Methodist Chapel.
James’ father was not at home at the time of the 1911 census so, as the eldest child, James filled out the form and signed it on behalf of his mother. A further two children, George and Lily, had been born, and James, aged 18, was employed as a grocer’s assistant to Mr Smith of 55, Chestergate, Macclesfield.
James later found employment with Messrs Hunters of Mill Street, Macclesfield, and in 1912 he moved to Tunstall, Stoke on Trent.
James enlisted with the East Yorkshire Regiment at Tunstall in May 1916 and went to Withernsea for his basic training. In October 1916 he was drafted to the Western Front with the Alexandra, Princess Of Wales’s Own (Yorkshire Regiment), and was killed in action on 25 August 1917. His death was reported in the Macclesfield Times and the Macclesfield Advertiser on 28 September 1917.
Corporal James Slack is buried in Grave Ref. D. 8. of the Torreken Farm Cemetery No.1 near Ypres in West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. His mother, who was still living at 7 Higginbotham Street, asked for the inscription TOO DEARLY LOVED IN LIFE TO BE FORGOTTEN IN DEATH to be added to his military headstone.
Corporal James Slack is commemorated in Macclesfield on the Park Green, Town Hall, St Michael’s Church, St John’s Church Roll of Honour, Christ Church School and the Ancient Order of Foresters war memorials.
Brother of Abraham Slack, who served with the Cheshire Regt.
GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births
Cheshire Parish Baptism Registers: St Mary’s Church, Bosley, Macclesfield
Census (England & Wales): 1901, 1911
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Lives of the First World War website
Macclesfield Advertiser: 28 September 1917
Macclesfield Times: 28 September 1917, 23 September 1921 (photo supplement)