James Campbell, Private 31793, 2nd Bn. South Lancashire Regiment
Died of illness 5th June 1918 at Macclesfield, aged 24
James Campbell was born on 9 October 1893.
On 5 April 1915 James married Gertrude Doxey at Tiviot Dale Methodist Church, Stockport, and the couple lived at 27 Wellington Road North. They had a daughter, Margaret, born at Stockport in December 1915, and the family later moved to Macclesfield.
James Campbell enlisted in Stockport on 9 December 1915, shortly before his daughter Margaret was born. He stated that he was a chip shop keeper and was described as 5 feet 7¾ inches tall with a 38 inch chest. After training, he was drafted overseas on 21 October 1916.
It is not known when and where James became unwell, but he was admitted to Bermondsey Military Hospital, Ladywell, S.E. London on 13 March 1918 and transferred to Colchester Military Heart Hospital on 28 March 1918. On 1 May 1918 he was discharged from the Army, with a pension, being considered permanently unfit for duty, due to V.D.H. Aortic Insufficiency. James died at his home on 5 June 1918.
His death was reported in the Macclesfield Times on 14 June 1918:
Pte James Campbell, South Lancs Regt, died at his home, 52 Water Street, Macclesfield, on Wednesday week [5th June] from valvular disease of the heart brought on by the effects of gas poisoning sustained whilst on active service. He was 24 years of age and a native of Stockport. Pte Campbell was formerly employed as a master carrier at Stockport and Manchester, and had been in the Army over two years. He went through the fighting on the Somme and at Ypres and Cambrai, and was invalided to England seven weeks ago, having been gassed. Pte Campbell was discharged from hospital on May 5th. His wife conducts the off-licence business at the corner of Roe Street and Water Street.
The funeral took place at the Macclesfield cemetery on Monday [10th June], military honours being accorded. The Rev H Deall officiated, and a combined local band was in attendance. At the close of the committal service three volleys were fired over the grave by a firing party of the local detachment of the Cheshire Volunteer Regt, and the “Last Post” was sounded by Scout Albert Parker, of the Christ Church Troop. Four soldiers acted as bearers, and the coffin was covered with the Union Jack.
Private James Campbell is buried at Macclesfield Cemetery, in grave ref. X. 19798A. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private James Campbell, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website. At the time of writing, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission has mistakenly recorded the date of burial as the date of death.
WWI British Army Service Records 1914-1920 (Find My Past)
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Lives of the First World War website
Macclesfield Times: 14 June 1918, 23 September 1921 (photo supplement)