James Irons likeness

James Irons cap badgeSergeant James Irons

10/11th (Service) Battalion Highland Light Infantry
Service No: 19453

James Irons grave

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Personal details

Family Information

Son of James and stepson of Helen Jamieson Irons of 62a Ronald St, Coatbridge. Husband of Jeanie Irons (25/02/1893- ). James' 2 younger brothers also served. David in the Royal Navy and Private Wallace Irons of the 7th Battalion Kings Own Scottish Borderers who was Killed in Action at Loos on the 25/09/1915. James made a Will leaving £10 to his mother and the rest of his estate to his wife Jeanie in Australia. From the 1901 Census - Address - 72c Ronald St, Coatbridge - James Irons aged 31, James Irons aged 7, Wallace Irons aged 6, David Cleland Irons aged 4, housekeeper Helen Jamieson aged 38, boarder David Kinnear aged 35. Housekeeper Helen Jamieson would become the 3 sons stepmother. James' Pension was awarded to his wife Jeanie c/o John Clarkson Esq, Cessnock St, Kurri Kurri, New South Wales, Australia on the 12/03/1917.

Born / Resided

Coatbridge / 62a Ronald St, Coatbridge.

Died

Killed in Action on the 14/08/1916 shot in the head at the Battle of Pozieres (part of the Battles of the Somme)

Enlisted

Coatbridge

Employed

Engine Cleaner in the Kipps Locomotive Works

Age

22

Buried / Remembered

Thiepval Memorial (Pier and Face 15 C), Somme, France.

Cemetery / Memorial Information

The memorial commemorates more than 72,000 men of British and South African forces who died in the Somme sector before 20 March 1918 and have no known grave, the majority of whom died during the Somme offensive of 1916. On the high ground overlooking the Somme River in France, where some of the heaviest fighting of the First World War took place, stands the Thiepval Memorial. Towering over 45 metres in height, it dominates the landscape for miles around. It is the largest Commonwealth memorial to the missing in the world. On 1 July 1916, supported by a French attack to the south, 13 divisions of Commonwealth forces launched an offensive on a line from north of Gommecourt to Maricourt. Despite a preliminary bombardment lasting seven days, the German defences were barely touched and the attack met unexpectedly fierce resistance. Losses were catastrophic and with only minimal advances on the southern flank, the initial attack was a failure. In the following weeks, huge resources of manpower and equipment were deployed in an attempt to exploit the modest successes of the first day. However, the German Army resisted tenaciously and repeated attacks and counter attacks meant a major battle for every village, copse and farmhouse gained. At the end of September, Thiepval was finally captured. The village had been an original objective of 1 July.

Additional Information

James and the Battalion arrived at Boulogne on the 13/05/1915. The 10th and 11th Battalions were attached to the South African Brigade, 9th (Scottish) Division until being amalgamated on the 14/05/1916 and were part of the 46th Brigade, 15th (Scottish Division when James was shot in the head and died instantly as his platoon advanced on enemy lines in the Battle of Pozieres (part of The Battles of the Somme), 23rd July – 3rd September 1916. The Battle - Pozieres was a small, straggling village on the main Albert - Bapaume road. It is situated on high ground that gives the occupier observation southwards along the road towards Ovillers, La Boisselle, Albert and beyond; to the east across to High Wood, Delville Wood and beyond ; and westwards to Thiepval. Possession of Pozieres was key to making possible any further advances towards Bapaume, the capture of the Thiepval ridge and the breaking of resistance at High and Delville Woods. The Battle for Pozieres and nearby Mouquet Farm became an epic in its own right, with tenacious German defence keeping determined British - Australian attack at bay for several weeks. This was the first large-scale Australian battle in France and proved to be its costliest in terms of total casualties. The objectives from the 15th (Scottish) Division, August 1916 - The Division had to capture that part of the German front known as the Switch Line from the Bazentin - Martinpuich road to Muster Alley. The Division did not gain all its objectives but those won were of great importance. On the 13th and 14th of August local operations were continued ; bombing attacks were made by the 45th Brigade on that portion of the Switch Line still in enemy hands but little [progress was made. On the 14th the 10/11th Battalion actually got into the enemies front line, and remained there for some time, but were obliged to withdraw owing to enemy machine-gun fire, which prevented reinforcements coming up. See Directory for James' younger brother Wallace's page. See Newspaper clipping (1) for a letter sent to his father by the Battalion's Chaplain. James is also remembered on the Kipps Roll of Honour (see photos). See photos for James' Medal Index Card, his Newspaper clippings x 2, his Army Register of Soldiers Effects, his Service Medal and Award Rolls x 2, his name on the Thiepval Memorial, the Highland Light Infantry Cap Badge and James' Pension Records x 2.

Photos
James Irons Medal Index CardJames Irons newspaper clippingJames Irons newspaper clippingJames Irons remembered at homeJames Irons remembered at homeJames Irons remembered at homeJames Irons remembered at homeJames Irons additional photoJames Irons additional photoJames Irons additional photoJames Irons additional photo

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