Speculation on James final resting place
The final resting place of James is pure speculation. He may be among the many thousands of casualties that remain to this day in the battlefield, where they fell. Looking at the Commonwealth War Graves information the following sites are possible locations:
Bancourt British Cemetery
Bancourt British Cemetery now contains 2,480 burials and commemorations of the First World War. 1,462 of the burials are unidentified
This is the confirmed resting place for Arthur Owen Rees (Service No. 9849) of the 9th Fusiliers who also died on 3rd October 1916. Also, the 11th Middlesex relieved the 9th Fusiliers on the night of the 3rd October, four of the eleven casualties they sustained on the 4th October are also buried at Bancourt (the remainder are commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial).
The cemetery was begun by the New Zealand Division in September 1918; the original cemetery is now Plot I, Rows A and B. The remainder of the cemetery was made after the Armistice when graves were brought in from the battlefields east and south of Bancourt and from the consolidation of small Allied and German cemeteries, including:-
- Bapaume Reservoir German Cemetery – No. On the Bapaume Beaulencourt road, containing the graves of nineteen soldiers from 1918.
- Bapaume Road Cemetary, Beaulencourt – Unlikely. South of the Beaulencourt-Gueudecourt road, containing the graves of 20 soldiers from the UK who fell in October 1916.
- Beaulencourt Road Cemeteries - Possible, three cemeteries North-East of Gueudecourt, containing the graves of 88 soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in the autumn of 1916 or in April, 1917
- Cloudy Trench Cemetery, Gueudecourt – Possible. Containing the graves of 40 soldiers from the UK who fell in October or November, 1916.
- Fremicourt Communal Cemetery Extension – No. A German Cemetery that contained some British from 1918.
- Sunken Road Cemetery, LesBoeufs – Possible. Between Gueudecourt and Le Transloy, made by the 5th Australian Division in April, 1917. It contained the graves of 49 soldiers from the UK and one from Australia who fell in October 1916.
A.I.F. Burial Ground, Flers
The cemetery was begun by Australian medical units, posted in the neighbouring caves, in November 1916-February 1917. These original graves are in Plot I, Rows A and B. It was very greatly enlarged after the Armistice when almost 4,000 Commonwealth and French graves were brought in from the battlefields of the Somme, and later from a wider area. It was also used to concentrate two other cemeteries north of Flers after the war. There are now 3,475 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in this cemetery. 2,263 of the burials are unidentified
At the time of the Armistice, the cemetery consisted of only 40 graves (now Plot I), mainly those of officers and men of the 2nd Grenadier Guards who died on 25 September 1916, but it was very greatly increased when graves were brought in from the battlefields and small cemeteries round Lesboeufs. There are now 3,137 casualties of the First World War buried or commemorated in this cemetery. 1,644 of the burials are unidentified
While this is outside the area, one named casualty is 2nd Lieutenant George Barber. While the CWGC states him as “16th Bn. attd. 18th Bn Royal Fusiliers”, the 9th Royal Fusiliers War Diaries states him as part of their Battalion on the date of his death, 3rd October 1916.