Private James Felstead, 27572

  • Batt - 8
  • Unit - King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment
  • Section -
  • Date of Birth - 1891
  • Died - 26/04/1917
  • Age - 26

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Source: Michael Doyle Their Name Liveth For Evermore: The Great War Roll of Honour for Leicestershire and Rutland.
He was the son of Thomas Felstead an ironstone quarry worker, born on the 27th January 1863 in Hoby, Leicestershire and his wife Alice Felstead (nee Kirk, married in the 1st quarter of 1886 in the Barrow upon Soar, Leicestershire district)), born 1863 in Long Clawson, Leicestershire. James, a schoolboy was born in the 4th quarter of 1891 in Ab Kettleby, Leicestershire, his siblings were, Edith Annie, a schoolgirl, born 1890 in Rotherby, Leicestershire, Alice Mary, a schoolgirl, born 1893, Sam, a schoolboy, born in the 4th quarter of 1894, John Henry, a schoolboy, born 1896, George, born 1899, Arthur, born 1900 and Sarah Jane, born 1901, the latter six siblings were all born in Ab Kettleby, in March 1901 the family home was at Wartnaby Road, Ab Kettleby. In April 1911 James was absent from the family home at Ab Kettleby, residing there was his father, an ironstone labourer, his mother and siblings, Edith, a general servant, Sam, a farm servant, John, a farm servant, George, a schoolboy, Arthur, a schoolboy, Sarah, a schoolgirl, William, born 1903, Ellen, born 1905 and Albert, born 1906, the latter three siblings were all born in Ab Kettleby. His younger brother Sam also fell.
James attested into the Army on a Short Service engagement (For the Duration of the War, with the Colours and in the Army Reserve.) on the 11th December 1915 in Melton Mowbray. He gave his address as Ab Kettleby, Melton Mowbray, his age as 24 years and 90 days and his trade or calling as ironstone labourer, his present employer being the Stanton Iron Company. He confirmed that he was unmarried. He gave his religion as Wesleyan and his father, Mr. Thos. Felstead of Ab Kettleby, Melton Mowbray as his next of kin. His medical examination recorded that he was 5 foot 4½ inches in height, weighed 128 pounds and he had a chest measurement of between 33½ and 35½ inches. After attestation on the 11/12/15 in Melton Mowbray he was transferred to the Leicestershire Regiment, as Private, service number 3/36664. Transferred to the Army Reserve on the 12/12/15. Mobilized in Newcastle upon Tyne on the 3/5/16. Posted and joined No.1 Depot, Royal Field Artillery, service number 140893 on the 3/5/16. Posted as Driver to 2a Reserve Brigade Royal Field Artillery on the 4/4/16. Transferred to the 21st Reserve Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers, service number 26211 on the 17/6/16. Transferred to the 72nd Training Battalion East Lancashire Regiment, service number 34736 on the 1/9/16. Transferred via the Infantry Brigade Depot, British Expeditionary Force, France to the 1st Battalion East Lancashire Regiment on the 7/10/16. Transferred to the 8th Battalion King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, service number 27572 on the 16/10/16. Killed in action on or since the 26/4/17. His record of service records: Home Service 11/12/15 – 6/10/16, 300 days. British Expeditionary Force, France 7/10/16 – 26/4/17, 207 days. Total service 1 year 137 days. James was awarded the British War and Victory medals. James’ surviving service documents are in poor condition, and much of the finer detail relating to the period of time that he spent in the Army, is either illegible or missing, hence the sparse overall description of his military and personal family history.
On Friday September 15th 1916 The Melton Mowbray Times & Vale of Belvoir Gazette published the following article under the heading. “LOCAL AND DISTRICT NEWS.” - AB KETTLEBY. – MILITARY. During the present week we have had pleasure in welcoming home two of our young soldiers Viz. Pte. J. Felstead and Pte. W. Smith who both looked remarkably fit and well. The former expects being shortly transferred to the front, and they both rejoin their regiments with the best wishes of the inhabitants for their welfare and speedy return home.
The War Diary records: 25-26 Apr-17 – WANQUETIN. Night. “D” Company brought up to this line. Order of Companies left to right “B,” “A,” “D,” “C.” Captain J. S. LYONS established in conjunction with the 7th NORFOLK REGIMENT a post on BIT LANE at 1.32.c.0.1. Work of consolidation continued. Enemy very active with rifle and machine gun fire.1st GORDON HIGHLANDERS Headquarters joined our Headquarters.
26 Apr-17 – WANQUETIN. Intermittent shelling of front and support trenches and Battalion Headquarters.
26-27 Apr-17 – WANQUETIN. At 11.30pm enemy attacked on our right flank. “C” Company repulsed this attack with rifle and machine gun fire. Battalion “Stood to” all night in case of another attack.
On Friday June 8th 1917 The Melton Mowbray Times & Vale of Belvoir Gazette published the following article under the heading. “AB KETTLEBY” – MILITARY.- Last week was a bad one for the relatives of our brave local lads at the front. News came to hand from the War Office that Pte. James Felstead, of the King’s Own Royal Lancaster’s, was missing. He is the eldest son of Mr and Mrs Thos. Felstead, of this village, who have brought up a large family with the greatest of credit to themselves. We trust they may soon have more re-assuring news. News was also received of the death of Sergt. A. Dilkes, of the Leicestershire Regt., who has been killed in action. He was the brother of Mrs W. Goodacre of this village. She has had one other brother killed, and one wounded, while three other brothers are also in the forces – a record of which any sister may well be proud. Much sympathy is felt for Mrs Goodacre in her double bereavement. We also regret to learn that Pte. Arthur Felstead, of the South Stafford’s, and brother of Mrs H. Sellars, of Kettleby, has been killed in action, and the family have sincere sympathy of many friends and relatives in this village.
On Friday June 22nd 1917 The Melton Mowbray Times & Vale of Belvoir Gazette published the following article under the heading. “LOCAL AND DISTRICT NEWS” – AB KETTLEBY. MISSING.- A fortnight ago we reported that Private J. Felstead, of this village, was missing. On behalf of his parents, Mr and Mrs T. Felstead, inquiries have been made by Mr J. W. Waite, who has received the following letter from Sergt. Major Jones, 8th Batt. The Kings Own Regiment, B.E.F., France, “Sir,- With reference to the attached letter requesting the Corpl. of No.5 Platoon to forward all information concerning Pte. J. Felstead, I am sorry to have to inform you that there are none of the old platoon left with me now, and of course, being Sergt. Major of his company I am undertaking to furnish you with all the information I possibly can. He was put on a forward post as a sniper for his company, with four other men and a Corporal. None of the post returned. They were I am sorry to say, either caught with a shell, or taken prisoners of war, but these statements cannot be borne out by any of us who are left as yet. One thing is quite certain: he never passed through any of our clearing stations as a casualty. Trusting this will meet with your requirements, I remain, yours truly, F. A. Jones.” We trust the parents will speedily receive more reassuring news.
On Friday August 23rd 1918 The Melton Mowbray Times & Vale of Belvoir Gazette published the following article under the heading. “AB KETTLEBY.” – FORESTERS’ MEMORIAL SERVICE. – A Foresters’ memorial service was held in the Parish Church on Sunday evening, in memory of Bro. Sergeant Alec Hill Holroyd and Bro. Pte. James Felstead, who have both been killed in action at the front. The latter was Senior Beadle of the Court and both were highly esteemed members. The officers and many members of the Court attended, wearing their regalia of office as a token of respect to the dead heroes. There was a very large attendance, including the relatives of the deceased. The service was conducted by the Vicar, Bro. the Rev. E. P. Doudney, M.A., the Court Chaplain, who very feelingly went through the Foresters’ funeral service. Special psalms, lessons, prayers and hymns suited for the occasion were taken, Bro. J. F. Stevens officiating at the organ. The sermon was preached by the vicar, who throughout the service wore his ribbon of office as Court Trustee. He took for his text Psalm xivi 1. “God is our help and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (the Prayer Book version). He said, it is hard we cannot go to the graves of our dear lads, but we have placed a cross over the roll of honour. When you see that cross, the emblem of Christianity, kneel down in one of the pews and ask God to bless you and give you strength to bear this great affliction. It is a great regret to me that I did not personally know all these lads who have gone from this parish, but this young brother, Sergt. Holroyd, I have met and hoped to meet again, but the Lord willed it otherwise, and as our word as a Forester is sympathy we come here tonight to sympathise with the friends and relatives of our two dear brothers. Hope is the source of hope, hope is the source of strength, so God is the strength of His people. “Be still and know that I am God.” There is your hope and strength and comfort. The presence of such a large company this evening, including several soldiers and their fellow Foresters, proves the sympathy that is extended to the relatives of the brave lads who have nobly given up their lives to save their country. At the conclusion of the service ex-drummer G. Searle, of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, sounded the “Last Post.” During the service the Vicar read the roll of honour, and announced that 60 of their fellow members had joined His Majesty’s forces, 13 of whom had been killed, one was missing, two were prisoners of war in Germany, and three were home discharged through wounds. Sister Thorp, of the Vicarage, with kind thoughtfulness had placed a beautiful white cross above the Roll of Honour, as a tribute of respect to the brave lads who had fallen, and this kind act was much appreciated by all.

Leicestershire Project Findings
  • Conflict - World War I
Research from Michael Doyle's Their Name Liveth For Evermore
  • Unit - King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment
  • Former Unit n.o - 3/3664 - 140893 - 26211 - 34736
  • Former Unit - Leicestershire Regt. - Royal Field Artillery - Lancashire Fusiliers - East Lancashire Regt.
  • Cause of death - KILLED IN ACTION
  • Burial Commemoration - Arras Mem., Pas de Calais, France
  • Born - Ab Kettleby, Leicestershire
  • Enlisted - 09/12/1915 in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire
  • Place of Residence - Ab Kettleby, Leicestershire, England

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