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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 James Bird a coal miner, born in the 3rd quarter of 1865 in Coalville, Leicestershire and his wife Elizabeth Bird (nee Wyatt, married in the 4th quarter of 1884 in the Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire district), born in the 1st quarter of 1867 in Coalville. James was born on the 26th November 1888 in Coalville, his siblings were Sarah Jane born in the 1st quarter of 1885 and Elizabeth, born in the 2nd quarter of 1887, both his siblings were born in Coalville, in April 1891 the family home was at Marshalls Buildings, Station Street, Whitwick, Leicestershire. In March 1901 James was residing in the family home at Margaret Street, Coalville, together with his widowed father, a coal miner and his siblings, Sarah, Elizabeth, Isabella, born 21st January1895, Ada, born 28th October 1896, and Jane Ann, born 27th August 1898, the latter three siblings were all born in Coalville. In April 1891 James was employed as a coal miner and was residing in the family home at Ashby Road, Coalville, together with his father, a below ground coal miner and charge man and his siblings, Ada and Jane a schoolgirl.
Reproduced is a copy of James’ Attestation page, followed by a brief summary of the content of his army service documents, these are in reasonable condition, the hand written information relating to his army service, in some cases lacks clarity and is barely legible, or missing entirely, however the overall description offers a fair representation of events that took place during his period of military service
Army Form B. 2065.
(Three years with the Colours.)
No. 8/15419. Name James Bird. Corps LEICESTERSHIRE REGT.
Questions to be put to the Recruit before Enlistment.
 What is your name?  James Bird.
 In or near what Parish or Town were you born??  In the Parish of Coalville near the Town of Coalville in the County of Leicestershire.
 Are you a British Subject?  Yes.
 What is your Age?  23 Years 314 Months Days.
 What is your Trade or Calling?  Collier.
 Have you resided out of your Father’s house for three years continuously in the same place, or occupied a house or land of the yearly value of £10 for one year, and paid rates for the same, and in either case, if so, state where?  No.
You are hereby warned that if after enlistment it is found that you have given a wilfully false answer to any of the following seven questions, you will be liable to a punishment of two years’ imprisonment with hard labour.
 Are you, or have you been, an Apprentice? if so, where? to whom? for what period? and when did, or will, the period of your Apprenticeship expire?  No.
 Are you Married?  No.
 Have you ever been sentenced to Imprisonment by the Civil Power?  No.
 Do you now belong to the Royal Navy, the Army, the Royal Marines, the Militia, the Special Reserve, the Territorial Force, the Army Reserve, the Militia Reserve, or any Naval Reserve Force? If so, state which unit, and cause of discharge.  No.
 Have you ever served in the Royal Navy, the Army, the Royal Marines, the Militia, the Special Reserve, the Territorial Force, the Imperial Yeomanry, the Volunteers, the Army Reserve, the Militia Reserve, or any Naval Reserve Force? If so, state which unit and cause of discharge.  No.
 Have you truly stated the whole if any of your previous Service?  Yes.
 Have you ever been rejected as unfit for the Military or Naval Forces of the Crown? If so, on what grounds?  No.
 Are you willing to be vaccinated or re-vaccinated?  Yes.
 Are you willing to be enlisted for General Service?  Yes.
 Did you receive a Notice, and do you understand its meaning, and who gave it to you?
 Yes. Name J. Sharpsley. Corps Rec. -?-.
 Are you willing to serve upon the following conditions provided His Majesty should so long require your services?
For a term of three years unless War lasts longer than three years, in which case you will be retained until the War is over. If however, the War is over in less than three years, you will be discharged with all convenient speed. If employed with Hospitals, depots of Mounted Units, and as Clerks, etc., you may be retained after the termination of hostilities until your services can be spared, but such retention shall in no case exceed six months.  Yes.
I, James Bird do solemnly declare that the above answers made by me to the above questions are true, and that I am willing to fulfil the engagements made
James Bird SIGNATURE OF RECRUIT.
J. Sharpsley, Rec. -?- Signature of Witness.
OATH TO BE TAKEN BY RECRUIT ON ATTESTATION.
I, James Bird swear by Almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true Allegiance to His Majesty King George the Fifth, His Heirs, and Successors and that I will, as in duty bound, honestly and faithfully defend His Majesty, His Heirs, and Successors in Person, Crown, and Dignity against all enemies, and will observe and obey all orders of His Majesty, His Heirs and Successors, and of the Generals and Officers set over me. So help me God.
CERTIFICATE OF MAGISTRATE OR ATTESTING OFFICER.
The Recruit above named was cautioned by me that if he made any false answer to any of the above questions he would be liable to be punished as provided in the Army Act.
The above questions were then read to the Recruit in my presence.
I have taken care that he understands each question, and that his answer to each question has been duly entered as replied to, and the said Recruit has made and signed the declaration and taken the oath before me at Coalville
on this 21st day of September 1914
Signature of the Justice -?-
STATEMENT OF SERVICES:
Service towards limited engagement reckons from 21/9/14. Joined at Coalville on 21/9/14. Joined Depot, Leicestershire Regiment as Private on 22/9/14. Joined 8th (Service) Battalion Leicestershire Regiment on 29/9/14. Posted 212 Depot on 17/8/16. Attached 14th Training Reserve Battalion on 30/10/16. Posted 3rd Battalion Leicestershire Regiment on 18/1/17. Forfeits pay for absence from 17/1/17 to 22/1/17. Posted 1st Battalion Leicestershire Regiment on 3/2/17. Posted Depot Leicestershire Regiment on 10/7/17. Posted 12th Infantry Brigade Depot, British Expeditionary Force on 24/7/17. Posted 1st Battalion Leicestershire Regiment on 25/7/17. Posted 2/5th Battalion Leicestershire Regiment on 15/8/17.
MILITARY HISTORY SHEET:
Service at Home and Abroad: -- Home British 21/9/14 – 28/7/15, 311 days. Expeditionary Force France 29/7/15 – 16/8/16, - days. Home 17/8/16 – 2/2/17, - days. Expeditionary Force France 3/2/17 – 23/7/17, - days. Expeditionary Force France 24/7/17 - -?-, - days.
Campaigns medals and decorations: Home from 21/9/14 to 28/7/15, 311 days. Expeditionary Force France 29/7/15 to 16/8/16, 1 year 20 days. Home 17/8/16 to 2/2/17, 246 days. Expeditionary Force France 3/2/17 to 23/7/17, 171 days. Expeditionary Force France 24/7/17 to 26/9/17, 65 days. Total 3 years 83 days. 1914-15 STAR, British War Medal, Victory Medal. Name and address of next-of-kin: Father, James Bird, Ashby Road, Coalville. Sister Jane Ann, Ashby Road, Coalville. Sister Isabella Smith, Ibstock, Leicester. Sister Jennie Cooper, Whitwick, Leicester
DESCRIPTION ON ENLISTMENT:
Apparent Age: 23 years 314 months days. Height: 5 feet 5¼ inches. Weight: 146 pounds. Chest Measurement: Girth when fully expanded 36 inches. Range of expansion 2 inches. Complexion: Dark. Eyes: Grey. Hair: Brown. Church of England: Yes. Considered fit for the Army on the 17th September 1914 in Coalville.
MEDICAL HISTORY (A.F. B178):
TABLE I. GENERAL TABLE.
Birthplace: Parish. Coalville. County. Leicestershire. Examined: on 17th day of September 1914 at Coalville. Declared Age: 23 years 314 days. Trade or Occupation: Collier. Height: 5 foot 5¼ inches. Weight. 146 pounds. Chest measurement: Girth when fully expanded 36 inches. Range of expansion 2 inches. Physical Development: Good Pulse 76. Vaccination Marks: Right. - Left. 4 When Vaccinated: Infancy. Vision: R.E. – V = Normal. L.E. – V = Normal. Marks indicating congenital peculiarities or previous disease: Not any. Slight defects but not sufficient to cause rejection: Not any. Enlisted on 21st day of September 1914 at Coalville. Joined on Enlistment: LEICESTERSHIRE REGT. Regimental No: 15419.
TABLE IV. Service Table: Leicester 21/9/14. Aldershot 29/9/14. Folkestone 28/2/15. Perham Down 8/4/15.
CASUALTY FORM - ACTIVE SERVICE (A.F. B103): (Temporary).
Regiment or Corps: 3rd 1st Bn. LEICESTERSHIRE REGT. Regimental No: 15419. Rank: Pte. Surname: Bird. Christian Name: James. Religion: C of E. Age on Enlistment: 26 years – months. Enlisted [a]: 6/9/14. Terms of Service [a]: D of W. Service reckons from [a] 6/9/14. Date of promotion to present rank: - Date of appointment to lance rank: - Numerical position on roll of N.C.Os: - Extended: - Re-engaged: - Qualification (b) -. or Corps Trade and Rate: - Occupation: Collier.
Embarked Folkestone on 23/7/17. Posted to 1st Battalion Leicestershire Regiment on 25/7/17. Posted from the 12th Infantry Brigade Depot to the 2/5th Territorial Battalion The Leicestershire Regiment under Army Order 204/16 and Army Order 1499/16 on 15/8/17. Posted to “C” Company on 16/8/17. Killed in action 26/9/17.
CASUALTY FORM - ACTIVE SERVICE (A.F. B103):
Regiment or Corps: 6th (SER) BN. LEICESTERSHIRE REGT. Regimental No: 8/15419. Rank: Private. Name: Bird J. Enlisted [a]: 21/9/14. Terms of Service [a]: 3 Yrs. Service reckons from [a] 21/9/14. Date of promotion to present rank: - Date of appointment to lance rank: - Numerical position on roll of N.C.Os: - Extended: - Re-engaged: - Qualification: -
Embarked Folkestone on 29/7/15. Awarded 14 days Field Punishment No.1, in the field on 29/11/15. Admitted to the 14th Divisional Rest Station suffering from I.C.T., in the field on 27/7/16. Transferred to 64th Field Ambulance suffering from I.C.T., in the field on 27/7/16. Admitted to 21st Divisional Rest Station suffering from a boil on the leg, in the field on 29/7/16. Admitted to 37th Casualty Clearing Station, suffering from -?- lymph gland, in the field on 7/8/16. Admitted to 6th General Hospital, Rouen suffering from I.C.T, on 11/8/16. Transferred to England per Hospital Ship Salta on 15/8/16. Embarked from Folkestone to join the British Expeditionary Force in France on 2/2/17. Posted to 1st Battalion Leicestershire Regiment on 4/2/17. Posted to 6th Battalion Leicestershire Regiment on 19/2/17. Joined 6th Battalion Leicestershire Regiment, in the field on 20/2/17. Admitted to 96th C. P. Field Ambulance suffering from a gunshot wound to the right leg and foot, in the field on 13/4/17. Transferred to 32nd Casualty Clearing Station on 13/4/17. Transferred to 6th British Red Cross Hospital, Etaples on 15/4/17. Transferred to Liverpool Merchants General Hospital on 16/4/17. Transferred to England per Hospital Ship Wanilla on 16/4/17.
TABLE II Only for Admissions to Hospital or to the Sick List in the case of Warrant Officers treated in quarters: Admitted Hospital Dublin on 17/8/16 to 13/9/16. Gunshot wound thigh. Transferred from B.E.F. France. Bullet entered right groin below middle of pouparts ligament. Wounded about six weeks ago at Fricourt. Bullet removed in France – 3.11.16 Complains of slight stiffness in leg and pain on walking –No -?- to bone or -?-. Transferred to Military Convalescence Hospital, Hollywood, County Down. Transferred Military Convalescent Hospital, Hollywood, County Down on 13/9/16 to 20/10/16. Discharged to 10 days furlough and duty. Admitted to Netley Hospital on 27/4/17 to 25/5/17. Gunshot wound right thigh and foot. Transferred to Fareham House, Fareham on 25/5/17 to 15/6/17. Transferred to Netley Hospital on 15/6/17 to 29/6/17. Discharged to furlough and duty.
ARMY FORM W.5080 (Information on deceased soldier’s family):
The following information was provided by James’ father James on the 22nd August 1919, and was witnessed and signed by Geo. W. Farmer, Magistrate of 56, Vaughan Street, Coalville. Father of Soldier: James Bird of 55, Ashby Road, Coalville. Mother of Soldier: None. Full Blood Brothers of Soldier: None. Full Blood Sisters of Soldier: Bella Smith, age 23 of 26, Gladstone Street, Ibstock. Jenny Cooper, age 32 of 31, North Street, Whitwick. Lizzie Colledge, age 30 of Rosewood Cottage, Donington le Heath. Jane Ann Tugby, age 20 of 4, Pares Hill, Whitwick. Ada Bird, age 22 of 55 Ashby Road, Coalville.
The War Diary records: 26 Sep-17 - HILL 37. Shelling not quite so heavy as previous days. Periods of comparative quiet. Back areas bombarded with high explosive and gas shells at night. 2nd Lieutenant L. ROWBATHAN died of wounds, 2nd Lieutenant S. W. G. TALLIS wounded.
Source: Leicestershire War Memorials Project. Coalville Times article - Friday October 26th, 1917
Official news has been received, that Private James Bird, of the Leicestershire Regiment, was killed in action by a piece of shrapnel on September 26th. His parents reside at 55, Ashby Road, Coalville his father, Mr James Bird, being employed at the Snibston Colliery, where the deceased also worked before the war. He was a single man, 27 years of age, and enlisted three years last September.
Research undertaken and submitted (including photograph from Coalville Times) by Andy Murby 24/12/2017
- Conflict - World War I
- Cause of death - KILLED IN ACTION
- Burial Place - A9, Bridge House Cemetery
- Other Memorials - Coalville War Memorial Clock Tower
- Unit - Leicestershire Regiment
- Former Unit n.o - 15419
- Former Unit - 8th, 6th & 1st Battalion's Leicestershire Regiment
- Cause of death - KILLED IN ACTION
- Burial Commemoration - Bridge House Cem., Langemarck, Belgium
- Born - Coalville, Leicestershire
- Enlisted - 21/09/1914 in Coalville, Leicestershire
- Place of Residence - 55 Ashby Road, Coalville, Leicestershire, England
- Memorial - CLOCK TOWER MEM., COALVILLE, LEICS
- Memorial - COUNCIL OFFICE MEM., COALVILLE, LEICS