Author Topic: James William Alexander  (Read 21832 times)

JD

  • Guest
James William Alexander
« on: November 05, 2009, 09:39:30 AM »
Hi
I am trying to obtain any info on my Great Uncle.  James was born in 1898 and died on 9 Oct 1917.  He was in the Manchester 20th Battalion and is Regiment number is 52838.  His name is engraved upon Tyne Cot Memorial in Belgium.  I understand his family would have, (if his mother hadn't regected them) received the Victory and the British Medal. She also rejected the war pension for him too. These are the only facts I know.  

I would so much like to find out a little more about him as I have a profound respect and admiration for the brave soldiers who fought and gave their life for their country.  I went to the archieves and retrieved Chapter 5 of the Battalion history from the archieves in Ashton-to get an idea of the Battle and the bravery he must have endured.

Apart from him being in the 20th Battalion I have no idea what division or regiment he was in or indeed what he did.  I can't even locate any reference to him on a memorial in Bolton, even though at the time of his death he lived in the Astley Bridge area of Bolton on Nell St which is diagonally opposite to St Pauls Church.  There doesn't appear to be any reference to him in the press either.

What also confuses me his the number 52838.... I have a photo of him and would dearly like to honour him as I will be the last of the famly to do so.  Any corres will be greatly received. kind regards
[img][/img
« Last Edit: November 05, 2009, 09:48:38 AM by JD »

Offline Wendi

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,714
  • Peeking into the past
Re: James William Alexander
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2009, 10:16:56 AM »
Hi JD and a Warm Welcome to our Forum  ;D

Thanks for posting your poignant photo of your fresh faced G Uncle, of whom you are justly proud.  He was in The Manchester Regiment, so at least you are on the right forum  :)

I'm attaching his Medal index card confirming his medal entitlement as you suspected.

Do you know where he was born?  Sometimes men are remembered on memorials near to their birth place, old school, church etc, not always where one would expect !!!

I'll let the chaps discuss the Divisions and order of battle with you, but wondered if you had seen our potted history here 20th(Service) (5th Pals Bn)

Finally why you were confused about his number ?

Wendi  :)

« Last Edit: November 05, 2009, 10:19:24 AM by Wendi »
"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it!  No matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and with your own common sense" ~ Buddha

JD

  • Guest
Re: James William Alexander
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2009, 10:33:21 AM »
Oh Wendi...

That is absolutely wonderful...  I hadn't seen that and am dizzy with gratitude. 

I guess I am confused about his number as I know there was a lot of renumbering at the time and because I haven't got a clue with regard to his attachment other than the Manchester 20th thought some info could be lost or wasn't recorded. I know I need to address his date of birth as it appears as unknown and I do want to correctly record any info on him.

I only have one other photo of him and he was a very handsome young man and I wish I could find his memorial here and hope I can find references to him in the paper around the time he was killed.

I travelled to the rededication site at Philips Park Cemetry last week to see if I could find his name.

You have been most helpful and I thank you so much.  How wonderful there are people like you out there who are passionate about this.





JD

  • Guest
Re: James William Alexander
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2009, 10:44:14 AM »
Hi Wendi

I forgot to mention in my last message that I have contacted the St Pauls Church at Astley Bridge (opposite where he lived and would have attended) - but have not heard a response only that his parents were burried there by Canon J Whittaker who himself had also recently died.  They are trying to find a grave - but made no mention of their son who had died and whether there was a memorial available there.

Offline Wendi

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,714
  • Peeking into the past
Re: James William Alexander
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2009, 10:49:45 AM »
How wonderful there are people like you out there who are passionate about this.

 :o does it show  ;D

It also sounds like you are enjoying the journey of discovery to !!!  ;)

Have you managed to locate the family on the 1911 Census?  it would give you his age and place of birth  :)

Wendi
"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it!  No matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and with your own common sense" ~ Buddha

Offline george.theshed197

  • sadly no longer with us
  • *
  • Posts: 1,162
Re: James William Alexander
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2009, 11:24:58 AM »
Hi There,
This looks like the family on the 1901 Census

Alexander, Elizabeth, Head, wid. 34,(1867) Liverpool, Lancs.
Alexander, Elizabeth A, dau. sgl. 10 (1891), Astley Bridge, Lancs.
Alexander James W, son. sgl. 2, (1899), Astley Bridge, Lancs.
Alexander, Alice, dau. sgl, 1 (1900), Astley Bridge, Lancs.
Hensey, James, Boarder, sgl, 32. (1869) Gen. Lab. Bolton, Lancs.

Residing at 2, Morgan Street, Bolton. RG13 /3617 / 96/ 37.

Will see what else if anything I can fond and come back to you,
Cheers
George.

No sign of the family or Alexander on the 1911.?

JD

  • Guest
Re: James William Alexander
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2009, 11:44:21 AM »
How fantastic is this....

Ok....To cut a long story short...  James was born out of wedlock... (skeltons...cupboards, Grandma would turn in her grave),  His mother was Elizabeth Alexander and was married to John Charles Alexander initially before JW was born.  John died aged 25 leaving Elizabeth a widow with one child (also Elizabeth).  Now from what I can gather there was a boarder and his name was James Hensey.  He must have taken pity or a shine...who knows to Elizabeth and they had 3 children out of wedlock - hence why James W was Alexander and not Hensey. They had fouth child but by this time they were married.

My grandma Alice Alexander was a very proud lady and never wanted her family to know the shinnanigins that had gone on, kept quite quiet until there was a problem on her pension.  My mum went to sort the problem out with her and when the office could not find a record of her name Alice Rose (Hensey) became aggitated and asked my mum to leave, where she explained that her birth name was indeed Alexander not Hensey as my mum had thought...  We laugh thinking about it as you can run but you can't hide.  Of course these things were frowned upon at the time.  What joy eh!  Sadly my Gt Grandma never got over losing JW and although lived another 40 years things were never the same for her.  She refused his medals and andy monetry compensation or pension which was available to her. 

Offline Wendi

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,714
  • Peeking into the past
Re: James William Alexander
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2009, 11:45:38 AM »
Nice one George !!!

Elizabeth Alexander (widow) married the boarder James Hensey in Bolton in 1905  ;D

On the 1911 Census she appears in Bolton aged 44 as Elizabeth Hensey and it would appear that the rest of the family are listed under the Hensey surname, but I don't have access  :-\

James William Alexander's birth is recorded in Greater Manchester in the Sept. Qtr of 1898

Wendi  :)


"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it!  No matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and with your own common sense" ~ Buddha

JD

  • Guest
Re: James William Alexander
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2009, 12:06:56 PM »
Yes George...

Wendi is right, you are all so good!

You have uncovered the henous crime of living in sin....hahaha

Thank you all so much...  you have made me so happy today and I hope other things turn up

I hear there is thermostarr??  Will he be able to trace archieve stuff from the NA and how much do I need to pay???

If there are medals out there for him, will I be able to ascertain where they are kept???

Offline george.theshed197

  • sadly no longer with us
  • *
  • Posts: 1,162
Re: James William Alexander
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2009, 12:24:42 PM »
Second time of trying to get this on.
Hi and welcome to the site - here is further information for you -
First marriage details - John Charles ALEXANDER m. Elizabeth LEVI, Sep. qtr 1888, Bolton, 8c : 371.

1911 Census RG14PN23363 RG78PN1363 RD461 SD5 ED14 SN145, Residing at 9, Nell Street, Bolton, Lancs.

HENSEY, James, Head. Mar. 41 (1870), Carter. Bolton, Lancs.
    "        Elizabeth, wife, Mar. 22 years. 44 (1867). At home. Bolton, Lancs.
    "        Elizabeth, dau. sgl. 21 (1890). Twister, Bolton, Lancs..
    "        James, son. sgl. 13. (1898). At home. Bolton, Lancs.
    "        Alice , dau. sgl. 11.  (1900) At home, Bolton, Lancs.
    "        Mary, dau. sgl. 9 (1902), At home, Bolton, Lancs.
    "        Emily, dau. sgl. 7 (1904), At home. Bolton, Lancs.


Cheers,
George.

JD

  • Guest
Re: James William Alexander
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2009, 01:25:13 PM »
Thanks George

I'm going to nip over to the library to see if I can get newspaper articles...

I so want to find his name on a momument or roll of honour....  If he was in Astley Bridge Bolton, you'd think he'd be inscribed there - but not!

Hopefully will update on my return......watch this space

Offline harribobs

  • Site Monkey
  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 5,175
Re: James William Alexander
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2009, 05:04:20 PM »
i can certainly find his name on a memorial ;)

Tyne Cot Memorial

(click for bigger)
“It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply
  to serve as a warning to others."

Offline harribobs

  • Site Monkey
  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 5,175
Re: James William Alexander
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2009, 05:06:43 PM »
Tyne Cot Cemetery 

the memorial, where the names are, is the wall running around the back

chris

“It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply
  to serve as a warning to others."

Offline Wendi

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,714
  • Peeking into the past
Re: James William Alexander
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2009, 06:02:02 PM »
I'm going to nip over to the library to see if I can get newspaper articles...

It's after dark and she's not back yet  :-\

Hope she has found some good stuff  ;D

Wendi  :)
"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it!  No matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and with your own common sense" ~ Buddha

Offline george.theshed197

  • sadly no longer with us
  • *
  • Posts: 1,162
Re: James William Alexander
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2009, 06:37:35 PM »
Some more information for you to consider and possibly investigate JD,
According to the 1881 census RG11 /3668 /29 / 4. It would appear that Elizabeth LEVI, your maternal Grandmother could very well have been one of the daughters of Aaron LEVI a Glass Dealer, who was born 1831 in Prussia. His wife Maria was born 1841 in Poland, there were some eight children in the family at that time, five daughters and three sons, all born in the Everton area of Liverpool between 1866 and 1878. At that time they were residing at 2, Dido Street, Everton, Liverpool.
Trust that you are back home now safe and sound after your trip to the library.
Regards.
George.