Our People - James Anselm Darwen
James Anselm Darwen
Image from Preston Guardian
Family Headstone at St.Mary's Brownedge, Bamber Bridge
Image (C) Charles O'Donnell
13965 Private James Anselm Darwen
2nd / 4th Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment
Killed in Action 28 September 1918
1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
Buried at Anneux British Cemetery, Nord, France. Ref: I.A.20
Bamber Bridge - Brownedge St. Mary's R.C. War Memorial
Lostock Hall - South Ribble Civic WW1 Memorial
1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal
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James Anselm Darwen was born in 1891 to Robert and Margaret Darwen (nee Wrigley). In 1901 James was living at 7 James Street, Bamber Bridge with his parents who were both 39 years old. Robert was a self-employed window cleaner who was born at Whitte-le-Woods. James’ siblings were Mary (15), a cotton weaver, Margaret (13) a cotton spinner, Teresa (12), a cotton weaver, Martha (7) and Robert (2). Everyone else in the household was born in Bamber Bridge.
By 1911, Robert Darwen had become a maltster and brewer and the family had moved to 20 Sergeant Street, Bamber Bridge. Margaret was looking after the house and the family had been joined by another son, Austin Bernard (8). Mary was still a weaver, as were Margaret, Martha and Teresa. James had become an omnibus driver, while the younger Robert was a mule-spinner. Austin was at school.
Between 1911 and 1914, James moved from driving a bus to become a carrier for Hopwood Brothers, a firm of carriers based on Station Road in Bamber Bridge. He joined up in Preston aged 23 years and 4 months on 2 September 1914. His medical examination showed he was 5 feet 5 and a quarter inches tall and weighed 136 pounds. His chest measured 37 inches girth with a 3 inch expansion. He had a fresh complexion, brown eyes and brown hair and had 6/6 (normal) vision. The following day he was posted to the 8th Battalion L.N.L. A few weeks before his embarkation to France, James married Annie Amelia Andress at All Saints, Bournemouth on 31 July 1915. The ceremony was conducted by A.P. Armand and witnessed by two members of the brides family, C.A.B. Andress and B.M. Andress.
James was transferred to HQ, Brigade Unit, 74th Infantry Brigade 26 August 1915 and arrived in France 25 September 1915. He was posted to the 2nd / 4th Battalion L.N.L. 7 May 1918 and was killed in action in fighting near Cambrai. It is not known if James was survived by any children, but his widow Annie was awarded a pension of 13/9 per week from 21 April 1919. James was awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.
James' younger brother Robert was also killed in action earlier the same year.
Please email the project with any amendments or corrections
Edited 11 December 2016
1901 Census of England via Ancestry.co.uk / 1911 Census of England via Ancestry.co.uk / British Army WWI Service Records, 1914-1920 via Ancestry.co.uk / UK, WWI Service Medal and Award Rolls, 1914-1920 via Ancestry.co.uk / British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920 via Ancestry.co.uk / Commonwealth War Graves Commission / Preston Guardian / Loyal North Lancashire Regiment History / Extract from Regimental history courtesy of Jim Rawcliffe