52 residents in 52 weeks #9 James Driver

Private, 28981, 2 Bn East Lancashire Regiment, d 15/03/1917 aged 28 (Cemserch has 37). Commemorated Pier and Face 6C, Thiepval.
He left 'all of my property and effects to my mother'.
He was awarded the British and Victory medals so presumably didn’t serve overseas in 1915, although his battalion did.


In 1911 he is enumerated at Meadow Head Farm, Stone Mason, single, 4 sisters and 3 brothers at home. The CWGC records his being the 'son of James and Margaret Driver of Cross Farm, Cloughfold’.These two farms are virtually at opposite ends of the same field so the family may have moved down the hill. As a stone mason he may have worked in the stone dressing works on the hill above Cloughfold.

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2 Btn East Lancashire was a regular battalion. They were in South Africa at the outbreak of WW1 but were stationed for pretty much the duration of the war on the Western Front. They returned from South Africa to Flanders in Nov 1914 and overwintered in the trenches.
Initially part of the 8th Division they transferred to 23rd Division on 18 Oct 1915 and returned to 8th Division 15 Jul 1916. They left the theatre in 1918, James Driver was dead by that time, presumably injured in the events surrounding Ancre in early 1917.

Outline timeline of 2 Bn East Lancs activity (not comprehensive!)
Neuve Chapelle 10-13 March 1915.
Aubers Bridge 9 May 1915. An assault which ‘failed bloodily’.
Bois Grenier Oct 1915. Held the front as part of the 23rd Division ‘for a considerable time’ until relieved early in 1916.
Carency 3 March 1916 to hold the Boyau de l’Ersatz and Souchez River fronts.
Vimy Ridge, 21 May 1916 supporting the 47th Division. Relieved 11 June.
Contalmaison 7 July 1916
Guedecourt 23 October 1916
Ancre/German retreat to Hindenburg March/April 1917
Westhoek Ridge July 1917
Bethen court 23 March 1918 (also Rosieres 26 March and Thiennes 31 March)
Villers-Bretonneux 24 April 1918
River Aisne 27 May 1918. They had been allocated to a ‘quiet area’ for a ‘rest’
Gavrelle 8 Oct 1918. By the Armistice they were 9 miles outside Mons


The
Lancashire Infantry Museum website summaries the involvement of the Lancashire regiments in WW1.

The famous ‘Accrington Pals’ was the 11th Btn of the East Lancs. They saw 235 killed and 350 wounded in about half an hour on 1 July 1816.