Private James Jeffrey

Private James Jeffrey, 1st/7th ( Territorial ) Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers. He was killed at the Battle of St. Julien on 26th April, 1915 aged 28 and is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Belgium. He worked as a dairyman and was well known in the town of Berwick upon Tweed as a  pigeon fancier. He was the son of Peter and Janet Jeffrey, 92 Castlegate, Berwick upon Tweed. The Battalion had only landed in France on 21st April and been rushed North into Belgium to make a hasty and unreconnoitred attack in support of the Canadians during which they had been caught in the open by machine gun fire. Results were predictable and casualties heavy for the Territorials terrible baptism of fire. Between 25th April and 2nd May the Battalion lost 2 Officers and 19 Other Ranks killed with 12 Officers and 217 Other Ranks wounded. In addition a further 161 Other Ranks were posted missing presumed dead. The photo shows the Memorial raised to the 50th ( Northumbrian ) Division of which the Battalion was part until February 1918 when it was transferred to the 42nd ( East Lancashire ) Division as a Pioneer Battalion. It was erected near the village of Weiltje in the Ypres Salient where nearby at St. Julien the Division had fought its first action of the War on 26th April 1915.

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