James Arthur Schofield


Private 15024, Northumberland Fusiliers

Died 25th September 1918 aged 27

Buried Rocquigny-Equancourt Road British Cemetery, Manancourt, France

Son of Arthur and Sarah Rebecca Schofield

Lived 2, Eldon Street, Heckmondwike

James was the eldest son of Arthur Schofield and Sarah Rebecca nee Goodall. He was born in March 1891 and was baptised on 5th July 1891 at George Street Congregational Chapel in Heckmondwike. He had three older sisters and after James was born the family went on to have two more daughters and two more sons. The family were living in Clarydon Place, Heckmondwike when James Arthur was born, but by 1901 the family had moved to Upper Battye Street and by 1911 they were living in Brighton Street.

The family maintained a close connection with George Street Congregational Chapel and James Arthur’s name is commemorated on their War Memorial. He played for their Cricket and Football teams before enlisting.

His paternal grandfather was Joseph Schofield and two more of his grandchildren died in World War 1. They were Benjamin Schofield (son of Edgar Schofield) and Percy Schofield (son of William Henry Schofield). The names of these three cousins are all on the Green Park War Memorial in Heckmondwike.

James attended Heckmondwike Grammar School and his name is recorded on their Roll of Honour. After leaving school he worked as a Mechanic at Messrs. Wilson Knowles and Sons Chapel Lane, Heckmondwike.

James Arthur enlisted on 6th September 1914. He trained at Leighton Buzzard and Halton Camp with the West Yorkshire Regiment but joined the Northumberland Fusiliers and went to France in September 1915. During 1918 he suffered from shrapnel wounds in the neck and knee and was invalided home. After his recovery he was again sent to France and had only been there for 6 weeks when he died from suffocation along with his friend due to lack of ventilation from a coke brazier in his dug-out. His Sergeant Major wrote to his family extending his sympathy and praised James Arthur for being a good upright soldier and a gentleman and was beloved by all his comrades.

He died on 25th September 1918 and was buried in the British Cemetery at Manancourt in Northern France at the side of the friend who died with him.

His name is also commemorated on St James’s and St. Saviour’s War Memorials. He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.{MA-116}

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