James Edward Francis Stockdale

west yorkshire regiment badgeServed as John Robinson, Private 16317, 3rd (Reserve) Battalion (previously 17th (Service) Battalion (2nd Leeds)), Prince of Wales’ Own (West Yorkshire Regiment), died at home, 19th March 1918, aged 19

Born 1899 at Kirkby Fleetham near Northallerton, James was the eldest surviving son of James William and Mary Syndonea Stockdale (nee Fish). His mother was from West Butterwick and father from Great Fencote, near Northallerton. In 1911 the family were living in Billingham, County Durham, where James Snr, previously an agricultural labourer now worked at an iron foundry. Sometime before 1918 they moved to Crowle and lived in Eastoft Road.

James volunteered for service with the army at York on 11th August 1914. At the time he was still only 16 and legally under-age to fight overseas, which is possibly why he gave his name as John Robinson, born in South Shields. According to the local newspaper he saw a good deal of active service before being badly ‘gassed’ on 1st September 1917, most likely serving with the 17th West Yorkshire’s at Ypres. Sent home to recover and recuperate he was in and out of hospitals in Newton Abbey and York before being admitted to the Military Hospital in Tynemouth in March 1918 now suffering from bronchial pneumonia.

With his lungs weakened by the gassing on 19th March 1918 James Stockdale died at Tynemouth Hospital as a result of the pneumonia. His body was brought back to Crowle for burial the next day. He was laid to rest in Crowle Cemetery on 22nd March with four soldiers home on furlough acting as pallbearers. A memorial service was held for him in the Primitive Methodist Chapel later that evening.

gravestone of James Stockdale

Grave of James Stockdale in Crowle Cemetery, courtesy Angus Townley/Crowle & Ealand Heritage Society