John James (Jim) Proctor

KOYLIPrivate, 15619, 7th Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died of wounds, 1st June 1916, aged 25

Born at Luddington in December 1892, Jim was one of the nine children of George and Bertha Proctor (nee Gelder). His mother was from Luddington and his father from Crowle. The family lived on the High Street where his father was a farm labourer. In 1911 Jim was ‘in service’ as a horseman to Thomas Emerson on his farm in Luddington.

Jim enlisted in the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (KOYLI) shortly after the outbreak of war in August 1914. According to his entry in the WWI Memorial Role he enlisted Garthorpe, although it is more likely to have been Goole. He was posted to the 7th (Service) Battalion KOYLI. Formed at Pontefract in September 1914 they did their initial training in Woking before moving to Witley in February 1915. In May they moved to Salisbury Plain for final training before their deployment to France, leaving on 22nd July 1915 and landing in Boulogne on 24 July 1915 as part of 1st Brigade in 20th (Light) Division.

In May 1916 the 7th KOYLI were stationed in the Ypres area. Jim was with the transport section behind the lines when they stopped in camp for the evening. During the early hours of the morning of 1st June the camp was attacked and bombed by two enemy aircraft. A splinter from one of the bombs pierced the wall of the wooden billet Jim was sleeping in and fatally wounded him. Jim Proctor died of his wounds later that day. He is buried in Poperinghe New Military Cemetery.

A memorial service was held for him at St Oswald’s Church, Luddington on 11th June 1916.

The memorial inscription in the St Oswald’s Church Bible mistakenly remembers him as James George Proctor.