James (Toyne) Stringwell

lincolnshire regimental badgePrivate, R3/21532, 8th (Service) Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment, killed in action, 28th April, 1917, aged 27

Born at Luddington on 18th May 1889, James was one of the eleven children of Richard and Mary Jane Stringwell (nee Toyne). His father was from Norton, Yorkshire and his mother from Luddington. His father was a farm labourer and in 1901 the family lived on the High Street. In 1911 they had moved to Merdyke Road, although James was not at home as he was working as a waggoner at Haldenby Grange, Luddington.

James enlisted in the Lincolnshire Regiment at Goole in December 1915. His number indicates he served some time with the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion before going out to France, which is natural as this was the training unit.

Following his training James was posted to France to serve with the 8th Lincolnshire’s. They had gone out in September 1915 and in July 1916 were in 63rd Brigade in 37th Division.

During the Battle of Arras in April 1917, 63rd Brigade were given the task of capturing Greenland Hill, near Fampoux. Their first attempt on 23rd and 24th April was unsuccessful so on 28th April they launched a second attack. Known as the Battle of  Arleux, the Regimental History describes it in brief detail:

The advance began punctually at zero hour (4.20am), but owing to darkness and smoke from the barrage, which completely enveloped the troops, direction was lost. Instead of attacking Cuthbert Trench, the troops must have turned north and north east, for the trenches they attacked were Whip and Wish. Then happened a rather extraordinary thing: several of the attackers passed over and far beyond the two latter trenches, even beyond Why and Weak, nearly to Railway Copse. During this advance prisoners were taken and three or four batches were sent back, but were recaptured by the enemy probably about Weed Trench.

Gradually those who had advanced west of Cuthbert Trench returned as they were unsupported, and by nightfall the brigade was back in its original line.
Four officers missing and one wounded, twenty-two other ranks killed, one hundred and sixty-four wounded and one hundred and five missing were the casualties suffered by the 8th Lincolnshire in this attack.

James Stringwell was one of the casualties that day. He has no known grave and is remembered on the Arras Memorial.