Remembered with honour Beaurains Road Cemetery: Row C, Grave 4.
His attestation was for Short Service (Three years with the Colours) and he enlisted 3 November 1914 in Deptford, Kent: a factory labourer aged 31, 5’8½” tall, next-of-kin his father of Watford, later changed to his mother. He joined the Regiment at Fort Rowner, Gosport, Hants, and was posted overseas 5 December 1915 to the 39th Trench Battery, which he joined 30 January 1916, then to the 14th Trench Battery 10 March 1916. He was entitled to the Victory, British War and 1914-15 Star medals, his qualifying date being 5 December 1915, and died 21* April 1917 at 96 Field Ambulance of gun shot wounds* received in action.
Prior to this, James had already enlisted 5 September 1914 at Watford as Private 15053 7th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment: of no occupation aged 31 5’9″ tall, but was discharged after only 27 days (1 October). And prior to that he had enlisted 4 January 1901 in the Royal Marines Light Infantry: a baker’s assistant, 5’6″ tall, C of E, from which he was discharged in 1907. He did not disclose either of these services on his final attestation.
There is a brief article about and a Death announcement for James in the West Herts and Watford Observer dated 19 May 1917.
Son of Harriet (nee MEEK) and the late John DARVILL of Watford.
His parents married 11 September 1873 at St Mary’s, Watford. John died 1916 in Watford aged 75, and was buried 13 December in Vicarage Road Cemetery, Watford; Harriet died 1934 in Watford aged 92, and was buried 8 January, also in Vicarage Road Cemetery.
James was born 1 February 1883 in Watford, and baptised 25 April 1894 at St Andrew’s, Watford. He attended Beechen Grove Boys’ School, Watford; then Callowland Board School, Watford, from 29 May 1893 to 5 February 1897. He resided in Watford and was unmarried.
On the 1891 Census, aged 8 he lived in Watford, with his parents and three siblings. On the 1901 Census, he is proving elusive. On the 1911 Census, a platelayer’s labourer aged 28 he lived in Watford, with his parents and one sibling.
Unit"X" 14th Trench Mortar Battery
Date of death21*/04/1917
Age at death34
Place of death
- 1st S.W. Herts Scout Troop [in St Mary's Parish Church Watford] (4)
- Abbot's Langley Herts War Memorial (17)
- Aldbury Herts War Memorial (1)
- Aldenham Herts War Memorial (located in Letchmore Heath Herts) (8)
- All Saints Church Croxley Green Herts (12)
- All Saints Church Harrow Weald Middx (2)
- All Saints Church Hertford (1)
- All Saints Church King's Langley Herts (1)
- All Saints Church Leavesden Herts (31)
- All Saints Church Witham Essex (3)