• Christina Drummond

Captain Walter James, 10th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry


Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1915, Captain Walter James, 10th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry, was killed in action at Ypres on the Western Front.

The youngest son of Lady Campbell of Kilbryde and Mr. Walter James of Elvaston Hall, Ryton-on-Tyne, he was educated at Charterhouse and was commissioned into the Durham Light Infantry in 1903. An accident caused him to retire from the army and he then settled in Rhodesia. At the outbreak of the Great War he returned to England and re-joined his regiment.

The 10th Battalion was raised in Newcastle in August of 1914, as part of Kitchener’s New Army. They were part of the 43rd Brigade, 14th (Light) Division, until they disbanded in February of 1918 as part of the army’s re-organisation; they were nicknamed "The Shiny Tenth". The battalion arrived at Boulogne in May of 1915, and saw action in the front line south of Ypres – it was here that they suffered their first casualties, before moving on to the Ypres Salient. It is not clear in what circumstances Captain James lost his life, but his battalion did incur losses at that time during the fighting at the Battle of Hooge and the taking of the castle by the enemy. He is buried in the Bedford House Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

Walter, from Kensington, was 31 years old and married.

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