Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1917, Second Lieutenant James Malcolm Chitty, 4th Battalion, the Grenadier Guards, was reported missing and presumed killed in action at Gonnelieu during the Battle of Cambrai.
The only surviving son of a barrister, Second Lieutenant Chitty was educated at Mr. Wilkinson’s School in Eastbourne and Eton College. He attended the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, and was commissioned in 1916 immediately after his 18th birthday. Second Lieutenant Chitty was sent to France in 1917 and took part in several engagements on the Somme.
On the day of his death, during the Battle of Cambrai, he was called to lead his company into action at Gonnelieu. He was seen to fall with severe head wounds, but the ground was overtaken by the Germans and no information as to his fate was ever obtained. He is remembered on the Cambrai Memorial at Louverval and on the war memorial at Eton College.
James, from Eastbourne, was 19 years old.