Major James Charles Jack

James obtained a commission in the Royal Horse Artillery, Special Reserve in May, 1915. He was promoted Captain and the command of a 4-Gun Battery, R.F.A., in the spring of 1916. He was made a Major and given command of a 6-Gun Battery, Armed Field Artillery, the following December. He served with the Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders from October 1915 and was three times wounded. He died at the Casualty Clearing Station, Vignacourt, 31 May, 1918, of wounds received in action near Amiens three days earlier.

James was mentioned in Despatches [London Gazette, 23 Dec. 1918], by F.M. Sir Douglas Haig, for gallant and distinguished service in the field, and was awarded the Military Cross [London Gazette, 26 Sept. 1916]; “For conspicuous gallantry during operations”. He directed the successful cutting of the wire from an exposed position under heavy shell fire, which added a Bar to the above [London Gazette, 13 May, 1918], for gallantry during the Battle of Arras in April, 1917. He was also awarded the Distinguished Service Order, “an immediate reward,” during the Retreat in March, 1918 [London Gazette, 23 July, 1918]: “For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. While his battery was being heavily gas-shelled he supervised the removal of his guns to higher ground clear of the cloud of gas, and continued to fire heavily throughout the bombardment”.

Private (Gordon) John Hunter Lowe

John was an old volunteer and Territoral, who signed up in February 1915. He was sent to France 8 months later. A report on his fate appeared in the Bootle Times on the 10th May 1918 and in the Crosby Herald on the 11th May 1918. John’s sister, Mrs Lowe, received a letter stating that her brother was missing in action, alongside his entire company.

It was presumed that they had been captured, it would be 2-3 months before she would receive official notification of her brother’s death. The report continued to say that ‘John was a very loyal and willing soldier, he was altogether one of the greatest and best and he is much missed in the platoon by me’. Mrs Lowe also lost her son in France 3 years previously.

Private George Reeves

George, of the Canadian Scottish, died of wounds in the Number 8 Ambulance Train. He had had a most adventurous life. He entered the service of the Cunard Line as a fireman and afterwards went on a voyage to Australia, where he and about half the crew deserted their vessel. After tramping to the bush and back, George worked his way to Vancouver, and for some years travelled from place to place riding on train buffers to save railway fare. He was caught doing this in Mexico City, and sentenced to two years’ imprisonment.

On obtaining his liberty, he resorted to the same practice of “buffer-jumping,” crossing the Rockies in a blizzard on top of a train, and being thrown off as dead by the train men. He recovered and made his way into Saskatchewan to join his brother, who was a detective in the North-West Mounted Police. There he settled down to work in a store, and married a young Englishwoman.

On the outbreak of war, he enlisted for home defence, and afterwards for foreign service, joining the “Kilties.” He came over to this country with the second contingent, for training at Shorncliffe, and came to Waterloo about Easter to bid “goodbye” to his mother and other relatives. He was severely wounded in his first engagement, and his wife came from the Canadian North-West to see him, but sadly arrived too late. Bootle Times 16th July.