[Skip to content]

  • Hospital Ship Anglia. Photograph courtesy of Wikepedia.
Person Details
James Wynne was the son of John and Margaret Wynne (née Burns). John was born in Nottingham in 1864 and his wife Margaret Burns also in Nottingham in about 1864. They were married in Nottingham in 1887 (reg. O/N/D) and had nine children, four of whom died in infancy. Seven children have been traced on birth registrations and census records between 1887 and 1911. The eldest child, Bridgett, was born shortly before her parents' marriage and her birth was registered in her mother's surname although she later took her father's surname. The births of three children, Walter, Betsy and Emily, were registered in Nottingham between 1895 and 1900 although one census record gave their birthplaces as Leeds. Bridgett (Burns) b. Nottingham birth registered 1887 (J/F/M), James b. Nottingham birth registered 1889 (J/F/M), Margaret b. Leeds 1891, Walter b. 1895, Betsy birth registered 1898 (J/F/M) d. 1905, Emily birth registered 1900 (J/F/M) d. 1903 and Lizzie (?Elizabeth) b. Nottingham abt. 1907. John, a general labourer, and Margaret together with their three children, Bridgett, James and Margaret (3 weeks), were living in a lodging house in Hatfield Yard, Leeds in 1891. The family had returned to Nottingham by 1901 and were living at 3 Alvey's Yard: John, a slater's labourer, Margaret, Bridgett a lace clipper, James, Margaret, Walter, Betsy and Emily. Emily died in July 1903 and Betsy in December 1905. The family was living at 19 Pinder Street, Nottingham, in 1909 when James enlisted in the Territorial Force and still at the same address in 1911: John, a slater, Margaret a lace drawer and four of their five surviving children, James a lace dresser, Margaret a lace jenner, Walter a shop assistant and Lizzie. Lizzie has not yet been traced after 1911. The eldest daughter, Bridgett, had married Ernest Handley in 1909 (St Patrick's Church) and in 1911 she and her husband, a coal merchant's carter, were living on Earl Street, Sneinton, with their daughter Margaret (bap. St Patrick March 1910 d. 1911). Bridgett was working as a lace clipper. The couple later had two sons, Walter in 1911 and William Ernest in 1912, and a daughter Florence. Bridgett died in 1927 (buried Carlton Cemetery). John and Margaret later lived at 6 Thoresby Road, Sneinton, Nottingham. Their married daughter, Margaret Banks, who married Fred Banks in 1916, and had a daughter, Mary Frances the following year, probably lived with her parents after her marriage as her husband was serving with the Sherwood Foresters in France. Fred Banks was killed in action on 21 March 1918. (See 'Extra information) Margaret snr. died at 6 Thoresby Road, Sneinton, on 30 June 1918 of 'carcinoma of intestine.' Her husband John completed a form for the army in 1922 listing his son James's surviving blood relatives. Father - John Wynne, 6 Thoresby Street, Notingham Brothers - none Sisters - Bridget Handley (32), 25 Newark Street, Sneinton, Nottingham, and Margaret Banks (28), 6 Thoresby Street, Nottingham. Nephews/Neices: Ernest, Walter and Florence Handley, 25 Newark Street, and Frances Bank, 6 Thoresby Street. Aunts/Uncles: James Wynne (57), Thomas Wynne (60), Dennis Wynne (52) and Ann Whitby (48) Margaret Banks remarried in 1920 and she and her husband, Robert Lyons, their children and her daughter Mary continued to live at 6 Thoresby Street, with her widowed father. John died in 1939 (A/M/J); he had survived eight of his nine children.
James enlisted as a special reservist in November 1909 and his employer, William Allen & Co. Ltd, Butchers Street Works, Nottingham, for whom he had worked for five years as a card maker at its pasteboard factory, provided him with a reference. James left the company voluntarily in November 1909 without notice. In 1911 he was a lace dresser.
17 Nov 1915
2895319 - CWGC Website
(1909) 19 Pinder Street, Sneinton, Nottingham.
2nd Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
James Wynne joined the Territorial Force 'of the County of Nottinghamshire' (No. 987) on 3 March 1909 and attended Camp in July 1909. He was discharged after 8 months 19 days when he joined the Army Reserve (Special Reserve) on 20 November 1909 on a six year engagement. James was 20 yrs and 10 months old. James undertook the special course of training between 20 November 1909 and 19 April 1910 and was present at annual camp 6-18 June 1910, 8 May-3 June 1911, 8-27 July 1912 and 2-28 June 1913. He was mobilized on the outbreak of war and posted to the 2nd Bn Sherwood Foresters, serving with the BEF France from 11 November 1914. James was wounded and treated at No. 17 Field Ambulance on 12 November 1915, and then admitted to No. 13 General Hospital Boulogne on 14 November. He was transferred to the Hospital Ship Anglia for evacuation to the UK but on 17 November the ship hit a mine when she was 1 nautical mile east of Folkestone Gate and sank within 15 minutes. Over 100 people, including James, died. (See 'Extra information') His body was not recovered for burial and his name is commemorated on the Hollybrook Memorial Southampton. Service: Home 20 November 1909-10 November 1914 (4y 356d). BEF France 11 November 1914-17 November 1915 (7 days). James qualified for the 1914 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. CWGC - History of The Hollybrook Memorial (extract): The Memorial is in Southampton (Hollybrook) Cemetery. 'The Hollybrook Memorial commemorates by name almost 1,900 servicemen and women of the Commonwealth land and air forces* whose graves are not known, many of whom were lost in transports or other vessels torpedoed or mined in home waters (*Officers and men of the Commonwealth's navies who have no grave but the sea are commemorated on memorials elsewhere). The memorial also bears the names of those who were lost or buried at sea, or who died at home but whose bodies could not be recovered for burial ... Other vessels sunk with significant loss of life were: HS Anglia, a hospital ship sunk by mine off Dover on 17 November 1915.' (www.cwgc.org)
His brother Walter Wynne also joined the Army Reserve (Special Reservist), enlisting in October 1911 in the 4th Bn. Sherwood Foresters. When war was declared he was posted to the 2/7th Bn Sherwood Foresters (42722 Private) and to the BEF France on 16 March 1915. The battalion was caught up in the fighting at the start of the German's spring offensive Operation Michael on 21 March 1918. There was heavy shelling of the sunken road between Ecoust and Noreuil. Gas shells fell in the rear areas. At 8.30.m. the Germans attacked and severe hand-to-hand fighting followed. By 10.00 a.m. the Germans had broken through on both flanks and soon after the rear was cut off. The last message was received at noon and soon after the battalion ceased to exist. Casualties amounted to 655, including Pte. Wynne. He has no known grave and his name is commemorated on the Arras Memorial. (See record on this Roll of Honour) Fred Banks, their sister Margaret's husband (m. 1916), served in the 10th Bn. Sherwood Foresters (4018 Private) and was killed in action in France on 21 March 1918, the same day as Walter. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial. (See record on this Roll of Honour) Margaret married Robert Lyons in 1920. Their son Robert served with the 30th Bn. Cheshire Regiment in the Second World War and died in Italy on 11 January 1946 from injuries received accidentally. (CWGC 1432461. Buried Rome War Cemetery). Ernest Handley, their sister Bridgett's husband, attested in 1915. He was 31 years old and employed as a labourer. Service toward limited engagement dated from 13 October 1915 and Ernest joined at Hornchurch the following day. He was posted to the 25th Bn Middlesex Regiment but was discharged on 10 April 1916 for medical reasons ('caused by hard manual labour in civilian life') as he was 'not likely to become an efficient soldier.' He was discharged to 25 Newark Street, Sneinton, Nottingham. Hospital Ship Anglia: On 17 November 1915 HS Anglia was returning from Calais to Dover, carrying 390 injured officers and soldiers. At around 12:30 pm, 1 nautical mile (1.9 km) east of Folkestone Gate, Anglia struck a mine and sank in fifteen minutes. The nearby torpedo gunboat HMS Hazard helped evacuate the passengers and crew. Despite the assistance of the nearby collier Lusitania, 134 people died in the sinking. In October 2014, there were calls for the wreck of the ship to be designated a war grave and protected under the Protection of Military Remains Act, 1986. In March 2017 the wreckage of the HS Anglia was declared an official war grave, making it illegal to remove or disturb any human remains at the wreck site. There are two letters in James' military record which were written by his mother, Margaret, to the military authorities after her son's death: '6 Thoresby Street Nottingham, 22/12/15. Dear Sir, Having seen the death of my son, Pte J Wynne, 4056 2nd Sherwood Foresters (-) in the Nottm paper, he having been supposed to be aboard in the hospital ship Anglia, I should be grateful if you would send me the particulars if true and official notification. And oblige, Yours truly, Mrs Wynne.' '6 Thoresby Street Nottingham 23/2/16. Dear Sir, I should be pleased if you could send me further information with regard to my son Pte James Wynne 4056 2nd Sherwood Foresters who went down in the Hospital Ship Anglia and is reported missing. The Pearl Insurance cannot settle my claim till they get more definite information and they have written with regard to the matter. Hoping you will oblige, I remain, Yours truly, Mrs Wynne.' (letter annotated in manuscript ‘82 sent 23.2.16’)
Remembered on


  • Hospital Ship Anglia. Photograph courtesy of Wikepedia.
    James Wynne - Hospital Ship Anglia. Photograph courtesy of Wikepedia.
  • Commemorated on the Hollybrook Memorial, Southampton. (www.cwgc.org)
    James Wynne - Commemorated on the Hollybrook Memorial, Southampton. (www.cwgc.org)