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  • Panel on the Helles memorial Gallipoli, Turkey, commemorating James Halley Michie. Visited, wreath laid and photograph taken by John Morse.
Person Details
Tavistock Devon
James was the eldest son of William Halley and Rose Ellen Michie (née Fry). His father William Halley was born in East Wemyss. Fife, Scotland, on 1 April 1864, the son of James Michie. His mother Rose Ellen was born in Salisbury, Wiltshire, in 1863 (J/F/M Alderbury Wilts) and was baptised in Alderbury on 10 May 1863. The baptismal record named her parent as Ellen Fry, 'single woman', although the marriage record gave her father as Henry Fry. William Halley and Rose Ellen were married in Alderbury parish church on 16 November 1892; both were 29 years old. They had six children, the three eldest were born in Tavistock, Devon, and the three youngest in Welbeck, Nottinghamshire: James Halley b. 1893 (O/N/D Tavistock Devon), William Hugh 4 January 1895 (J/F/M Tavistock), Mary Isabel (Queenie) b. 1897 (J/A/S Tavistock), Maggie (Margaret) Elizabeth b. 19 July 1898 (J/A/S Worksop Notts), Dorothy Rose b. 16 August 1900 (J/A/S Worksop) and Annie Irene (Irene) b. 1903 (J/A/S Worksop). Based on the birth places of Mary and Maggie, Tavistock and Welbeck respectively, the family probably moved to Nottinghamshire after the summer of 1897 but by the summer of 1898. in 1901 William, a forester/woodman on the Welbeck estate, and Rose were living at Woodhouse Hall, Worksop, with their five children James (7), William (6), Mary (4), Maggie (3) and Dorothy (under 1 year). William and Rose employed a domestic servant, Emily Jeffery (22). Also in the home on the night of the census was a visitor, Alice E Gould (35 b. Battersea), who was 'living on own means'. Their fourth daughter, Annie Irene, was born two years later. William and Rose were at the same address in 1911 although only their four daughters, Mary, Maggie, Dorothy and Irene (7), were still living at home. The census also recorded a visitor in the household, Alice Gould (40-sic, b. Battersea), described as a 'nurse sick'. James (17) was recorded on the 1911 Census in Skipton-on-Swale, Thirsk, Yorkshire, a farm pupil and boarder in the household of Fred Rayner, a farmer. His brother William had been indentured in the Merchant Navy at the age of 15 in the port of Aberdeen on 23 July 1910, apprenticed to Geo Milne and Co. and bound for four years to 1914. James later worked on the Welbeck estate with his father. His mother Rose Ellen died in 1930 (J/A/S Worksop). His widowed father was still living at Woodhouse Hall and employed as a 'wood steward' when the 1939 Register of England & Wales was compiled. William's unmarried daughter, Dorothy, was still living at home and her occupation was described as unpaid domestic duties. Alice Gould (b. 10 January 1869) was living at the Hall; her occupation was given as paid domestic duties. Also in the household was Rhoda Walker (b. 23 July 1918), a domestic servant. William died at Woodhouse Hall on 12 June 1941 (A/M/J Worksop). Probate was awarded to his unmarried daughter, Dorothy Rose. Of James' siblings: William Hugh, who would have completed his apprenticeship in the Merchant Navy in July 1914, probably served in the Merchant Navy during the war. The Board of Trade issued a Certificate of Competency as Master of a Foreign-going Ship on 28 July 1919. William was listed on the electoral roll (Woodhouse Hall) in the 1920s until 1926. He married Ruby A Johnson (b. 2 February 1904) in 1926 (A/M/J Birkenhead Cheshire) and in 1939 they were living in Bebbington, Cheshire. William was a building equipment clerk but the entry was annotated 'Mercantile Marine War Service List'. He died in 1951 (O/N/D Wirral Cheshire). Mary Isabel probably married Wilfred Thistiethwaite in 1925 (A/M/J Worksop). Maggie Elizabeth married Joseph Kennell in 1930 (J/F/M Worksop). In 1939 they were living in Norton Cuckney, Nottinghamshire; Joseph (b. 19 May 1895) was a farm steward. Maggie died in 1971 (J/A/S Mansfield). Dorothy Rose was living with her widowed father at Woodland Hall, Welbeck, in 1939. She died on 20 February 1978 (J/F/M Worksop). The probate record gave her address as 5 Bungalow, Welbeck Woodhouse, Worksop. Annie Irene has not yet been traced after 1911.
He was a pupil at the Brunt's School Mansfield. He worked on the Duke of Portland's estate where his father was a forester/woodman. In 1911 he was a farm pupil.
09 Aug 1915
688594 - CWGC Website
Woodhouse Hall Welbeck. Enlisted Welbeck
Lance Corporal
9th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
James Halley Michie served in the Balkan theatre from 31 December 1915. He was killed in action at Suvla Bay, Gallipoli, on 9 August 1915. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial. He qualified for the 1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.
Registers of Soldiers' Effects: his father William was his legatee. Four men who joined the 9th Notts and Derbys from Holbeck and Welbeck Estates fell on the 9th August 1915, John Everett, Cyril Hancock, William Johnson and James Mitchie. Mansfield Reporter, 10 September 1915: ‘Welbeck’s Heroes. Many Portland Estate Employees Fall. Sympathy of the Duke and Duchess. 'News has reached Welbeck of the death of a number of men who enlisted from the Duke of Portland’s estate, and most of whom are in the Sherwood Foresters. The battalion took part in the fight at Gallipoli, early in August and suffered severely. Among the dead are Lance-Corporal JH Michie, son of his Grace’s wood steward, and Privates William Johnson, Frank Fletcher, Everitt, and Cyril Hancock, all of whom were employed at Hunciecroft Paddocks and in the gardens. Private Arthur Williams is missing, and Private Hayes and Tom Milner are wounded. 'The sad news has come from Corporal Grant, one of the garden staff, to Mr J Gibson, the Duke’s head gardener. It is a touching letter, and it is easy to discern that it was written under a sense of great personal loss. Corporal Grant writes: ‘Dear Sir, I am writing to confirm the sad news I sent you of those who met their death on the [blank]. It is more than sad to tell you that there is no doubt of the worst having happened to Jimmy Michie, Everitt (from Hunciecroft), Frank Fletcher, William Johnson, and Cyril Hancock. Arthur Williams is missing, and I fear the worst. I have tried several times to find tidings of him but have failed. Hayes from the stable, and Tom Milner are wounded in the legs and are on their way to England. The battle on the [blank] when these men fell was terrible, and the regiment suffered severely, and if you could only have seen the heroism of many of the Welbeck men and others you would have felt more than proud of them. There is no doubt that their behaviour in face of almost certain death, and their coolness was a help to others. Poor lads, they were buried as near as possible where they fell, and a cross on each grave is now all that indicates their last resting place. They fell like heroes. God bless them. 'The report of Lance-Corporal Michie’s death is confirmed in a letter which Mr and Mrs Michie received from Sergeant Ward, of the 9th Battalion. ‘Just a line,’ he says, ‘to let you know how very sorry I am to inform you of your son’s death. But I am very pleased to say that he died a soldier’s death and was buried by his comrades and we placed a little wooden cross on his grave. He was shot through the heart, death being instantaneous. As you will see by the papers, the Battalion lost very heavily, your son being one of those killed. His loss will be felt by his comrades as he was as good a soldier as could be wished for. I hope you will excuse me taking the liberty of writing to you and letting you know. I can assure you that in your sad sorrow you have his comrades’ sympathy.’ 'The Duke and Duchess of Portland and members of the family have written to the relatives of the men, expressing sympathy and admiration of their heroism.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)
Remembered on


  • Panel on the Helles memorial Gallipoli, Turkey, commemorating James Halley Michie. Visited, wreath laid and photograph taken by John Morse.
    James Halley Michie - Panel on the Helles memorial Gallipoli, Turkey, commemorating James Halley Michie. Visited, wreath laid and photograph taken by John Morse.