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  • Photo published in the Nottingham Evening Post dated 10th November 1915, courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook page Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
Person Details
Sneinton Nottingham
James, known as 'Jimmy', was born in 1889, the only son of James Diggle and Martha Diggle nee Leverton. His father was born in Bulwell, Nottingham, and his mother in Radford, Nottingham, and they were married in 1874 (marriage registered A/M/J Nottingham). According to the information they provided on the 1911 census his parents had been married for 36 years and had had eight children of whom only five were still living at the time of the census. Six children were named on the census between 1881 and 1911; Eliza Ann (birth registered 1874 O/N/D Radford), Martha (birth registered 1877 O/N/D Radford), Elizabeth (birth registered 1879 J/A/S Radford), Sarah (birth registered 1882 J/F/M Nottingham), Ellen (birth registered 1884 J/F/M Nottingham) and James (birth registered 1889 J/A/S Nottingham). On the census returns the children are shown as being born in Sneinton. It seems likely that the third surviving daughter, Elizabeth, died at the age of 23, death registered in Nottingham in 1903 J/F/M. In 1881 James (27), a framework knitter, and Martha (30), a cotton mender, were living at 8 Hampden Street, Sneinton, with their three daughters, Eliza (6), Martha (3) and Ellen (1). Ellen was named as 'Helen' on the census. There were two boarders in the household; Caroline Fell (45) a lace minder, and William Leverton (43) a cordwainer, who may have been related to James' wife. By 1891 the family was living at 21 Beaumont Street, Sneinton, and James and Martha now had six children; Eliza Ann (16) a lace mender, Martha (13) a lace clipper, Elizabeth (11), Sarah (9), Ellen (7) and James (1). Their second daughter, Martha, married James Bucklow in 1898 (marriage registered J/A/S Nottingham). Martha Bucklow and her husband have not yet been traced on the 1901 Census, but their daughter Lilian (2, b. 1899 A/M/J) was in the household of her maternal grandparents at 9 Beaumont Street, Sneinton, on the night of the census. James and Martha Diggle's other five children - Eliza (26) a seamer, Elizabeth (21) no occupation, Sarah (19) a cigar maker, Ellen (17) a pattern girl, and James (11) - were still living at home. Their third daughter, Elizabeth, probably died in 1903 and their fourth daughter, Sarah, probably married Francis Bancroft the same year (marriage registered A/M/J Nottingham). In 1911 Sarah (29) and Francis (Frank) Bancroft (31), a woodcutting machinist in the building trade, were living at 30 Beaumont Street, Sneinton. They had been married for 8 years and only two of five children had survived; Frank (5) and Mary (11 months). Also in 1911 James and Martha were living at 9 Beaumont Street, Nottingham, with their unmarried daughter, Eliza (36) and their son, James (21) who was packer for a hosiery manufacturer. Their widowed daughter, Martha Bucklow (33) a machinist, was living with them together with her three children, Lilian (12), John Jonas (9, birth registered 1902 A/M/J) and Florence (6, birth registered 1904 O/N/D). Martha's husband James (b. abt. 1879) had probably died in 1909 (death registered O/N/D Nottingham) at the age of 30. Also in the household was a boarder, Cornelius Bell (32). James' parents were still living at 9 Beaumont Street at the time of his death in 1915. The youngest daughter, Ellen, has not yet been traced on the 1911 Census. James married Sarah E [Ethel] Ward in 1911 (marriage registered O/N/D Nottingham). At the time of James' death they were living at 23 Holden Street, Radford.
On the 1911 Census he was recorded as being a packer in a hosiery factory. However, according to an article in the Boots' magazine, 'Comrades in Khaki', December 1915, James had worked for Boots since 1908 and at the time he enlisted had worked in the toilet powder factory.
13 Oct 1915
2941224 - CWGC Website
1/7th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
Private James Diggle, enlisted in Nottingham on 21 November according to an article in Boots' house magazine, 'Comrades in Khaki', and he served with 1/7th (Robin Hood Rifles) Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Regiment). He landed in France as a reinforcement to the battalion on 18th August 1915. He was killed in action at Hohenzollern Redoubt on 13th October 1915. He has no known grave and his name is commemorated on the Loos Memorial. He qualified for the 1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.
Boots memorial - J Diggles Sherwood Foresters: CWGC no record J Diggles (any unit). Nottingham Evening Post notice (abridged), 4 November 1915: 'Diggle, killed in action October 13th, James (Jimmy) Diggle, 1/7th Bn Sherwood Foresters. Wife Ethel, son of James and Martha Diggle, 9 Beaumont Street.' Nottingham Evening Post notice (abridged), 10 November 1915: 'Private J Diggle, 1/7th Sherwood Foresters, 23 Holden Street, Radford, killed in action October 13th, aged 26.' Boots 'Comrades in Khaki' magazine December 1915 issue ('Dead on the Field of Honour') had an article which read:- "Yet another of the Robin Hoods who has fallen in action is J Diggle whose service with Boots since the year 1908 had brought him many friends amongst his colleagues at the toilet powder factory, for he was of the nature to attract friends and of the character to retain them. On November 21st 1914 he enlisted with the colours and today he is amongst the ranks of those ' Faithful unto death' he is greatly mourned and will be much missed.' Photograph. (Nottinghamshire Archives, ref. RB.38) His widow, Sarah, was his sole legatee.
Remembered on


  • Photo published in the Nottingham Evening Post dated 10th November 1915, courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook page Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
    James Diggle - Photo published in the Nottingham Evening Post dated 10th November 1915, courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook page Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918