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  • Photograph published in the Mansfield Reporter, 29 September 1916. (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)
Person Details
13 Mar 1898
Sheerness Kent
James Frederick was the son of James George and Bertha Elizabeth Huskisson (née Courtney). His father James George was born at 26 Litchfield Street, Soho, London, on 20 January 1863, the son of James Huskisson, a commercial clerk, and his wife Mary Elizabeth (née Drake). His mother Bertha Elizabeth was born in South Lambeth, London, in 1871, the daughter of Signey and Maria Courtney. She was baptised as South Lambeth St Anne on 4 February 1872. James George enlisted in the Royal Engineers on 9 May 1887 at the age of 23 years 3 months, initially on a 12 year engagement (7 years with the Colours, 5 years Army Reserve). He was discharged in the rank of Engineer Stores Quartermaster (21935, supernumary staff) at Fort Victoria, Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, on 8 May 1908 on completion of his second period of engagement. His service toward pension was 22 years 6 months; a period served on the West Coast of Africa was allowed to reckon double towards pension. James had also served in Hong Kong. He qualified for the Long Service and Good Conduct medals. James and Bertha were married at Christ Church, Mortlake, Surrey on 17 August 1890. He had married without leave and was not brought on to the Roll of Marriages until 18 December 1891. He and Bertha had six children, three of whom died young: Mildred Bertha b. Pembroke 14 May 1891 bap. St John Pembroke Dock 17 June 1891; Constance May b. Harwich 5 January 1893 bap. Harwich 8 January 1893 d. 7 October 1903; Sylvia b. 15 January 1894 bap. Pembroke 22 January 1894 d. 6 October 1894; Florence Maria b. 9 August 1895 bap. Hong Kong 20 August 1895 d. 5 February 1896; James Frederick b. Sheerness Kent 13 March 1898 bap. St Paul Sheerness 3 April 1898 and Victor George b. Yarmouth Isle of Wight 30 September 1902. In 1891 James, a corporal in the Royal Engineers, and Bertha were living on Princes Street, Pembroke, Wales. Their first child Mildred was born there in May that year. The three daughters who followed Mildred - Constance (b. 1893), Sylvia (b. 1894) and Florence (b. 1895) - died between 1894 and 1903. By 1901 James, now a staff sergeant Royal Engineers, was living at 24 Elmhurst Road, Alverstoke, Hampshire, with Bertha and their two children Mildred (9) and James (3). Their sixth child, Victor, was born the following year. James George was discharged from the army in 1908. His service papers gave his trade as electrician and that his intended place of residence was Porchester, Hampshire. However, by 1911 James and Bertha were living on Clipstone Avenue, Mansfield Woodhouse, the Mines Rescue Station. James was an army pensioner and an instructor at the Rescue Station in the employ of the Notts & Derbys Coal Owners Association. Only their eldest son James (13) was in the home on the night of the census. Their daughter Mildred had married Arthur Lionel Harries-Harris at Atherton parish church, Lancaster, on 23 August 1910. In 1911 they and Mildred's brother, Victor (8), were recorded as visitors at St Helen's Road, Bolton, Lancashire, the home of Francis and Edith Smith. James' parents were still living in Mansfield Woodhouse when their son was killed in 1916. However, by June 1918 they had moved to the 'Coach & Horse', North-street, Brighton, Sussex. Their surviving son Victor was married in 1927 and the marriage certificate gave his father's occupation as dyer and cleaner. James George died on 4 January 1951 at Crawley Hospital, Sussex; the cause of death was coronary myocarditis. Mildred Bertha and her husband had two sons, Lionel Courtney Harries-Harris b. 1 August 1912 (reg. Mansfield, d. 1976) and John V Harries-Harris b. 1914 (reg. Greenwich London, d. 1937 reg. Woolwich). Mildred died in 1978 (reg. Trowbridge Wiltshire). Victor George married Ethel Dorothy Ferril, both of Wealdstone, London, at Wealdstone Holy Trinity on 24 September 1927. Victor was a commercial traveller. He died in 1977 (reg. Isle of Wight).
Attended Brunts School and a member of Mansfield Swimming Club. Member of the University & Public School Battalion.
01 Jul 1916
18
794643 - CWGC Website
PS/7163
Mines Rescue Station, Mansfield Woodhouse. Enlisted Clipstone Nottnghamshire
Private
2nd Bn Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)
'X' Coy, 2nd Bn Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment). He was a member of the University and Public Schools battalion. James served in France from 14 November 1915. He was shot in the head and killed at Beaumont Hamel on 1 July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme. He was believed to have been buried behind the lines at Beaumont Hamel but if so his grave was later lost and he is now commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France (Pier and Face 8 C 9 A and 16 A).
Shown as Huskisson on CWGC, Brunt School Memorial and Mansfield Swimming Club Memorial. and as Huskinson on Mansfield Yeoman Park Memorial. Mansfield Reporter, 11 August 1916: ‘Missing. Pte. Fred Huskisson, Mansfield Woodhouse. Much sympathy is felt for Mr and Mrs JG Huskisson, Mansfield Woodhouse (Rescue Station), who have been officially notified that their son, Pte JF Huskisson, of the 18th UPS, now the 2nd Battalion Royal Fusileirs, has been missing since July 1st.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Mansfield Reporter, 29 September 1916: ‘Private JF Huskisson. We recently announced that Private JF Huskisson, son of Mr J Huskisson, at the Rescue Station, Mansfield Woodhouse, had been killed in action. We this week publish a photograph of the lad who set a fine example by enlisting long before he was of military age. He was in the 2nd Battalion Royal Fusiliers. The following are the letters received by his parents from his officers and others:- ‘Sir, I enclose a letter written by the only man who can vouch for to having actually seen your son after he was killed. He was reported as; missing’ but that is, I regret to say, no doubt that the lad was killed. Words of sympathy are, I know, of no use, and are apt to open afresh a wound too deep almost to bear, so I need not attempt to convey to you how much I feel for you. Yours truly, Percy TO Boult, 2nd. Lieut and Adjutant, 2nd RF. ‘Somewhere in Belgium, 5 August 1916. Dear Madam, I am just writing these few lines concerning your son. It was on the 1st of July when we went over the top at 7.30 in the morning. Your son lay just a few yards behind me, and, I am sorry to say, he got hit in the head and died. His loss will be felt greatly among both men and officers, as they thought a great deal of him. He was a good lad, put his heart and soul in his work, and always in the best of spirits. I ask you and your family to accept both the officers and men’s sympathy, and pray that God will help you to bear the burden of the news bravely. I remain, yours sincerely, 11723 H Sambrook, 2nd Battalion Royal Fusiliers. ‘2nd Royal Fusiliers, BEF. 10 August 16. Dear Miss Bagguley, I am sorry to have to inform you that Pte JF Huskisson was killed on July 1st. He was in my company and got on well with everyone, doing his duty well right up to the end. I am very sorry for you, and all whom it may concern, but remember this – he always did his duty. I am, yours sincerely, JF Weardon, Capt. Commanding X Coy, 2nd RF. ‘August 10th, 1916. Dear Mr Huskisson. In reply to your letter which I received yesterday, from enquiries I have made, Fred was hit with a machine gun bullet, and was killed instantaneously. The time was about 8 o’clock on July 1st. I am sorry , but am afraid it is impossible to state where he is buried, as we are not permitted to give any names of places in our letters. With regard to his belongings, I am afraid that they must have been collected by the Salvage Company, and it is quite possible that they may be sent on to you, if they found any address enclosed. Please accept my sincere sympathy in your sorrow, but he died a hero, and was doing duty’’s highest call of ousting the enemy from his trenches. I will make further enquiries, and, if I can, obtain any information. If allowed to state the name of the place, I will do so. Yours sincerely WG Harper, 7th Platoon, X Coy, 2nd Battalion RF. ‘British Red Cross, London. 15-9-16. Dear Sir, In answer to your enquiry we regret to tell you that we hear from Private Pamphion 10954, 2nd RF, now in hospital in France, that during the advance on 1st July, he saw your son killed instantaneously by a bullet through the head near the British barbed wire. Huskisson was next to our informant, and was helping him to carry a shell. He also adds that your son was a very great favourite and was a calm and brave boy, and describes him as being fair, slim, clean shaven, and age about 20. He did not see your son’s body buried, but knows that he was buried that night behind the trenches at Beaumont Hamel. We greatly fear that the above report may be correct, but are trying to obtain some more information for you and have been watching the prisoners’ list from Germany in the hope of being able to obtain information for you from that source. Assuring you of our deepest sympathy in your great anxiety, Yours faithfully, Rosaling Lyell, for the Earl of Lucan.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Mansfield Reporter, ‘In Memoriam’, 22 June 1917: ‘Huskisson. In loving memory of our dear son, James Frederick Huskisson, 2nd (ex-18th UPS) Royal Fusiliers, who was killed in action at Beaumont Hamel, on July 1st, 1916. In his 19th year. Bravely he fought for his earthly king, To reign for ever with his Heavenly King.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Mansfield Reporter, ‘In Memoriam’, 28 June 1918: ‘Huskisson. In loving memory of our dear son, James Frederick Huskisson, 2nd (ex-18th UPS) Royal Fusiliers, who was killed in action at Beaumont Hamel, on July 1st, 1916. In his 19th year. Bravely he fought for his earthly king, To reign for ever with his Heavenly King. From his parents, Mr and Mrs JG Huskisson, ‘Coach & Horse’, North-street, Brighton, late Miner’s Rescue Station, Mansfield Woodhouse.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Mansfield Reporter, 26 September 1919: ‘Swimming Club’s Tribute to Fallen Members. Impressive Ceremony at Mansfield. There was an impressive ceremony during the ceremony during the course of the Victory Gala, held by the Mansfield Swimming Club, at the Corporation Baths, last evening, when a memorial tablet to the members of the club, who have fallen in the war, and also a roll of honour were unveiled. The names of the fallen members are ... Pte JF Huskisson . The tablet, like that of the roll of honour, is of marble, and underneath are the words, ‘Greater love hath no man.; There are two tablets for the roll of honour, on either side of the memorial, and the names inscribed are: [listed] The tablets were executed by Messrs Bingham and Son, Sculptors and Engravers, Mansfield. (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Registers of Soldiers' Effects: his father James George was his legatee.
Remembered on

Photos

  • Photograph published in the Mansfield Reporter, 29 September 1916. (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)
    James Frederick Huskisson - Photograph published in the Mansfield Reporter, 29 September 1916. (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)
  • Commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France. (www.cwgc.org)
    Jsmes Frederick Huskisson - Commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France. (www.cwgc.org)