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  • Buried in Villers-Plouch Communal Cemetery, France. (www.cwgc.org)
Person Details
Radford Nottingham
James Francis was the son of Frederick William and Ann Margaret Bassett (née Jones). His father Frederick William was born in Market Harborough, Leicestershire, in 1871. However, he was living in Nottinghamshire on 24 February 1890, the date he was employed by the Midland Railway Company as a horse driver at Toton Station. His mother Ann Margaret Jones was born in Dolgelly, Merionith, Wales, in 1866. According to the 1911 Census, Frederick and his wife had been married for 17 years (c. 1894) but the only record of marriage traced to date is 1936 (J/F/M Nottingham). Frederick and Ann had at least four sons (listed as five on the census but '3 living, 1 died' named as FWE, GA, JF and CD), all of whom predeceased their parents. The children were: Frederick William Ernest b. Bedfordshire 1894 bap. Toddington 1894 and Albert George b. 1895 bap. Lubenham Leics. 1896, James Francis b. 1897 bap. Lubenham 25 December 1897 and Claude Denis b. 1905 d. 1906 who were all born in Radford, Nottingham. In 1901 Frederick, a railway signalman, and Ann, were living at 97 Miall Street, Radford, with their three sons, Frederick, Albert and James (3). Also in the household were three boarders, all railway employees. The youngest son Claude was born four years later but died in 1906 although his name was included on the 1911 Census. The family was still living at the same address in 1911: Frederick was still employed as a signalman, Frederick and George were grocers' assistants and James was a grocer's errand boy. The family had moved to 28 Beeston Road, Dunkirk, Nottingham, by the time the sons attested and Frederick and Ann were still living at the same address at the time of their deaths, Ann in March 1943 and Frederick in August 1944. Both made Wills; administration of Ann's Will was awarded to her husband, 'a retired railwayman', and administration of Frederick's was awarded to his granddaughter Lucy Audrey Critchley (née Bassett) and his daughter-in-law, Alice Maud Bassett (Albert George's widow). James' two brothers also served in the war: Frederick served in the 1/5th Bn Sherwood Foresters (7713, 203262 Private), attesting on 22 January 1916. He was aged 21 years 4 months, a clerk (railway) and living at 28 Beeston Drive with his parents. He served in France from 3 January 1917 but was captured at Lens on 1 July 1917 and was a prisoner of war at Douai Prison Camp and then at Dulmen Prison Camp. He was discharged from the army to his parent's home on 3 March 1919. Frederick married Lucy Hudson in December 1919 and they had two children James Francis b. 1920 and Lucy Audrey b. 1922 (m. 1943, Critchley). It is likely that in 1921 Frederick, Lucy and their son James were living with Frederick's parents in Dunkirk. Frederick died in March 1931; he and his family were living at City Road, Dunkirk. His widow remarried (FH Cheetham, 1938) and in 1939 when the England & Wales Register was compiled she and her two children James and Lucy, were living in Derby with other members of her husband's family. Albert George attested on 22 November 1915 aged 21y 6m; he was employed as a train controller's assistant, Midland Railway Company, probably at Nottingham Depot Station, and living in Dunkirk. He transferred to the Army Reserve on 23 November and in December 1916 advised the army of his change of address to Saltley, Birmingham, when he was transferred from Nottingham Depot Station to the Midland Railway's Control Depot at Saltley. Albert was not mobilised until 31 July 1917 when he was posted to the Royal Engineers, Inland Water Transport (293224, later Lance Corporal). He was discharged to 28 Beeston Road, Dunkirk on 10 March 1919 having served 1 year 223 days. Albert returned to Birmingham where he married Alice M Webb in 1929 by whom he had three children. George was working for the Midland Railway as a district inspector when he was fatally injured in a railway accident on 19 June 1940 (see 'Extra information). Ann Margaret and her sons Frederick and Albert were buried in Beeston Cemetery, Nottingham.
In 1911 he was a grocer's errand boy.
20 Dec 1917
315748 - CWGC Website
189th Coy Machine Gun Corps (Infantry)
189th Coy. Machine Gun Corps (Infantry). Formerly formerly 4693 Private Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment). He was killed in action on 20 December 1917 and is buried in Villers-Plouich Communal Cemetery, Nord, France (grave ref. A.30). CWGC - History of Villers-Plouch Communal Cemetery (extract): 'Villers-Plouich was captured in April, 1917, by the 13th East Surreys; lost in March, 1918; and regained at the end of the following September, when the 1st East Surreys were the first troops to enter the village.' (www.cwgc.org)
James' brothers Frederick and Albert, both served in the war (see 'Family history'). His nephew, James Francis Bassett (son of Frederick William Ernest), served in the RAFVR in the Second World War (745308 Sergeant) and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal with 10 Squadron, RAF Leeming. He received a commission on 13 November 1942 (135461 Pilot Officer) and promoted Flying Officer 13 July 1943. James was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for service with 158 Squadron, gazetted 29 October 1942. He retrained as a pilot and served until 1952. CWGC Additional information: ' Son of Fred and Ann Bassett, of 28, Beeston Rd., Dunkirk, Nottingham.' CWGC headstone personal inscription: ' He fought the fight the victory won and entered into rest' (The words may be from a hymn) WW1 Pension Ledgers Index Card: named his parents Frederick William and Ann Margaret, residence Dunkirk. Registers of Soldiers' Effects: his father Frederick was his legatee. Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Deaths’, 24 March 1931: ‘Bassett. Ernest Bassett, the beloved son of Fred and Annie Bassett, Beeston-road, Dunkirk, passed peacefully away March 22nd, grandson of the late Mr and Mrs Jones, Pantilau Farm, Dolgelly, NW. Funeral Beeston Cemetery, 12.30pm Thursday.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Deaths’, 22 June 1940: ‘Bassett. On June 19th, suddenly at Birmingham General Hospital, Albert Bassett, age 43, the only surviving son of F and A Bassett, 28 Beeston-road, Dunkirk, and grandson of Mr and Mrs Jones, Pant y Lian farm, Arthog, North Wales. Funeral Beeston Cemetery, Tuesday 1pm.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Birmingham Mail, ‘Deaths’, 24 June 1940: Bassett. Albert, on the 19th, at the General Hospital, as the result of an accident on the LMS Railway, the dearly beloved husband of Alice, 11, Underhill Road, Alum Rock. Funeral Beeston Cemetery, Nottingham, Tuesday, 1 pm.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Birmingham Mail, 24 June 1940: ‘Knocked Down by Shunting Engine. ‘Accidental death’ was the verdict of the City Coroner at to-day’s Birmingham inquest on Albert George Bassett (aged 43), of 11, Underhill Road, Alum Rock, who died in the General Hospital last Wednesday after being knocked down by a shunting engine at Lawley Street Goods yard. Bassett, a railway district inspector, was deputising for the yard master at Lawley Street, his duties obliging him to move about among the lines. Reginald Rock, of Bamford Road, Alum Rock, who saw the accident from another engine, said Bassett walked along for some distance without realising an engine was coming behind him until witness shouted.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) A report of the inquest was also published in the Birmingham Daily Post, 25 June 1940. Birmingham Mail and Nottingham Evening Post, 27 June 1940 : ‘The wife, children and parents of the late Albert George Bassett wishes to thank all neighbours and friends, employees of all grades on the LMS Railway for the deep expression of sympathy and floral tributes in their great loss.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Deaths’, 15 March 1943: Bassett. March 11th Ann M. beloved wife of Fred Bassett, departed this life. Loving husband, daughter, grandchildren. Funeral Beeston, 2.30pm, Tuesday, March 16th.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)
Remembered on


  • Buried in Villers-Plouch Communal Cemetery, France. (www.cwgc.org)
    James Francis Bassett - Buried in Villers-Plouch Communal Cemetery, France. (www.cwgc.org)