MAYES, James

No.6574, Private, James MAYES
Aged 21

2nd/4th Battalion, Princess Charlotte of Wales' (Royal Berkshire Regiment)
formerly 2789, Suffolk Regiment
Died of his Wounds on Saturday, 7th October 1916

James MAYES was born in Kedington (Risbridge Q3-1895 4A:743), baptised in Kedington, St Peter and St Paul on 10th November 1895, son of Joseph and Fanny MAYES (née HECKFORD).

1901 census...Aged 5, he was at Calford Green, Kedington with his father Joseph MAYS [38] farm labourer; his mother Fanny [37]; brothers Alfred [16] and George [14] (farm labourers) and Arthur [10]; sisters Emma [12], Annie [8], Laura [3] and Ethel [1]. All were born in Kedington.

1911 census...Aged 15 a farm labourer James Mayes was with his parents at 2 Chalkstone Hills, Haverhill; sisters Annie (clothing machinist), Laura (nursemaid) and cousin Ethel [1] born Haverhill. No record of parentage of Ethel.

His brother Arthur married Martha MARSH in 1910, sister of Percy MARSH. see here

The South West Suffolk Echo of 21st October 1916 reported that:-
"Mr. J. Mayes, of 21 Chalkstone Hills, has been informed that his son Pte. J. Mayes of the Suffolk Regt. has been killed in action. The Officer Commanding the Company in which Pte Mayes was serving wrote:-
"It is with deepest sympathy that I have to write and tell you that your son died of wounds on October 7th. He volunteered and went out with a party at 2 a.m. to search for some of his comrades who were wounded. He was hit in the stomach by a bullet when some distance from our lines. He never uttered a sound in case he should give away the position of his comrades. When he was brought in he was sensible and not in pain. He was quite cheerful. He died in the afternoon at the advanced dressing station. "

He enlisted in Haverhill.
The war diary is re-inforced by an account on the regiments website page 4

Moated Grange - 3rd to 9th October 1916
A preparatory patrol under 2nd Lt C. C. Hedges went out on the night of the 7th to bomb the German wire. Hedges and 3 OR were wounded, one of whom, 6574 James Mayes of Haverhill died of his wounds on the 7th and was buried at La Gorgue Communal Cemetery. five other ORs were missing, presumed taken prisoner.

Moated Grange farmhouse was just south of the junction of the D169 and D168, not too far from Rue du Bacquerot Cemetery

His Sunday School Union plaque in the Congregational Church, Haverhill

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

James Mayes is buried in La Gorgue Communal Cemetery, grave 2:C:19
and commemorated in the Congregational Church, Haverhill.

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details

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