No.82920, Gunner, James TURNER
Aged 24

150th Siege battery, Royal Garrison Artillery
Killed in Action on Thursday, 28th June 1917

James Robert Turner was born in Snailwell in December 1892 (Newmarket Q1-1893 3B:505), baptised in Snailwell St Peter's on 26th February 1893, son of James and Anne TURNER (née FULLER),

1901 census...Aged 8, he was in Snailwell with his grandparents Robert FULLER [61] born Soham and Eliza FULLER [56] born Soham. His parents James TURNER [37] a labourer/horsekeeper born Fordham and Anne [34] born Soham, his sister Anne [[2] and brother Arthur [5] both born in Snailwell were at North End, Exning.

1911 census...Aged 18, a labourer, he was still with his grandparents Robert and Eliza FULLER. His parents were still in Exning with his brother Arthur and sister Anne, plus 2 new brothers Frank [9] and Charlie [3] and another sister Mabel [6] all three born in Exning.

He was attested at Bury St Edmunds and was placed on the Reserves on 12th December 1915. He was one of the bigger of the Exning men on these records, being 6ft 1 1/4" (186 cm) tall with a 38" to 41" (96.5 to 104.1 cm) chest. He gave his occupation as ploughman and his next of kin, his father James at Landwade Road, Exning.
Mobilised on 18th May 1916 in Royal Garrison Artillery he was 1st posted to the BEF in France on 25th August and on 29th joined 4th Army Pool. On 9th February 1917 he joined 1st Army Pool until 18th March 1917 when he was posted to 150th Siege Battery.
According to his records in 1919 his siblings were Arthur [22] Frank [17] Charlie[12] at Landwade Road, and sister Annie [20] working at Lord St Davids in Exning while sister Mabel [15] was at Halesworth.
A Justice sent a letter to the Army requesting that all his money due and personal effects be sent to his Grandmother Mrs FULLER. In the event it looks as if his 10/6 and 10.75 French francs were credited and sent to his father, as were his personal effects which consisted of:
1 Army book, 8 postcards/letters, 6 photos, a pipe, 10/= of stamps, a comb, steel mirror, cigarette case, a notebook and a ring.
As with many of these army records that survived, most are taken up with disposal of effects and medals.
He was initially buried in Caldron Military Cemetery, Red Mill, Leivin 2 miles SW of Lens, but this cemetery was later concentrated into Loos British Cemetery, Loos-en-Gohelle.

James' entry in "Our Exning Heroes" reads as follows:
Turner, J.R.   150th Siege Battery
James Robert Turner, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Turner who live along the Landwade Road, had spent most of his life with his grandmother at Snailwell, where he received his education. He joined up at Newmarket in 1916, and was a gunner in the 150th Siege Battery.
He was killed whilst asleep in his dugout on June 28th, 1917, at the age of 23, and was buried at Caldron Military Cemetery, two miles south-west of Lens.
Before he enlisted he worked on Mr. Blackwell's farm at Snailwell.

Caldron Military Cemetery in the suburb of Lievin, (SW Lens) was concentrated into Loos British Cemetery in 1925

photo: Rodney Gibson

photo:Rodney Gibson

James Turner is buried in Loos British Cemetery, grave 19:D:10
and commemorated on the Exning war memorial.

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