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James Henry MILNER

Main CPGW Record

Surname: MILNER

Forename(s): James Henry

Place of Birth: Lunds, Yorkshire

Service No: C/13003

Rank: Rifleman

Regiment / Corps / Service: King’s Royal Rifle Corps

Battalion / Unit: 21st (Service) Battalion. (Yeoman Rifles)

Division: 41st Division

Age: 19

Date of Death: 1916-09-17

Awards: ---

CWGC Grave / Memorial Reference: Pier and Face 13 A and 13 B.

CWGC Cemetery: ---

CWGC Memorial: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL

Non-CWGC Burial: ---

Local War Memorial: GARSDALE HEAD, YORKSHIRE

Local War Memorial: HAWES, YORKSHIRE

Additional Information:

James Henry Milner was the son of Thomas Spensley and Sarah Milner, née Wilson. Thomas was born in Arkengarthdale, Yorkshire and Sarah in Mallerstang, Westmorland. Thomas died in 1909. In 1919 Sarah married John Blades.

1901 Garsdale, Yorkshire Census: Junction Inn - James Henry Milner, aged 4 years, born Hawes, Yorkshire, son of Thomas and Sarah Milner.

1911 Garsdale, Yorkshire Census: Junction Inn - James Henry Milner, aged 14 years, born Hawes, Yorkshire, son of Sarah Milner, widow.

The British Army Service Record for James Henry Milner exists but may be incomplete.

British Army WW1 Medal Rolls Index Cards: Pte James H. Milner, G/13003 [sic], K. R. Rif. C.

British Army WW1 Medal and Award Rolls: Pte James H. Milner, C/13003, 21st Bn K. R. Rif. C.

Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects: Pte James Henry Milner, C.13003, 21st (S) Bn K.R.R.C. Date and Place of Death: 15-17.9.16. In Action. To whom Authorised/Amount Authorised: Mother - Sarah. £3 16s. 1d. Sister and Sole Legatee - Ethel A. £3 0s. 0d. [Ethel Annie Milner married Matthew Bell in 1932.]

Short biographies of James are included in:
‘Wensleydale Remembered - The Sacrifice made by the Families of a Northern Dale 1914-1918 and 1939-1945’ by Keith Taylor (2004).
‘Sedbergh and District 1914-1918 - But who shall return the children?’ Compiled by Sedbergh and District History Society. Edited by Diane Elphick (2016).

Data Source: Craven’s Part in the Great War - original CPGW book entry

View Entry in CPGW Book

Entry in West Yorkshire Pioneer Illustrated War Record:

MILNER, Rifleman Jas. Henry, aged 20, Hawes Junction, killed in action Sept. 15, 1916.

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Rifleman James Henry MILNER

Rifleman James Henry MILNER

Regiment / Corps / Service Badge: King’s Royal Rifle Corps

Regiment / Corps / Service Badge: King’s Royal Rifle Corps

Divisional Sign / Service Insignia: 41st Division

Divisional Sign / Service Insignia: 41st Division

Data from Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914 - 1919 Records

Soldiers Died Data for Soldier Records

Surname: MILNER

Forename(s): James Henry

Born: Lunds, Westmoreland

Residence: Sedburgh, Yorks

Enlisted: Leyburn, Yorks

Number: C/13003

Rank: Rifleman

Regiment: King's Royal Rifle Corps

Battalion: 21st Battalion

Decorations:

Died Date: 17/09/16

Died How: Killed in action

Theatre of War: France & Flanders

Notes:

Data from Commonwealth War Graves Commission Records

CWGC Data for Soldier Records

Surname: MILNER

Forename(s): James Henry

Country of Service: United Kingdom

Service Number: C/13003

Rank: Rifleman

Regiment: King's Royal Rifle Corps

Unit: 21st Bn.

Age: 19

Awards:

Died Date: 17/09/1916

Additional Information: Son of Mrs. S. Blades, of Far End, Garsdale, Sedbergh, Yorks.

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View Craven Herald Articles

View Craven Herald Articles

Craven Herald and Wensleydale Standard Logo

13 October 1916

MILNER – Killed in action, September 15th, Rifleman James Henry Milner, Hawes Junction, aged 20 years.

His cheery ways, his smiling face,
Are a pleasure to recall;
He had a kindly word for each
And died beloved by all.
A loving son, true and kind
He proved to us in heart and mind.
But the unknown grave is the bitterest blow,
None but aching hearts doth know.

From his Aunt V. Metcalfe.

13 October 1916

HAWES JUNCTION SOLDIER KILLED

Rifleman James Henry Milner, King’s Royal Rifles, aged 20, the youngest son of the late Mr. T. Milner, and Mrs. Milner, Hawes Junction, was killed in action in France on the 15th September. His brother, Rifleman Mark Milner, is also wounded and in hospital.

These two lads were the only sons of a widowed mother, and were the best of sons, being always steady and industrious. They joined the colours last January within a day or two of each other, were both in the same regiment, went together to France last May and also went together into the fight in which one was wounded, and the other made the great sacrifice. The greatest sympathy is felt for Mrs. Milner in her great sorrow. The following letter has been received by Mrs. Milner from the officer commanding her son’s company:– “Dear Madam, It is my duty to inform you of news with reference to your two brave sons; Mark, you will no doubt have already heard, is wounded and in hospital; the other, James, who was reported missing, is now officially reported killed. In giving you this news, I can assure you that it is very painful to me, because not only were they both good soldiers, but really good lads. They were both very popular amongst the other lads in the Company, and I can assure you they are both missed very much. I am looking forward to Mark recovering speedily and I hope he will soon be home to comfort you a little. From news we now have, it appears that James was killed instantaneously, and suffered no pain whatever. My sympathies are with you, and in concluding this letter I may say that you have every reason to be proud of your two brave sons.”

03 November 1916

HAWES – IMPRESSIVE MEMORIAL SERVICE

A very impressive memorial service for the soldiers from the parish, and those closely connected with the parish, who have fallen in the War, was held in St. Margaret’s Church on Sunday afternoon. From the Church tower the flag of St. George was flying half-mast, and the solemn tolling of the Church bell, announcing the hour of service, deepened the solemnity of the occasion. There was a large congregation, among whom were the relatives of many who have fallen. The service was conducted by the vicar (Rev. S. D. Crawford), and the hymns were 'Lead, Kindly Light’, ‘On the Resurrection Morning’, and ‘For all the Saints’. The soldiers whose memories were honoured were: Frederick Cockett, Albert Leach, Thomas Walton, J. W. Fryer, Reginald Milburn, James Banks, J. Chaytor Metcalfe, George Bargh, and James H. Milner

The Vicar took for his text the words, ‘Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends’. He said “As we think of those who have laid down their lives for their country in this War, two thoughts force themselves upon us – the greatness they have achieved, and the atonement they have wrought. Lads who have never trained for war have, in a few months, become the equals of the most magnificently trained army in the world, and we have lived to see a greatness in our splendid boys of which we have but little conception. These lads had acquired a deathless fame; a greatness which would survive as long the British Empire lasts. And some share of this greatness belongs to those for whose lives and deaths we thank God today, and we believe that as they gave their lives without a murmur, so our God will hear the prayers we offer that their souls may rest in peace, and light eternal shine upon them. When we recall the horrors that Belgium, France and Serbia have suffered, and realise that but for those same brave lads we might be suffering the same, we cannot honour them too much, we cannot be too grateful for their devotion and self-sacrifice. To those who mourn their loss, this comfort must come: that their loved ones have passed into the company of heroes who equated not their lives too dear, but at the call of duty sacrificed all for the sake of their country, the good of mankind, and the cause of true liberty. But their death has done more than prove their greatness; it has been an act of atonement, atonement for their country and atonement for themselves.”

There was a time in the history of most nations when it had to be brought back to its allegiance to God by some sharp punishment. We went into this war with clean hands, but nevertheless it was proving a means of national purging. While we as a whole suffered in various ways, the sacrificial shedding of their blood had been the great work of our fallen heroes. “To that sacrifice those we remember today have shared and may we not confidently say that their deaths are a contribution to the cleansing of the nation?”

At the close of the sermon ‘The Last Post’ was sounded on the cornet by Mr. J. Blades, and after the Blessing the Dead March was played on the organ by Mr. F. Haverfield.

14 September 1917

MILNER – In loving memory of Rifleman James Henry Milner of Hawes Junction, King’s Royal Rifles, killed in action, September 15th 1916, aged 20 years.

As dawn crept over the trenches
You fell midst shot and shell;
Our only grief we were not there
To bid you last farewell.

But the hardest part has yet to come
When the heroes do return,
And we miss amongst the cheering crowd
Our son we loved so well.

Sadly missed by Mother, Sisters and Brother in Ireland.

There is a link that death cannot sever,
For love is a chain that binds forever.

From his Aunt, Ebor House, Hawes.

13 September 1918

MILNER – In loving memory of J. H. Milner, killed in action September 15th, 1916, aged 20 years.

Remembered at home by his loved ones.

For him our hearts do yearn,
His soul is far above us;
He is a soldier who will never return,
But he will reap his reward in Heaven.
When his name is on the roll
For his country his life he has given,
And Christ has received his soul.

Ever remembered by his loving Mother, Sisters and Brother.

Sleep on, dear Jim, In a foreign grave,
A grave we may never see;
But as long as life and memory lasts
We will ever remember thee.

Ever remembered by his loving Aunt, Ebor House, Hawes.

12 September 1919

MILNER – In loving memory of Rifleman James Henry Milner, killed in action September 15th, 1916.

May the heavenly winds blow softly,
O’er that sweet and hallowed spot;
Though the sea divides your grave from us
You will never be forgot.
Now you are sleeping your last long sleep
In a grave we may never see;
But some gentle hand in that distant land
May scatter some flowers for us.

Ever remembered by his loving Mother, Sisters and Brother.

Far away from all who loved him,
They laid him down to rest.
In a far off grave he is sleeping –
One of England’s best.

Ever remembered by his loving Aunt, Ebor House, Hawes.

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