Lance/Corporal James Tomlinson
17080 10th Scottish Rifles
Missing in action 25th September 1915, aged 35
Lived at 79 Healeywood Road
Commemorated on the Loos memorial, France
Burnley Express 30th October 1915 - 1st July 1916
James Tomlinson was born in Burnley and was the husband of Alice Tomlinson
of 79 Healey Wood Road., Burnley (who at some time also lived at 102 Rumley
Road). He enlisted as Private 17080 “C” Company, in the 10th
Battalion, The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) and became a Lance Corporal.
He died aged 35 on Saturday 25th September 1915 and is commemorated on
the Loos Memorial, France panels 57 to 59.
The Burnley Express of October 1915 reported:-
“Mrs Tomlinson of 102 Rumley Road has received the following letter
from C.Q.M.S. J.R. Lord respecting her husband Lce. Corpl. James Tomlinson
of the 10th Bn., Scottish Rifles;- “I have received your letter,
and it is with much regret that I have to inform you that your husband,
Lce. Corpl. J. Tomlinson is missing. I was very well acquainted with your
husband, he having been clerk in England, and he was well respected by
the other N.C.O.’s and men. I have tried to ascertain if anyone
knew anything about him, but I may say that his platoon suffered very
severely, and the few that are left are unable to give any information
concerning him. On behalf of the N.C.O.’s and men and myself, please
accept our deepest sympathy.
The Burnley Express of Oct 30 1915 with picture reported his death:- “On
Tuesday evening Mrs Tomlinson of 102 Rumley Road, Burnley received official
notice that her husband, Lce-Corpl. J Tomlinson of the 10th Batt., Scottish
Rifles was killed in action on September 25th 1915. Lce-Corp. Tomlinson,
who was 35 years of age was formerly a weaver at Messrs Parkinson’s
Calder Vale Shed and had joined the army at Burnley on November 23rd 1914.
He went to the front in July 1915. News was received from C.Q.M.S. J.
R. Lord that he was missing following the battle of Loos, and since then
two letters have come to hand as to his fate, but the official notice
has now come in response to his wife’s enquiries.
Sec Lieut. Douglas A. Foulis wrote;- “I regret to inform you that
Lce-Corp James Tomlinson was killed in the heroic charge made by the 10th
Scottish Rifles on September 25th last. We sympathise with you in this
matter. I trust that your loss may be lightened by the knowledge that
your husband died nobly doing his duty for his country and leading his
section towards the German lines. As you may have heard this battalion
suffered extremely heavy losses but made a great name for itself in the
attack and capture of Loos. Your husband was very popular among the men
of this company, and his loss is a loss to the regiment as a whole. Your
husband went with the first over the parapet, and advanced gallantly till
he met his death. it may comfort you to know that your husband was a splendid
soldier, and I deeply sympathise with you and your family.
He was a bomber lance corporal and went over the parapet with the bombers
and was killed before he reached the German trench. A memorial Service
was held at St Paul’s Church. He left a widow and 4 children.”
The Burnley News of 1st July 1916 reported;-
“A Splendid Soldier. Burnley Grammar School Old Boy.
News has been received of the death of Lance Corporal J Tomlinson of the
10th Scottish Rifles, which occurred in the charge at Loos on September
25th last. Lce-Corp. Tomlinson, who was an old Grammar School Boy, having
won a scholarship from Fulledge School about the period when Mr Geo. Birtwistle
was at the school, joined the army on 23rd November, 1914, at which time
he was a weaver at Mr Parkinson’s Calder vale Mill. He was 35 years
of age and leaves a widow and four children.
Second Lieutenant H.R.P.Adams writes:- I learn that your late husband
was made a bomber lance corporal in the attack last September. He went
over the parapet with the bombers and was unfortunately killed before
he reached the German lines. He was shot through the head and died instantly.
He was the Quartermaster Sergt’s clerk at Chesledon. He was buried
in front of the German lines along witrh several more of his soldier friends.
He went with the first over the parapet and advanced gallantly till he
met his death. He was a splendid soldier”.
A large number of Burnley men enlisted in the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)
– the largest number in the 10th Battalion (this Bn. was often called
the “Burnley Rifles”!). The evidence for this is borne out
by the 113 men from Burnley who were killed during the war in the regiment
(98 enlisted in Burnley and 15 born or resident in Burnley who enlisted
in other towns). On the 25th September 1915 at the battle of Loos a total
of 38 men with Burnley connections were killed from the 10th Battalion
and 9th Battalion. The total number killed on Sept. 25th were:- 10th Battalion.
237 men and 15 officers. 9th Battalion. 147 men and 4 officers
Altogether 950 men from the 10th Battalion of the Cameronians were killed
in the war.
Burnley Express In memoriam for Sept 22nd 1917 his family was now living
at 57 Rumley Road, Healey Wood.