The name James Lawrence Castle appears on both the war memorial and St Mary’s church honour as J L Castle. The All Saints church honour board lists Dvr J L Castle S African VC and the Thame Gazette 1918 list of those serving gives; “Driver J L Castle South African VC, High Street.”
Despite all this information a search of the CWGC and other records does not show any James Lawrence Castle
dying in WW1.
James Lawrence Castle was born in Thame in 1878 and baptised at St Mary’s on 2 September 1880. He was the son of veterinary surgeon James Lawrence Castle and wife Adelaide Clara who lived in Priestend, Thame and had ten children.
On 10th April 1900 at nearly 23 years of age James joined the Imperial Yeomanry (Rough Riders) for service in South Africa. The service records show him as Sergeant (16101) in the 20th Imperial Yeomanry gaining the Queen’s South Africa medal with clasps for Cape Colony and Orange Free State.
He returned to England after the Boer War in 1902 and that is where any records end.
Family tradition says that James and one of his brothers went to South Africa prior to World War 1.