Edward William James was born in Thame, and baptised at St Mary’s Church on 25th August 1895. He was one of seven children of William and Jane Elizabeth James (nee Hunt), living in 63 Lower High Street. By the age of 15 Edward was a gardener to a local florister.
Edward enlisted into the Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry early in the war. In September 1915, he embarked for France, part of a reinforcing draft to the 6th Battalion. Over the next few months the battalion, part of the 60th Brigade, 20th Division, was regularly deployed in the trenches of northern France, before marching to Belgium in early February 1916.
Although the battalion during this time was not engaged in an major actions, nevertheless the number of casualties suffered continued to grow due to the regular exposure in the frontline trenches.
In the early hours of the morning of 13th February 1916, Private Edward William James was one of 3 from the battalion killed when they came under shellfire whilst returning over open space from the trenches back to billets at Elverdinghe Chateau.
17525 Private Edward William James, Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry, is buried in Ferme-Oliver Cemetery, near Ypres. He is commemorated in Thame on the war memorial and All Saints church memorial board.
The Thame Remembers Cross was delivered to Ferme-Oliver Cemetery, Ypres, West Vlaanderen, Belgium on 20th May 2017 by Gill Gillard