Date of birth: 16th December 1905
Parents: Frederick Thomas and Kate Hiatt (nee Bishop) of Sherbourne, Warwickshire
Wife: Lillian Hall
Address: 20 Mill Street, Warwick
Occupation: Worked on the Sherbourne Estate for eleven years before joining the Warwick Aviation Company
James was born on 16th December 1905 in Sherbourne, Warwickshire. He was baptised on 4th February 1906 at All Saints Church, Sherbourne. His father, Frederick Thomas, was a gardener on the Sherbourne Estate.
James was one of a large family of 13 children although two of his siblings had died before 1911. The eldest was born in 1896 and the youngest in 1914. The surviving children were: Eleanor (1896-1972), Edith May (1897-), Alice Mary (1898-1979), Sidney Walter (1900-1981), Frederick Thomas (1903-1972), Frank (1904-1981), Kate (1905-1980) and Elizabeth (1907-). The three eldest children had been born in Warwick before the family moved to Sherbourne, where the rest of the children were born.
James married Lillian Hall in Warwick in 1930 and according to the 1939 census he and Lillian were living at 20 Mill Street and his occupation was a bricklayer. They had two sons – Philip James (1935-2009) and Gordon Leslie born in 1931 who was in HM Forces and he died on 25th September 1951 aged 20 at Warneford Hospital.
By 1939 James father and mother, together with Kate junior, Edward and Henry, had moved back to Sherbourne and they were living at 31 Stratford Road.
Three of James’ brothers, and three of his sisters, together with their husbands attended James’ funeral at Warwick Cemetery.
Lillian died on 19th January 1951 aged 50. James’ twin sister Kate never married and died in 1980 aged 74.
Rank & Number: Civilian - Warden, n/a
Regiment/Service: ARP (Air Raid Precautions)
Date of death: 17th May 1941
Cause of death/Battle: Killed at St Mary's Common (Warwick Racecourse) with fellow ARP Warden, Henry Marston - buried by a large fall of earth at the bottom of Linen Street
Commemorated/Buried: Buried in Warwick Cemetery
Commemorated locally at:
On the night of his death, James he was walking home over St. Mary’s Common (Warwick Race Course) with his friend, Harry Marston, when a German aircraft dropped a stick of bombs. They were both killed instantly and buried under a huge mound of earth. It’s thought the German plane might have been targeting the nearby gas works.
- Unlocking Warwick Research Group
- Warwick Advertiser excerpt courtesy of Warwickshire County Record Office