Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Rifleman James Manson Royal Irish Rifles

NAME; Manson, James
RANK; Rifleman
SERV. NO; 12/18430
UNIT/SERVICE; “A” Coy 12th Battalion
REGIMENT; Royal Irish Rifles
BORN; Carrickfergus Circa 1899
LIVED; Unity Street, Carrickfergus
ENLISTED; Larne September 1914
FATE; Killed in Action, France, June 29th 1916 aged 19
CHURCH; Carrickfergus Congregational 
Thank you to Nigel Anderson for this picture

REMARKS; James Manson was born in Carrickfergus in 1898 the son the William Hugh and Mary Manson (nee Jones) and brother to John, Hugh (also served), Jane, Isabella, Samuel and Thomas. – By 1901 the family were living in 24 Unity Street Carrickfergus, James was just an infant and his father was working as a labourer at the military ordinance store.  

When war broke out in 1914 he was living in Larne with his older brother Hugh,  he enlisted into the 12th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in September 1914 along with many other men from Carrickfergus.  Following training at Clandeboye and in the South of England he was mobilised to France on 6th October 1915.  He saw action across the front and was killed in action only 8 months later on 29th June 1916, 2 days before the Battle of the Somme.  According to his death records he is listed as killed in action aged 19 however the 1901 census as of 31st March 1901 lists James as 2 years old meaning in 1916 he would have been only 17 years old when he died. 

James is buried in Hamel Military Cemetery, Beaumont Hamel location I C 8 along with 32 other men from the Royal Irish Rifles.  He was awarded the 1914-15 Star, British and Victory Medals.  

Thanks to Billy Rodgers & Carrickfergus Friends of 36th for this picture
 Info on Hamel Military Cemetery:

Beaumont village was captured by British troops in November, 1916, but Hamel was in British occupation from the summer of 1915, until the 27th March, 1918.

Hamel Military Cemetery was begun by fighting units and Field Ambulances in August 1915, and carried on until June 1917. A few further burials were made in Plot II, Row F, after the capture of the village in 1918. It was known at times by the names of "Brook Street Trench" and "White City". It was enlarged after the Armistice by the concentration of 48 graves from the immediate neighbourhood.

There are now nearly 500, 1914-18 war casualties commemorated in this site. Of these, nearly 80 are unidentified and special memorials are erected to four soldiers from the United Kingdom known or believed to be buried among them. A number of French and German military graves have been removed to other burial grounds.

The cemetery covers an area of 2,235 square metres, without including the public right of way on the North side and is enclosed by a rubble wall.

Hamel Military Cemetery

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