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Remembered Today:

#204633 James Edgar Cowley


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I have managed to put together some notes on one of the deaths on the Cricklade War Memorial - details as set out below. Can SKS help with any further details relating to James - e.g. dates that he enlisted, was promoted, etc?

Also - any ideas what the "OR" refers to in the regimental diary - is it "Ordinary Recruits"?


From a large family of at least 14 children. James Edgar Cowley was born at Cricklade in 1889, son of Hubert Cowley and Mary Ann Clements. His father was a farmer and cattle dealer who had several residences over the years from Bridge House to Widhill before settling down at The Brow, No 111 High Street in 1905. The family were remembered as independent folk and James was not encouraged to mix with other youngsters.

Military Service:

Name: James Edgar Cowley

Rank: Corporal

Service No: 204633

Regiment: Wiltshire Regiment

Unit: 1st Bn.

James enlisted at Chippenham and died in Flanders on 26th April 1918. His name is recorded on panels 119 to 120 of the Tyne Cot Memorial and the St Sampson’s Church Memorial. The Tyne Cot Memorial is one of four memorials to the missing in Belgian Flanders which cover the area known as the Ypres Salient.

On the 26th April 1918 the 1st Battalion were in the vicinity of Ouderdom, Belgium. The extract from the regimental diary for that day, a Friday, is as follows:

“At 12.30a.m. the Battn moved off and marched via RENINGHELST & LA CLYTTE forming up for the attack 200 yds S of LA CLYTTE. At 3.00a.m. the advance commenced, little opposition was given by the enemy who were completely surprised. At 3.30a.m. 200 prisoners had been taken and at 3.45a.m. KEMMEL village was in our hands. Owing to the French, in the right being unable to advance, at 4.00a.m., the 7th Bde withdrew to its original position S of LA CLYTTE. The 74th Bde relieved the 7th Bde after dusk, the Battn moving to trenches 1000yds N of LA CLYTTE, the relief being complete by 11.30p.m. Quiet night.

Casualties: Officers Major Cade DSO, MC. Killed.

2nd Lieut C Burton, 2nd Lieut W E Walker wounded.

2nd Lieut W E Pritchard missing.

OR 5 killed, 39 wounded, 7 missing. “

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other ranks.

rolls list as disembarked 4-12-1915 KIA 26.4.1918, 1/1 Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry.

entitled to BW & V medals through service in 4TF Bn

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Thanks Chaz - much appreciated.

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