Service Number 84344
Battalion 143 Siege Battery
Regiment Royal Garrison Artillery
The name of James Bridges appears on the Linton village Roll of Honour for the Great War but for a long time we had been unable to identify exactly what his service was in the war. The release of new records has now allowed us to pin down his service.
James Bridges was born in Bilton Haggs on the 5th December 1892, the son of William and Elizabeth Bridges, and brother of Albert Edward Bridges who also served in the Great War.
By 1911, the family had moved to Wetherby but James was, by that time, working as a horseman on the farm of Mrs Bean, a widowed farmer at Skerry Grange, Sicklinghall.
James's military service in World War One began on the 12th December 1915, when he and his brother Albert both attested for service, but he was not mobilised until the 25th May 1916, as Gunner 84344 James Bridges of the Royal Garrison Artillery (RGA). The RGA was the branch of artillery responsible for the large artillery pieces.
James served in the UK from his mobilisation until the 9th January 1917. His service record shows he served with the Clyde RGA and 221 Siege Batteries.
On the 10th January 1917, James and his unit served with the British Expeditionary Force in France with 143 Battery RGA. Around the 31st October 1917 James was wounded suffering a wound to his left arm. He was admitted to No. 4 General Hospital and later was evacuated to the UK and was admitted to the Cambridge Hospital in Aldershot.
James continued in the Army while undergoing treatment but the wound was obviously severe and he was eventually discharged from the Army on medical grounds on the 11th June 1918 and was awarded a Silver War Badge. At that time he returned to the Wetherby area giving his address as 33 St. James Street, Wetherby.
After the war, James returned to the Wetherby area and lived here for many years - by 1939 he was living at Station Farm Cottages, Bolton Percy where he was employed as a horseman. His record in the 1939 registration shows him as a disabled soldier.
We believe James died in 1961.
If anyone has any further information, please contact us.
First World War Medal Index Cards. The National Archives (WO372).
First World War Medal Index Rolls. The National Archives (WO329).
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