James Chambers


About James

  • Name
  • Initials
  • Surname
  • Date of Birth
  • Birth town
    Eastwood, Nottinghamshire
  • Resided town
  • Commemorated
  • Nationality
  • Place of death
    Basford, Nottingham
  • Date of death
    March 1940
  • Married
  • Occupation
    Coal Miner

Service Information

  • Army

  • Service Number
  • Rank
  • Regiment
    Notts and Derby Regiment


James Chambers was born in 1888, the fifth of seven children of George and Eliza Ann Chambers. They lived at Nottingham Road in the coal mining town of Eastwood, Nottinghamshire – also the home town of novelist D.H. Lawrence (b. 1885). At that time, the majority of the male population in the area were employed in the coal mining industry, with ten local pits where boys would start work from the age of 14.

His father George was a colliery blacksmith and James and his three brothers worked as coal miners. By the time of the 1901 Census, his mother Eliza Ann had died, and by 1911, the family had moved to Mellors Row, Lynncroft, Eastwood.

James enlisted with the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire ‘Sherwood Foresters’ on 8 October 1914, aged 26. His Short Service Attestation form describes him as 5’ 10”, with blue eyes and brown hair.

Just eight days after his enlistment with the 2nd Battalion, Private James Chambers was transferred to the 10th Battalion, and then to the 12th Battalion in January 1915.

Private Chambers embarked for France in August 1915, where he remained until the end of April the following year. He saw action at Loose, recording in the visitors’ book at Peterborough Railway Station on 15 October 1916, that he had been wounded at Loose on 2 October 1915.

On 30 April 1916 Pte Chambers was sent to the British Military Hospital at Brockenhurst, in the New Forest, suffering from nephritis (inflammation of the kidneys caused by infection or toxins). He probably did not return to full fitness, as four months later, he was transferred to Army Reserve Class W.  As part of the Army Reserve Class W you were not required to wear uniform, received no army pay and were not subject to military discipline, although liable to be recalled to the colours at any time.  For more information on Army Reserves please see

In February 1918, Private Chambers rejoined his regiment, and three weeks later was posted to the 3rd Battalion. He was discharged on 18 March 1919, still apparently suffering from nephritis with a 50 per cent degree of disablement, attributable to war service. On demobilisation he was transferred to the Army Reserve Class Z; an order created so that trained men could be quickly recalled from civilian life if hostilities should resume.

Private Chambers was awarded the 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and Allied Victory Medal.

James married Olive Capell in Rugby in June 1916.  The 1939 Register reveals that he was still living in Eastwood, now at 16 Walker Street.  He was a colliery hewer and living with Olive.  James died aged 52 in March 1940, in Basford, Nottinghamshire.

Could you be related to James?  Do get in touch if you can tell us more.

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