The name of James's father is not noted in military records, although his mother is recorded as Mary A Crone, 3 Lee Street, Stockport. A man named Abel Crone is recorded as marrying Mary Ann Buxton at St. Peter's Church, Prestbury between July and September 1873. By 1901 Mary was a widow, James aged 12 was working in the local hat-making industry as a printer. This was probably at the hat works of Sutton and Torkington Ltd for whom he was working in 1916.
By the time of the 1911 Census, James aged 22 had married Maria (nee) Yates. They lived together at 33 Jennings Street, Stockport, sometime before James was killed, his wife had also died.
James enlisted at Stockport in June 1916 and, following a period of training, went overseas, as one of a batch of troops sent to the 9th Battalion to replace casualties. He could not have been at the front for more than a few weeks when he was killed in action. On 16 November, the Battalion had been on a tour of duty in the front line for several days. This was near the village of Aveluy in the heart of the Somme battlefield. On a day when James was one of 14 members of his unit to be killed, the Battalion's War Diary makes no reference to casualties recording only "The enemy continued to shell our trenches". Two other Stockport men Samuel Booth and Ernest Hayward, were amongst the 14. None of the three has a known grave.
More information still to come about James.
Cheshire County Memorial Project would like to thank John Hartley for the supporting information on James.