Rank: Private
Service Number: 266332.
Regiment: 7th Bn. Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) Killed In Action Sunday 22nd September 1918 Age 25County Memorial Congleton
Commemorated\Buried VIS-EN-ARTOIS MEMORIAL
Grave\Panel Ref: Panel 6.

Son of Mr. Francis Hammond and Mrs. Fanny Smith Hammond, also the adopted son of Mr. Peter Hackney, and Mrs. Jane Hackney, of 16, Royle Street, Congleton, Cheshire. and husband of Mrs. Emma Hammond (nee Sherratt), of 21, Herbert Street, Congleton, Cheshire. They were married at St, John's Church, Buglawton, Cheshire, on the 28th of September 1915. He had two children, Gladys M. and Winifred M. Hammond. Prior to enlisting he worked as a Fustian Cutter and

Private James Arthur Hammond, served with the 1st/7th Battalion, the Scottish Rifles under the command of the 156th Brigade, 52nd (Lowland) Division. He enlisted early after the outbreak of war. The Battalion sailed from Liverpool on the 24th of May 1915, going via Egypt to Gallipoli, arriving there on the 14th of June 1915. On the 1st of July 1915 after taking heavy casualties they were temporarily merged with the 1St/8th Battalion until the 21st of February 1916. On the 16th of January 1916, they moved via Mudros to Egypt. Then on the 17th of April 1918, the Division left Egypt landing at Marseilles for service in France. On the 3rd of September 1918, the 1st/7th Battalion were situated to the west of Queant where they remained for four days clearing the battlefield. The Battalion then moved to bivouacs at St Leger where it rested until the 18th of September. On the 17th of September, the enemy brought down a heavy barrage on the Mouvres sector, repeated S.O.S. signals were sent out and "B" and "D" Companies were ordered to "stand to". The situation throughout the night was obscure. The enemy had attacked strongly and succeeded in establishing posts in Mouvres. Orders were received on the 18th of September that the Battalion would relieve the 1St/5th Battalion, the Highland Light Infantry on the night of the 20th/21st this order being cancelled and instructions received that the Brigade would be relieved by a Brigade of the 2nd Canadian Division. At 19:00 hours the 155th Brigade retook Mouvres and during the enemy reply to the British artillery barrage the officer commanding "D" Company was killed. The Battalion was relieved by the 124th and 126th Brigade Canadians by 11:30 hours. On the 20th of September, instructions were received to relieve the 155th Brigade in the evening, the Battalion paraded and moved off, the relief being completed by 03:00 hours. The enemy put down a heavy barrage at 03:30 hours on the 21st of September and attacked Mouvres strongly causing the 7th Battalion, the Royal Scots to be driven temporarily out of the forward positions which were retaken by an immediate counter attack. The morning of the 22nd of September was quiet, the 156th Brigade line was firmly established in front of Mouvres, at 21:45 hours the enemy launched a small attack on the left of the Brigade front which was easily repulsed. S.O.S. signals put up on the front were quickly replied to by the artillery. There were no further attacks on the Brigades front. At 22:00 hours, the Battalion dump was heavily shelled causing some casualties to transport. Private James Arthur Hammond was killed in action during the action on the 22nd of September 1918, his body was never recovered, he is remembered on the Vis en Artois Memorial. Pas de Calais, France.

Official news has been received of the death on the 22nd of September 1918, of Private James Arthur Hammond, of the Scottish Rifles. A typical British soldier Private Hammond, who resided at 21, Herbert Street, Congleton, spoke little of his adventures in the war, though he had been in the most sanguinary fighting. He distinguished himself on several occasions by the brave deeds he performed but of these he was loathed to speak. He was a favourite in the Company and his passing has left a deep gloom among those of his many friends still fighting and those at home. His kindly manner endeared him to all with whom he came in contact and as a soldier he won the esteem of his officers by his exemplary conduct. He leaves a widow and two little girls to mourn the loss of a devoted husband and father and in their sad bereavement they will have the deep sympathy of all.

The following letter was sent to Mrs. Hammond from his Commanding Officer,

Dear, Mrs. Hammond,          29th September 1918.

I cannot tell you how sorry I am to tell you of the death of your husband, who was killed by a shell in a hostile bombardment on the 22nd of September 1918. I cannot tell you how sorry I am about it, for he was my batman and I knew him as a very trusty comrade. I wish to offer you the sympathy of the Officers and men of the Company and I can tell you I regret it as he came from a district in which I am much interested. I feel now he is gone that there is indeed, a gap which cannot be bridged. The shell also killed a Potteries man Private Ellis and now I am the only one left who has any interest there. Once again may I express the sincere sympathy of us all in your sad loss.

I am, Yours truly, Captain R. F. S. Aitken.

Cheshire County Memorial Project would like to thank John and Christopher Pullen for this information on James.