|Date of birth:||7th May 1891|
|Place of birth:||Southampton|
|Regiment:||Canadian Infantry / Alberta Regiment|
|Died:||16th September 1916 aged 25 years|
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Before the War
James was born on 7th May 1891 to James Appleby Martin (29/01/1861 – 17/06/1930) and Annie Ploughman (nee Plume 26/09/1862 – 15/07/1950). His parents were married on 2nd September 1882 in Kensington, London.
James’ 7 siblings were:
Annie Gertrude (1883) Married Rene F J Pinet in 1911.
Margaret (11/11/1886 – 1982)
Dorothy (22/02/1889 – 1969) Married Charles Hogge in 1916.
Beatrix Mary (10/04/1893 – 1986) Married Reginald J C Weber in 1916.
Winifred Elizabeth (1896)
Muriel Phyllis (11/07/1899 – 1984) Married David Percival Larham in 1927.
Marjorie Gladys (25/03/1901 – 1996) Married Robert N S Pearce in 1928.
On the 1901 census James is living with his family at 235 Portswood Road, Southampton. His father is employed as a Boot Buyer and his sister Annie is a Draper’s Assistant. Also living at the address is James’ aunt Elizabeth and two servants.
By the 1911 census the family are still at the same address except for James, who emigrated to Canada in 1910, and Margaret, who is a patient at Southampton Hospital. James’ aunt Elizabeth and one domestic servant are also living at the address. Margaret, Dorothy and Beatrix were teachers. Winifred was still at school and she too became a teacher. On 12th September 1924 she sailed from London to Shanghai, China.
James sailed from London on 16th March 1910 aboard SS Sardinian and arrived in St John, New Brunswick, Canada on 30th March 1910. He planned to live in Winnipeg, Manitoba and work as a Missionary.
James was working as a farm hand when he enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force in Brandon, Manitoba on 3rd April 1915.
The Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) was formed in Canada from August 1914 onwards.
By the end of the war more than 250 battalions had been formed. Although most battalions made it as far as England only a few served in France and Flanders. The others were usually disbanded at a Training Depot in England and the men sent as reinforcements to the CEF in France.
James was posted to the 45th Battalion and embarked for England on 1st April 1916. His Battalion then embarked for France on 6th May 1916 and on arrival he was transferred to the 49th Battalion.
On 15th August 1916 James was in the field hospital suffering from Pyrexia (fever). He was discharged on 21st August 1916 and returned to his unit.
On 13th September the 49th Battalion marched to Albert and made camp at Tara Hill. Orders were received on 15th September to move to the Chalk Pits and an attack was to start at 6.15pm. On 16th September a total of 253 casualties were caused by heavy shelling from the enemy.
James was reported missing between 15th and 18th September and later reported as killed in action on 16th September 1916.
James was awarded the Victory medal and the British War medal and these were sent to his father, together with the Plaque and Scroll. The Memorial Cross was sent to his mother.
He is buried in Ovilliers Military Cemetery, Somme, France. Grave reference X111.Q.2. The cemetery is north east of Albert which was known then as No Mans Land. The cemetery was started in August 1916 and used until March 1917. There are 3440 Commonwealth servicemen buried or commemorated in the cemetery.
James is also remembered on the Highfield Memorial, Highfield Church, Portswood, Southampton and also at Southampton Old Cemetery. Grave reference N150 079. The inscription on the Ploughman family grave reads:
Sacred to the memory of James Alfred Ploughman
Born May 7th 1891
Killed at Courcelette Sep. 16th 1916
Fighting for us
Also of Mary Williams, grand-mother of the above
Born July 13th 1824, died Jan. 3rd 1898
Also sacred to the memory of James Appleby Ploughman
The dearly loved husband of Annie Ploughman
June 17th 1930, aged 69 years
Also the above named Annie Ploughman
Who feel asleep July 15th 1950 aged 87 years
Old Tauntonians’ Memorial Roll
Time at Taunton’s School: 1902-1905
Education & Employment: James was born on 7th May 1891 in Southampton. James was his parents only son and he had 7 sisters. He worked as a farm labourer after he emigrated to Canada.
Life during the War: James lived with his parents on Portswood Road until he emigrated to Canada in 1910. He enlisted on 3rd April 1915 in Brandon, Manitoba. James was in the 49th Battalion of the Canadian Infantry, in the Alberta regiment. His regiment was in the trenches as Courcelette when he and two other men went, on the night of 15th September, to connect with the left flank of the company. They were declared missing and later reported to be killed in action. James is buried in Ovillers British Cemetery in France.
James died on 16th September 1916 aged 25 years.
|Published.:||3rd July 2013|
|Updated:||14th August 2014|
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