James George Hales

Date of birth: 29th September 1885
Place of birth: Norwich
Regiment: Royal Garrison Artillery
Battalion: 154th Siege Battery
Rank / Service No: Gunner, 352347
Died: 22nd June 1917, aged 31 years
Commemorated: Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium


James was the oldest of 3 known siblings born to James Thomas and Elizabeth Ann Hales (nee Pratt), who married in Norwich on 25 December 1881.

It is known that the couple had 5 children, so it must be assumed that two died in infancy.


James, a carpenter, was born in Chatham in 1850 and he died in Portswood in 1911.

Elizabeth was born in Norwich in 1851 and she passed away in Southampton in 1922.



James George 

Arthur John   b. 7 May 1888 Southampton   d. 1976 Lewes   Married Ruby A. Alexander in Southampton in 1913.

Ernest Edward   b. 1 February 1892   d. 1959 Southampton   A carpenter and butcher !


The 3 brothers were living with their cousin at 45 Priory Road, Portswood at the 1911 Census.

The cousin in question was one Marjorie Eleanor Ensor, who also acted as the boys’ housekeeper.


In no time, Marjorie became Mrs James Hales…….they married in Portswood in the second quarter of 1911.


The couple had one son……

George James   b. 1913 Southampton   d. ??


Marjorie had been born in High Wycombe in 1885; she remarried in 1922, to Henry S. Neale.

She passed away in Winchester in 1973.


It is known that the 154th Siege Battery was formed from gunners from a Hampshire R.G.A Territorial Force, and that a large number of these men worked at Eastleigh railway depot.


The unit arrived in France on 30 August 1916 and spent all of its time around Ypres. At the time of James’ death, the unit was part of the 43rd Heavy Artillery Group.


A book was written by Captain Maurice C. Walker specifically about the 154th Battery….” A History of 154 Siege Battery R.G.A France 1916-19.”




Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 1st September 2016


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