James Harlington Gillen

Date of birth: 1866
Place of birth: County Armagh, Ireland
Service No.: TR8924 / TR10867
Rank: Corporal
Regiment / Division: Service Royal Engineers
Battalion: Not known
Died: 1918 aged 42 years
Death location: At home


Life Before the War
When he was living at 16 Richmond Street, Southampton, James was employed as an Excavator.

He married (Lilian) Emma Covington Crop, born in 1868 in Wimborne, Dorset,  on 17th March 1899 in Portsmouth.  They had 5 daughters and 1 son:

Lilliane Mary born January 1st 1900 in Southampton

Violet Kathleen born July 14th 1901

Vera May Beatrice born January 2nd 1904

Patricia Constantine Irene born January 11th 1906

John James William born November 9th 1908

Dorothy Ellen Eileen Evelyn born February 11th 1913

The 1901 census shows him working as a Litho Copper Plate Printer and  living at 31 Foundry Lane, Shirley, Southampton with his wife and Liliane.

In 1911 the census shows he was living at in 4 rooms at 2 Lansdowne Hill, Southampton with his wife and 5 children.  At this time he was working as a Dock Labourer.


War Service
James’s service record shows that he spent 20 years in the Artillery and Infantry and was promoted to Corporal.  It also describes him as being 5’8″  with a 38″ girth.

When he enlisted on 19th August 1915  he went into the 5th Labour battalion.  He embarked on 28th August 1915 and left for France, serving there from 28th August 1915 until 14th December 1915.  He returned home on 15th December 1915  – 9th June 1916. He was discharged from the Royal Engineers Depot Labour Battalion Company on 9th June 1916 being declared no longer physically fit for service.

He died at home in March 1918. He was entitled to the Victory Medal, 14-15 star and the British War Medal.


Researcher: Brenda White
Published: October 2014
Updated: Insert dates here

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