James Herbert Blandford

Date of birth: 1888
Place of birth: Southampton
Service No.: 291601
Rank: Private
Regiment / Division: Middlesex
Battalion: 2/10th (T.F) battalion
Died: 19 April 1917, aged 28 years
Buried: Gaza War Cemetery, Israel (Plot VII, Row E, Grave 9)

Life before the War

James was the youngest of 5 siblings born to Frederick Alfred and Charlotte Blandford (nee Rood), who married in Southampton in 1866.

Frederick was a bootmaker who was born in the city in 1843, and he died in Southampton in 1920. Charlotte was born in Bursledon in 1845 and she passed away in the city in 1926.

Siblings:

  1. Charles Frederick   b. 1868 Southampton   d. 1894 Southampton
  2. Annie   b. 1870 Southampton   d. 1933 Southampton   Married George Sheath in Southampton in 1892.
  3. Frederick William   b. 1874 Southampton   d. 1920 Southampton   Married Martha Parsons in West Ham in 1899.
  4. William Alexander   b. 1880 Southampton   d. 1918 Alverstoke   Married Emily Ellen Lilly Currell in Southampton in 1906. Married Nelly M. Batson in Southampton in 1913.
  5. James Herbert

War Service

The Battalion was formed at Stamford Brook in September 1914. It soon moved to Staines and became attached to the 2/Middlesex Brigade (201st), 2/Home Counties Division (67th). Upon transferring to Cambridge on 24 April 1915, the battalion became part of the 160th (Welsh Border) Brigade in the 53rd (Welsh) Division.

On 18 July 1915, the brigade sailed from Devonport bound for Gallipoli. They landed at Suvla Bay on 9 August, and took part in operations until December.

The brigade then moved to Egypt, where it stayed until transferring to Palestine in early 1917.

At the end of March, Gaza was attacked and surrounded by the newly-arrived Egyptian Expeditionary Force in the first Battle of Gaza. The attack was broken off when Turkish reinforcements appeared on the scene.
The Second Battle of Gaza, 17-19 April, was when James lost his life; it left the Turks in control of the city.

The cemetery contains 3217 Commonwealth WW1 burials, the majority from the 52nd(Lowland), the 53rd (Welsh), the 54th (East Anglian) and the 74th (Yeomanry) Divisions.

James’ headstone reads: “In ever fond memory.”

Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 10/08/2015
Updated:

If you have any more information about the above named person, or any other name listed on this website or Southampton’s Cenotaph, please email Southampton.cenotaph@hotmail.co.uk, or telephone 023 8086 9599 and we will contact you.

Many thanks.

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