DRIVER 198296 ROYAL FIELD ARTILLERY/413TH BATTERY 302ND BRIGADE
DIED ON 25TH SEPTEMBER 1918 AGE 28 YRS
REMEMBERED WITH HONOUR RAMLEH WAR CEMETERY,ISRAEL
GRAVE REF: CC31
James Witney was born in 1889 in Little Marlow, Buckinghamshire. He was the son of George and Mary nee Smith. In 1871 his parents were living in Flackwell Heath with one son George who was a baby. In 1881 the family were living at “The Chapel” with Thomas Smith, Mary’s widowed father who was a fruiterer. The children listed were Albert aged 11yrs, Eliza aged 9yrs and Louisa aged 3mths. By 1901 James is listed as being 13yrs old and there is an older sister Georgina aged 20 and a younger brother Earny (sic) aged 9yrs.
The 1911 Census shows James at home with his widowed mother Mary, head of the household. His brother Sidney Ernest is 18yrs old. There are two other children listed as granddaughters, Mary Ann and Sarah May. Also living with them is Georgina and her husband Alfred Bowler and a baby boy born on April 1st. Alfred also died in WW1 and is also remembered on the Flackwell Heath War Memorial.
James married Lucy Lily Wingrove in 1912. (Ancestry Family Trees record a son born 1913.)
James enlisted at High Wycombe and in 1918 he was engaged in action in the Middle East. He died here, probably during the final advance through Palestine. By September 19th the troops had advanced several hundred miles and taken thousands of prisoners. The outcome was the destruction of the Ottaman/Turkish resistance. The Ramleh War Cemetery in Israel dates from November 1917 when Ramleh was occupied by 1st Australian Light Horse Brigade. Field ambulances and later Clearing Stations were posted here from December 1917. There are 3,766 burials of WW1 men here.
Widowed Lucy re- married in 1920 to Richard Abdy (spelt Adby on CWGC website).