Burntwood Family History Group
   Home      Z Burntwood Servicemen PENTON James
 
Burntwood Family History Group
James PENTON
 
 
Researched and written by Mike INSKIP, Alan BETTS and Chris GRADDON
 
James PENTON was born on the 21st November 1894 in Norton Canes, Staffordshire, and was the fifth eldest of 11 children (5 boys and 6 girls) born to parents Thomas PENTON and Sarah Alice PENTON (nee BARKER)
 
Thomas PENTON a Coal Miner from Brownhills, Staffordhire, married Sarah Alice BARKER on the 26th July 1886 at the Parish Church of Saint James the Great, in Norton Canes. On marriage, Thomas was a bachelor aged 23, and Sarah was a spinster from Norton Canes, also aged 23. They were married by the curate Walter William BOULTON in the presence of John PENTON and Eliza Ann PENTON
 
Thomas PENTON died in Cannock aged 77 in 1939, and his wife Sarah Alice PENTON died in Cannock aged 78 in 1942
 
James PENTON is the great uncle of Michael INSKIP
 
His birth was registered at Cannock Registry Office in the March quarter of 1894, volume 6b page 541. He was baptised at Norton Canes Primitive Methodist Church. He attended Norton Canes Boys School
 
James was baptised at the Trinity (Primitive) Methodist Church in Norton Canes on 20 December 1894 and his birth was registered at Cannock Register Office in the first quarter of 1895. Like his elder brother, James attended Norton Canes Boys School
 
By the time of the 1901 census, he was living in Norton Canes with his parents
 
On the 1911 census, 2nd April James was living with his parents and seven siblings at 27 St Johns Road Cannock. He was aged 17, single and working down the mine, a Trammer underground. His father and two of his brothers also worked in the coal mine
 
 
(*1) Extract from 1911 Census
 
As he grew up, James took an interest in boxing, and had a promising career ahead of him, but on the onset of the First World War, James signed up in the Army. His younger brother Harry PENTON had already enlisted in 1913, aged just 17, and his elder brother Thomas PENTON signed up in January 1915. He was still a Miner when he was medically examined. He enlisted at Hednesford on the 2nd September 1914 and joined the Prince of Wales’s Volunteers (8th Battalion South Lancashire Regiment) as Private 15298
 
(The 8th Battalion was formed in Warrington in Sep 1914 and attached to the 75th Brigade, 25th Division. Units were assembled around Salisbury in Sep 1914 and then moved to Aldershot in May 1915 for final training. It crossed to France 25 -30 September and was deployed around the area of Nieppe (now on the Franco Belgian border)
Harry his younger brother, had already enlisted in 1913, aged just 17, and Thomas his elder brother to had enlisted in 1915 aged 24
 
James was sent to Bournemouth for his training. Whilst there, he continued his boxing, and fought many fights and won several Open Boxing Competitions, including Cup and Gold Medal
 
                   
 
(*2) James centre with army mates acting as seconds     (*3) James posing     (*4) James back right, army mates acted as seconds
 
James was sent to Armentieries, France, and disembarked there on the 28th September 1915. Just after three months into his posting, he was serving in Ploegsteert Wood. On the 14th January 1916 James was shot and killed by a sniper. He was aged 22
 
James was buried at Rifle House Cemetery III. B. 4., Comines-Warneton, Hainaut, South Western Belgium. There are 228 servicemen buried in the cemetery, which lies between Messines and Ypres
 
         
 
(*5) Rifle House Cemetery Entrance            (*6) Rifle House Cemetery
 
                                                                                             
 
(*7) Rifle House Cemetery Plan showing the location of James PENTON's grave     (*8) James headstone
 
James death is recorded in the book ‘Walsall & District, The Roll of the Great War 1914-1919'
 
         
 
(*9) The Roll of the Great War’         (*10) Entry in ‘The Roll of the Great War’
 
James home address was 33 St John’s Road, Cannock, the same as his brother Harry
 
James was awarded the 1914 - 1915 Star Medal, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal (posthumously)
 
 
(*11) James Medal Card
 
                   
 
(*12) 1914-1915 Star Medal (*13) British War Medal (*14) Victory Medal
 
 
 
 

(*15) Newspaper entry in the Walsall Observer 29 01 1916
(*16) Newspaper photograph in the Walsall Observer 29 01 1916
(*17) Newspaper entry and photograph in the Cannock Advertiser 29 01 1916
(*18) Newspaper entry in the Cannock Advertiser 29 01 1916r
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
(*19) James name appears on Norton Canes Primary School War Memorial
(*22) James name appears on the Cannock Market Place War Memorial
 
 
In 2010, James daughter Annette MARTIN (nee LEIGHTON), visited Rifle House Cemetery and laid a wreath at the gravestone of her father James
 
 
(*23) Annette MARTIN (nee LEIGHTON) daughter of James PENTON
 
Item, Source and Credit
(*1)      Extract from the 1911 Census © The National Archives
(*2)      Photograph James PENTON © Mike INSKIP
(*3)      Photograph James PENTON © Mike INSKIP
(*4)      Photograph James PENTON © Mike INSKIP
(*5)      Photograph Rifle House Cemetery © CWGC
(*6)      Photograph Rifle House Cemetery © CWGC
(*7)      Photograph Rifle House Cemetery Plan © War Graves Photographic Project
(*8)      Photograph James PENTON headstone © Mike INSKIP
(*9)      Photograph ‘Walsall & District, The Roll of the Great War 1914-1919' © Walsall Local History Centre
(*10)    Photograph of entry in ‘Walsall & District, The Roll of the Great War 1914-1919' © Walsall Local History Centre
(*11)    Photograph Medical card © Ancestry
(*12)    Photograph 1914-1915 Star Medal © Alan BETTS BFHG
(*13)    Photograph British War Medal © Alan BETTS BFHG
(*14)    Photograph Victory Medal © Alan BETTS BFHG
(*15)    Newspaper entry © Walsall Local History Centre
(*16)    Photograph James PENTON © Walsall Local History Centre
(*17)    Newspaper entry and photograph © Cannock Library
(*18)    Newspaper entry © Cannock Library
(*19)    Photograph Norton Canes Primary School War Memorial © Alan BETTS BFHG
(*20)    Photograph Norton Canes Saint James the Great Church War Memorial © Alan BETTS BFHG
(*21)    Photograph Norton Canes Saint James the Great Church War Memorial © Alan BETTS BFHG
(*22)    Photograph Cannock Market Place War Memorial © Alan BETTS BFHG
(*23)    Photograph James PENTON headstone © Mike INSKIP
 
 
 
Home                        Burntwood Servicemen                          Chasetown War Memorial