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James Atkinson

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Lest We Forget header by Graham Williamson 2017

Home: Lilburn Steads
Date of death: 23 March 1918
Age at death: 25 years
Fate: Died of wounds. James is recorded as having been first wounded on 23 August 1917. However, he recovered from this wounding and returned to action. From the 8th/10th Battalion (Gordon Highlanders) War Diaries, it is fairly certain that he was wounded again on 21 March 1918 in front line trenches east of Monchy-Le-Preux, along with 29 others. James was then taken out of the line to No. 8 Casualty Clearing Station at Agnez-les-Duisans for medical treatment. He died two days later on 23 March 1918 and was buried at Duisans British Cemetery. Unfortunately, as this cemetery received bodies from a Casualty Clearing Station, no record of James’ exact location at the time of his wounding is recorded. (Note 2)
Rank: Lance Corporal
Service No: S/13507
Unit/Regiment: 8th/10th Battalion, Gordon Highlanders
Buried: Duisans British Cemetery Etrun, France (Cemetery/memorial reference:  VI. E. 44). James is also commemorated on the Eglingham War Memorial, Northumberland UK, the Wooler War Memorial, Northumberland UK, and the Branton Presbyterian Church Roll of Honour, Northumberland UK.
Other: Son of William and Agnes Atkinson, of Lilburn Steads, Alnwick, Northumberland

CWGC Casualty Details

ATKINSON James portrait

Lance Corporal James Atkinson

[Image source: The Coldstream & District Local History Society. Used with permission.]

CEM10 Duisans British Cemetery Etrun, France CWGC image

Duisans British Cemetery Etrun, France (image courtesy of CWGC)

Gordon Highlanders regimental badge

Gordon Highlanders

(Image credit: Copyright © The Gordon Highlanders Museum. Used with permission.)

Additional information

James was born at Kirknewton; the son of William and Agnes Atkinson. He later lived at Lilburn Steads. He is mentioned on the Wooler War Memorial and the Branton Presbyterian Church WWI Roll of Honour.

Prior to the war he worked as a counterman and traveller for the Hedgeley Co-op. Below is a photo of staff outside the Hedgeley Co-op in Powburn (which is now the Breamish Hall).

Hedgeley Co-op staff

Staff of the Hedgeley Co-op

James is thought to be standing second from the left (but this has not been confirmed).


  1. In at least one source that we have consulted, James’ surname is given as ‘Aitchison’ (see The Coldstream & District Local History Society: Private James Aitchison). However, we have favoured the use of ‘Atkinson’ for the following reasons: (1) the Wooler Memorial, Northumberland UK lists James as ‘ATKINSON J. (G. H.)’ [The ‘G. H.’ presumably referring to his regiment ‘Gordon Highlanders’], (2) the Branton Presbyterian Church of England, Roll of Honour lists James as ‘ATKINSON, JAMES’ and cites his regiment as ‘Gordon Highlanders’, and (3) the Commonwealth War Graves Commission lists James as ‘ATKINSON, JAMES’ and again citing his regiment as Gordon Highlanders.
  2. We are grateful to Major (Retd) G.A. Irvine-Fortescue DL (Regimental Secretary, The Gordon Highlanders’ Association) for providing the details concerning James’ fate.
Lest we forget

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