No. 4153, Royal Irish Regiment, transferred to
No. 21942, 7th/8th Battalion, Princess Victoria’s (Royal Irish Fusiliers)
Died of wounds on Thursday 22 November 1917 (aged 42)
Bucquoy Road Cemetery, France (Grave II. E. 12)
In some records his surname is spelt Fitzsimons.
James Fitzsimmons was born on 15 April 1875 in the townland of Ballyphilip, Portaferry and he was a son of George and Mary Fitzsimmons (nee Tomilty, sometimes Tomelty, sometimes Tumelty) who were married on 3 November 1866 in Portaferry Roman Catholic Church.
George Fitzsimmons was a seaman and he and Mary had at least seven children:
Mary (born 18 August 1867 in Portaferry)
Jane (born 19 January 1870 in Portaferry)
Georgina (born 1 August 1872 in Portaferry)
James (born 15 April 1875 in Portaferry)
Thomas (born 14 April 1878 in Portaferry)
William (born 22 June 1881 in Portaferry)
Martha (born 5 March 1883 in Portaferry)
After leaving school, James Fitzsimmons worked as a handyman.
James Fitzsimmons and Catherine Donnan were married on 3 February 1904 in Ballyphilip Roman Catholic Church Portaferry. Catherine Donnan, a servant from Portaferry, was a daughter of William Donnan, a labourer.
James and Catherine Fitzsimmons (nee Donnan) had six children:
Jane (born 31 August 1906 in Ann Street, Portaferry)
James Anthony (born 14 April 1908 in Ann Street, Portaferry)
George Joseph (born 9 May 1910 in Ballymanish, Portaferry)
Sarah Bridget (born 22 January 1912 in Rockfield, Portaferry)
Andrew (born 16 October 1913 in Knocknagow, Portaferry)
William Francis (born 8 January 1915 in Knocknagow, Portaferry)
James Fitzsimmons enlisted on 1 September 1915 in Newtownards. It was noted in his attestation papers that he was 5 feet 5 inches tall with blue eyes and brown hair. He had a scar on his left forearm. He went overseas on 18 February 1916.
When Private James Fitzsimmons died of a gunshot wound to the abdomen in No. 43 Casualty Clearing Station on 22 November 1917 he was serving with the 7th/8th Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers and before that he served with the Royal Irish Regiment (No. 4153). His wife Catherine was living in Knocknagow, Portaferry.
Private James Fitzsimmons (No. 21942) was buried in Bucquoy Road Cemetery, France and there is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:
SACRED HEART OF JESUS
HAVE MERCY ON HIM