Simpson, James Francis (No. 92343)

Simpson, James Francis (James)

Gunner

No. 3465, 9th Battalion, Royal Scots, transferred to

No. 92343, ‘C’ Battalion, Tank Corps

Died of wounds on Friday 30 November 1917 (aged 22)

Buried:

Rocquigny-Equancourt Road British Cemetery, France (Grave IV. A. 22)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Carrowdore Parish Church of Ireland Church (Christ Church)

BIOGRAPHY

James Francis Simpson was born on 10 April 1895 in the townland of Ganaway and he was a son of William and Mary Eliza Simpson (nee Dempster) who were married on 1 November 1878 in Carrowdore Parish Church of Ireland Church (Christ Church).

The Simpson family lived in the townlands of Ballywhisken and Ganaway.

William Simpson worked as an agricultural labourer, Mary Eliza Simpson worked as a sewer (embroiderer) and they had eight children including:

William (born 8 September 1886 in Ballywhisken)

Margaret Anne (born 12 June 1892 in Ganaway)

James Francis (born 10 April 1895 in Ganaway)

Hugh Samuel (born 5 May 1897 in Ganaway)

Robert Douglas McKeag (born 20 September 1900 in Ganaway).

James Francis Simpson enlisted early in 1915 in Edinburgh and went to France on 13 October 1915 with the 9th Battalion Royal Scots (No. 3465).  He was wounded twice.  At the beginning of 1917 he was transferred to the Tank Corps (No. 92343) and he died from wounds sustained during the Battle of Cambrai.  At the time of Gunner James Simpson’s death his younger brother Hugh was serving in Salonika.

After the War Office notified his parents that James had died, they placed a For King and Country notice in the Newtownards Chronicle and it contained the verse:

Sleep on, dear son, in your foreign grave,

A grave we may never see;

But as long as life and memory last

We will remember thee.

Gunner James Francis Simpson was 22 when he died and he was buried in Rocquigny-Equancourt Road British Cemetery, France.

In 1918, his parents placed an In Memoriam notice in the Newtownards Chronicle and it contained the verse:

When last we saw him smiling,

He looked so strong and brave,

We little thought how soon he’d be

Laid in a soldier’s grave.

The midnight stars are gleaming

Upon his silent grave;

The one we dearly loved lies sleeping

In a British soldier’s grave.

Gunner James Francis Simpson is commemorated in Carrowdore Parish Church of Ireland Church (Christ Church).

James Simpson’s father William died on 24 November 1940 (aged 86) and his mother Mary Eliza died on 12 April 1948 (aged 87).