Polley, James (No. 36715472)

Polley, James (served as Polly, James)

Private First Class

No. 36715472, 339 Infantry Regiment, 85 Infantry Division, US Army

Died on active service on Friday 12 May 1944 (aged 40)


Body repatriated and interred on 3 December 1948 in Camp Butler National Cemetery, Springfield, Sangamon County, Illinois (Plot C. Grave 214)


Family grave headstone in Ardkeen Parish Church of Ireland Graveyard


In some records his surname is spelt Polly.

James Polley was born on 3 November 1904 in Cloughey, Co. Down and he was a son of William James and Margaret (Maggie) Polley (nee Adair) who were married on 1 December 1885 in Ardkeen Parish Church of Ireland Church and who lived in the townland of Ardkeen.  William James Polley (born 8 September 1862) was a mariner and Maggie Polley (born 17 October 1865) was a seamstress.  They had at least eight children:

Elizabeth (Lizzie, born 21 October 1886 in Cloughey)

Jane (Jeannie, born 5 December 1888 in Cloughey)

William (born 19 February 1892 in Cloughey)

Francis (born 3 August 1894 in Cloughey)

Margaret (Maggie, born 20 December 1896 in Cloughey)

Thomas David (Tommie, born 9 January 1900 in Cloughey)

Catherine (born 21 April 1901 in Cloughey)

James (born 3 November 1904 in Cloughey)

James Polley was four years old when his mother Maggie died of pulmonary tuberculosis on 27 July 1909; his sister Jeannie died of pulmonary tuberculosis on 2 November 1911 (the day before James’s seventh birthday) and James was nine when his father William was drowned at sea on 10 February 1914.

James Polley was brought up by his sister Lizzie.

James Polley’s brother, Thomas David, moved to the United States of America; he entered the US at Detroit, Michigan on 3 November 1923 and became a naturalised US citizen on 19 February 1930.  He and his wife Caroline lived at 7216 South Honore Street, Chicago, Illinois.  Thomas David Polley died in May 1985.

James Polley worked as a carpenter, and he followed his older brother to the United States.  He lived in Chicago from 1927 until 1931 and then he returned to Cloughey for a short time.  On 11 April 1932 he re-entered the US from Halifax, Nova Scotia at Detroit, Michigan.  He resumed residence in Chicago with his brother Thomas.

Described as 5 feet 3 inches tall with a fair complexion, brown hair and brown eyes, James Polley enlisted on 7 December 1941.  He served with 339 Infantry Regiment, 85 Infantry Division in the US Army and he was 40 when he died on 12 May 1944 in Carano, Italy during the Allied advance.  After the war ended his body was repatriated to the US and, on 3 December 1948, he was interred in Camp Butler National Cemetery, Springfield, Sangamon County, Illinois.

James Polley’s death was reported in the 1 July 1944 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle.  He was described as the youngest son of the late William James and Maggie Polley of Cloughey.  He was survived by his brother Tommie Polley living in Chicago, USA and by three sisters and two brothers living in Belfast – Mrs Elizabeth Porter of 27 Glenmore Street; Mrs Margaret Lyons of Nendrum Gardens, Bloomfield; Mrs Catherine McIlhagga of Grace Avenue; William Polley of 23 Jocelyn Gardens and Frank Polley of Omeath Street.

Private James Polley was 40 when he died and he is commemorated on the family grave headstone in Ardkeen Parish Church of Ireland Graveyard, Co. Down.

The American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) does not include individuals who died overseas and were repatriated to the USA for burial.