Coleshill Remembers World War 1
As a free service to the World War 1 commemoration year, ST-IT Limited have created and are hosting a free database of Coleshill connected veterans.
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Entry for Private James Kilkenny
2nd Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment
Year of Birth
Date of Death
James Kilkenny was born in Birmingham on the 9th May 1886. His father, also called James, worked as a Bricklayer. By 1901 James was living at the St Paul’s Home, Coleshill, Warwickshire, having previously been under the care of the Birmingham Board of Guardians. It is not clear what happened to his parents. At the age of 14 James was as a half-time student at St Paul’s and also working as a shoemaker. Upon leaving Coleshill James enlisted in the Army, probably the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, completing his training by 1906. After leaving the Army he worked for a short time for the London and North Western Railway (probably in the Midlands) as a labourer. On Christmas Day 1909 James married Louisa (Lucy) Liddiard at St Asaph’s Church, Birmingham. Their first child Annie Elizabeth was born in 1910. The family were living with Louisa’s mother at Bow Street, Birmingham, in 1911 and James was working as a stoker in a factory. They had two more children, Catherine in 1911 (died the same year) and Lucy who was born in 1913. At this time James was working for the Midland Rubber Company. Upon the outbreak of war, as a Reservist, Private Kilkenny (service number 9459) would have been immediately re-called to the Army and was posted to the 1st Royal Warwickshire Regiment at Shorncliffe, Kent, forming part of the 10th Brigade, 4th Division. They were quickly mobilised and sailed for France on 22nd August 1914, after initially being held back to defend England against a possible German invasion. The Regiment arrived at Boulogne the following day and travelled by train and then route march to Aucourt, arriving there on 26th August, when they encountered their first action of the war. Private Kilkenny was wounded in the retreat from Mons and by mid-September 1914 he had returned to the Midlands and been admitted to the 1st Southern General Hospital (Bournbrook), Birmingham. He returned to France in June 1915 and joined the 2nd Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Private Kilkenny was killed in action on the 24th August 1915 and is buried in Plot II, Row A, Grave 30 at Le Touret Military Cemetery, Richebourg-l’Avoue, France. He was posthumously awarded the 1914 Star, British War and Allied Victory medals. For serving under fire he was also awarded the Clasp to the 1914 Star Medal. Private Kilkenny is also remembered on the War Memorial in St Teresa and the Sacred Heart, Coleshill, and in the WW1 Roll of Honour in the Hall of Memory, Birmingham.
Coventry Evening Telegraph 18th September 1914 Royal Warwickshire Casualties The following casualties are notified: Royal Warwickshire Regiment – wounded, admitted 1st Southern General Hospital, Birmingham, Private J. Kilkenny, 9459.
Birmingham Daily Mail 6th September 1915 LOCAL ROLL OF HONOUR Notification has been received by relatives of the deaths of:- Private James Kilkenny, of the 2nd Royal Warwicks. His widow and two children live at 32, Bow Street, Birmingham, and before he joined the army Private Kilkenny was employed by the Midland Rubber Company. He was wounded in the retreat from Mons, and was for a time at the Bournbrook Hospital, returning to France in June.
Birmingham Daily Mail 24th August 1917 KILKENNY – In loving memory of James Kilkenny, R.W.R., killed in action Aug 24, 1914. Not forgotten by his wife, children, mother-in-law.