Photograph courtesy of Ralph.
Born: 1885, St. Clement’s, Ipswich.
Died: 3rd November 1916; age 34; KiA. Served 2 years & 68 days.
Residence: 37a, Handford Cut, Ipswich.
Enlistment Details: Location: Ipswich; Date: 28th August 1914; Occupation: Electro Plates; Religion: CofE. Height: 5ft & 3 1/2 ins, pale complexion, hazel eyes & dark brown. Tattoo – upper left forearm heart with arrow T. A. L.
Date of Entry Therein: 31st May 1915.
Leave to UK – 15th February 1916 to
22nd February 1916 – joined – 23rd May 1916 – Rouen.
Rank: Private; Service Number: 2867.
Regiment: Army Cyclist Corps, 8th Battalion.
Formerly 12382, Suffolk Regiment.
Medals Awarded: Victory, British War & 1914 – 1915 Star.
Relatives Notified & Address: Son of Stephen & Martha Girling, of 6, Turners Place, St. Helen’s, Ipswich.
1891 18, Alfred Street, Ipswich.
James was 6 years old and living with his parents & sister.
Stephen Herbert Girling, 27, a General Labourer & Fire Brigade man, born London.
Martha Ann Girling (nee Catchpole), 27, born Ipswich.
Gertrude Martha Girling, 1, born Ipswich.
1901 81, Regent Street, Ipswich.
James was 16 years old, a General Labourer. He was living with his parents & siblings.
Stephen, 40, a Merchant & Seaman.
Stephen Ryder Girling, 10, born Ipswich.
Arthur Thomas Girling, 8, born Ipswich.
Grace Dorothy Girling, 6 months, born Ipswich.
1911 12, Victoria Street, Ipswich.
James was 28 years old, an Electrical Plater. He was married and Head of the Household.
Lily, 5 months.
In 1907, at All Saint’s Church, Ipswich, James married, Annie Louisa Mills, born 1886, Ipswich.
They had 4 children:
Alice Grace Girling, born April 1907, Ipswich.
Lily Maud Girling, born January 1911, Ipswich.
Annie Louisa Girling, born January 1914, Ipswich.
James Herbert Girling, born June 1915, Ipswich.
Image from 1916 Suffolk Chronicle and Mercury newspaper.
On the 20th November 1920, Mrs A. L. Girling received her late husband’s 1914 – 1915 Star medal. On the 4th July 1921, she received James’s Victory & British War.
The Cyclist Battalions were introduced before the war, to provide mobile reconnaissance and communications. Armed as a regular soldier they could offer fire support, covering greater distances than a soldier on foot. During WW1, as trench warfare became static, their role turned to delivering paper orders (messages) and regular trench duties of a regular infantry soldier.