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Born: 25th February 1888, Shoeburyness, Essex.

Died: 14th April 1915; age 27; KiA at Neuve Chapelle, France.

Residence: 305, Bramford Road, Ipswich.

Occupation: Labourer.

Enlistment Location: Ipswich; Date: 26th March 1906; Age: 18 years. Next of Kin: John William Meakings. Height: 5ft 4ins.

Date of Entry Therein: 7th November 1914.



Transferred to the 3rd Battalion, then stationed at Malta.

In December 1907, James left Malta to join the 2nd Battalion in India, where he remained until his battalion was ordered to France on the outbreak of war.


James was a member of the Army Temperance Association in India, and received two medals. He was also in the Garrison Military Police at the Delhi Durbar.


Rank: Rifleman; Service Number: 1625

Regiment: Rifle Brigade, 2nd Battalion.


Medals Awarded: Victory, British War & 1914 Star.


Memorial Reference:

Panel 44.

Le Touret Memorial,

Pas de Calais,



Relatives Notified & Address: Son of John William & Ellen Hannah Meakings, of 305, Bramford Road, Ipswich.




1891   11, St. John’s Cottages, Bramford, Suffolk.


James was 3 years old and living with his parents & sister.

John William Meakings, 43, a Carpenter, born Creeting St. Peter’s, Suffolk.

Ellen Hannah Meakings (nee Firman), 26, born Ipswich.

Rosa Amelia Meakings, 1, born Shoeburyness, Essex.


1901   46, Bramford Lane, Ipswich.


James was 13 years old and living with his parents & sisters.

John, 52, a Carpenter.

Ellen, 37.

Rosa, 11.

Florence Meakings, 9, born Bramford, Suffolk.

Gertrude May Meakings, 3, born Ipswich.


James attended Bramford Road School, Ipswich.


Soldiers’ Effects to John W. Meakings – father.

James is also remembered on SPRINGFIELD SCHOOL ww1 Memorial, Ipswich.

The Battle of Neuve Chapelle 10th – 13th March 1915 was the first planned British offensive of the war. The objective was to take the German line at the Village of Neueve Chapelle and break out and head towards the City of Lille, with the main objective taking the Aubers Ridge beyond which was of strategic value. The Battle started well with a heavy bombardment of the German line (more shells fired on this occasion than the entire Boer War) with an advance which successfully took most of the first and second line trenches, but due to poor communications stalled once the village had been taken. The Germans then had time to set up more defensive lines outside of the village and hold the British advance. 40,000 British and Indian troops took part in the Battle with over 10,000+ Casualties.

Rifle Brigade, 2nd Battalion

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