STEMBRIDGE, James J
2nd Battalion Alexandra, Princess of Wales' Own Yorkshire Regiment; 6th D.L.I. (Durham Light Infantry)
Son of William and Emma Stembridge of 4 Wood Street.
James married Florence Stembridge of 69 Galgate in late November 1916 whilst he was on leave. They took a short honeymoon in Redcar.
29th Sep 1918
Killed in action by shellfire
Chapel Corner Cemetery, Sauchy-Lestree
A letter to James' widow from Captain and Adjutant L. Simpson details how James was killed by shell fire during an attack on 29/09/1918:
"He and another officer were killed instantaneously by the same shell. He took his part and share in the attack, and carried out all his orders in a most gallant way. Second Lieutenant Stembridge's death is a great loss to the battalion, and you will understand what it means to a battalion to lose good officers at a time like this. Your husband was buried on the outskirts of the Cambrai sector, and a cross will be erected as soon as the battle ceases. I shall be pleased to help you in any little way I can. Will you please overlook the fact of this intelligence being sent in a scrappy note, as we are still in active operations."
Prior to enlisting James had worked at the local Co-op store and later in Middlesbrough.
While abroad serving with his in early 1916 he was promoted to the ranks of Company Sergeant Major.
The Mercury reported how one of the 'most cherished documents' left behind by James was a copy of an address delivered by Brigadier General Shea.
Included on the â€œList of former Scholars of this School (Barnard Castle National Boys' School) now serving with His Majesty's Forces.â€
Number on the admission register - 1530