Regiment: 2nd Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment
Service No: G/1471
Date & place of birth: 1883 in Compton Dunton, Somerset
Date & place of death: 9 May 1915 at Richebourg L`Avou, Pas-de-Calais, France, aged 32
William James Patten, who is commemorated on the Selham war memorial as ‘James’, appears to be the brother of Joseph Patten who subsequently lived in Selham and hence James was the uncle of Tom Franklin Patten who also appears on the Selham war memorial.
William James Patten was born in Compton Dundon, Langport, Somerset, the fourth child of William Patten, an agricultural labourer from Long Load, Somerset, and his wife Lavinia Mary née Perrin, from Martock, Long Load, Somerset.
By 1911 he was employed as a carter in Lagness, Pagham, Sussex. He was still single.
James, as he was clearly known, enlisted for service in the Royal Sussex Regiment in Chichester soon after war was declared.
On 4 January 1915 he travelled to his battalion in France as part of the British Expeditionary Force.
Death & commemoration
James was killed in action at Richebourg L`Avou, Pas-de-Calais, France on 9 May 1915. He was 32.
He is commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial panels 20 and 21, and on the Selham, Bognor Regis and Pagham war memorials.
Subsequent family history
James’s sister Lottie Patten died in Midhurst RD in 1967 aged 89.