Private James Meachen

Regiment:  The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment) 1st Battalion Service No:    G/24395
Date & place of birth:   January 1883, Petworth
Date & place of death: 23 April 1917, France

Private James Meachen was one of the few soldiers on the memorial who had married and had children before he went to war.

 Family background

Private James Meachen was the son of Robert and Mary Ann Meachen, of Monument Cottage, Brinksole Heath, Petworth. His father was a gardener in 1891 and a road labourer in 1911. Both parents had died by the 1911 census. Mary Ann had been married before to a Mark Meachen and there were seven half and six full siblings. She was later living at 262, Limbo, London Road, Petworth

Although christened in Petworth, James lived in Byworth and by 1911 was married to Ellen Townsend with three sons and two daughters; later Dorothy was born in 1913. He was a farm labourer living at Riverhill, Egdean.

Military career

James enlisted in Petworth in the Royal Sussex and then moved to the Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment).

Death & commemoration

James  died on 23 April 1917 aged 34, probably during the Arras offensive and is commemorated on the Arras memorial.

Subsequent family history

His daughter Ellen married and had one daughter Jean.

Midhurst U3A WW1 War Memorial Project