1/3rd Battalion, London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers), 12 March 1915
De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour
Extract from the above publication – SANDHAM, JAMES FREDERICK, Serjeant, No.566, 1/3rd Battalion (Royal Fusiliers) The London Regiment (Territorial Force), only son of James Sandham, of 6, East Block, Peabody Buildings, Chelsea, by his wife, Sophie, daughter of William Bryant; born Chelsea, South West, 19 November 1888; was in the employ of Messrs. George Pulman & Sons, Printers, of High Street, Marylebone; joined B Company 1/3rd Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, of which Mr. H. Pulman was Captain, 8 May, 1909; volunteered for Imperial Service, and left for Malta, 4 September 1914; left there for France, 31 December following and died at the Clearing Hospital, Merville, 12 March, 1915, of wounds received in the Battle of Neuve Chapelle on the 10th. Buried in Merville Cemetery, Grave F2. Captain H.A. Moore, commanding D Company, 1/3rd Royal Fusiliers, wrote he “died from wounds received while serving with my company in a charge which was successfully made against the German trenches in the afternoon of Wednesday, the 10th, during the recent Battle of Neuve Chapelle. It will be some comfort to you to know that Serjeant Sandham did his duty bravely, and fought and died like a true British soldier.” And a comrade wrote that the battalion had lost one of its best men, who had died like a hero, his last words being to kiss his boy and to tell his wife not to worry as he had done his duty. Serjeant Sandham married at Marylebone Parish Church, 1911, Alice (16p, Sutton Dwellings, Chelsea, S.W.), daughter of William Brown, of 39B, Lewis Buildings, Chelsea, and had a son, Frederick Alfred, born 18 November 1911.
3rd Battalion, London Regiment, War Diary
The War Diary for the 1st/3rd Battalion, London Regiment says very little with respect of the attack on the enemy trenches on 10 March 1915 in which James (Frederick) was wounded and subsequently died from injuries. It states the following :-
“10th March 1915 – Bombardment of enemy’s trenches at 7.30 am. Trenches taken 9 am. Charge by ‘C’ & ‘D’ Companies. Total casualties for the battalion – 8 officers and 160 other ranks.”
Further Research on his Civilian and Military Life
Further research has found that the information relating to the background and birth of James Frederick Sandham in De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour is not wholly correct. The correct date of birth for James who appears to call himself Frederick throughout his military career is 17 November 1889.
16 April 1911, he married Alice Brown at St. Marylebone Parish Church, Westminster, London.
18 November 1911 his son Frederick Alfred Sandham was born.
James is shown as having enlisted at Edward Street, Deptford, London having previously been shown throughout his working life as a Printer. He accompanied his regiment to France arriving in that Theatre of War on the 6 January 1915. His unit spent some time in Etaples getting their equipment up to standard before joining the Indian Army Corps shortly before the Battle of Neuve Chapelle and being placed near Port Arthur just south of Neuve Chapelle.
Two months after his arrival in France he was wounded while his unit was engaged in an attack on enemy trenches on 10 March 1915 on the first day of The Battle of Neuve Chapelle and died in a Casualty Clearing Station two days later on the 12th March 1915. He left a wife and son and was buried at Merville Communal Cemetery, Nord, France.
James Frederick Sandham was born on 17 November 1889 at Chelsea, London. The following family information is taken from the 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911 Censuses, Marriage Certificate and Pension Card.
His family is shown as follows :-
- Wife – Alice Brown or Sandham, born c.1891
- Son – Fred Alfred Sandham, born 18 November 1911
- Father – James?
- Mother – Sophia Sandham, born c.1853 at Vauxhall, London – Charwomen.
- Step-Sister – Eliza Sandham, born c.1875 at Chelsea, London – Domestic Servant.
- Step-Brother – George Sandham, born c.1877 at Chelsea, London.
- Step-Brother – Stephen Sandham, born c.1879 at Chelsea, London.
Although it is mentioned in the De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour that the father of James was James Sandham, this cannot be correct. That is not saying his fathers name was not James, but it is unlikely to have been Sandham. His mother Sophia had previously been married to George Sandham, born c.1841 at Binstead, Hampshire, a Hawker of Fruit. They had at least three children by their union, Eliza, George and Stephen. The father George senior, died in 1882 leaving Sophia with three children. Her occupation throughout was shown as Charwomen, a part-time cleaning lady. It is probable that James was illegitimate as his birth was registered solely by his mother on the 5 January 1890 having been born the previous November and she is shown as Spinster, she is also shown as the head of the family in all the following Censuses. In only the 1891 Census he is shown as also residing with a Step-Sibling, namely Eliza. It would also appear that James’s marriage to Alice Brown was also due to a pregnancy as he was married in April 1911 and his son was born in the November of the same year.
His wife later went on to re-marry following his death and her surname was later changed to Hector, her addresses were shown as 128 North Way, Willesden, Brent and 39d Lewis Street, Chelsea.
The following addresses have been ascertained for James Frederick Sandham :-
- 1890 Baptism Record – 111 Arthur Street, Chelsea, London.
- 1891 Census – 111 Arthur Street, Chelsea, London.
- 1901 Census – 11 East Block, Peabody Buildings, Lawrence Street, Chelsea, London.
- 1911 Census – 14 Creek Street, York Road, Battersea, London.
- 1911 Marriage Record – 16 Devonshire Street, Marylebone, Westminster, London.
James Frederick Sandham was awarded the 1914-15 Star, Victory and the British War Medals for his service in the Great War.
James Frederick Sandham is not specifically named but he is honoured and remembered on the Chelsea War Memorial, Sloane Square, Chelsea, Greater London.
Links to Additional Information
- Find a Grave website – James Frederick Sandham
- A Street Near You website – James Frederick Sandham
- Lives of the First World War – Shown as F Sandham
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission – Shown as F Sandham
- Imperial War Museum – Chelsea War Memorial
- Medal Index Card.
- Medal Roll – 3rd London Regiment – Victory and British War Medals.
- Medal Roll – 3rd London Regiment – 1914-15 Star.
- 1881 Census.
- 1891 Census.
- 1901 Census.
- 1911 Census.
- Pension Card.
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
- Soldiers Died in the Great War.
- Church of England Baptisms.
- Marriage Certificate.
- Civil Registration of Births Index.
- De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour.
- War Diary – 3rd London Regiment
- Vincent Stuart.
- Anonymous (Find a Grave) Photo of Grave