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Born: 1886
Died: 11 February 1916
Buried: Windhill Cemetery
Address: 6 Hargreaves Street, Shipley
Spouse: Ada (later Jennings)
Occupation: Fletcher’s Sauce Works
Rank: Pte
Rolls of Honour:
Children: 3
Regiment: Duke of Wellington’s
James William Dunwell
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James was a volunteer and in a written in France, he made it clear what he thought of those who were still hesitating to answer the call: In a letter to his parents at 6 Hargreaves Square, Pte J W Dunwell made it quite clear what he thought of those men who had not signed up to serve. ‘It is perfectly true about the big advance. Our boys had a part in it. They withstood a terrific bombardment for two hours and they played their part like seasoned veterans. Not one of them flinched. ‘It would have done those street corner shirkers good to have seen the boys smiling through it all. ‘We have got the Germans fairly on the move at present and to keep them on the trot we must have men and munitions. ‘Kindly have this letter published in the Shipley Times and Express so that the stay-at-homes can see in what light we look at them.’ Shipley Times & Express 8 October 1915 A few months later, the newspaper
carried the story of James’s death on his way home to see his family: The wife of Pte James Dunwell of 6 Hargreaves Street, Bradford Arms, Shipley, who had been looking forward to her husband’s first visit home from France since he went there with his regiment (the Duke of Wellington’s) last August, had a painful shock on Saturday morning. Instead of being able to welcome her husband home she received a message from the Midland Railway authorities asking her to travel to Barrow Hill, near Chesterfield, to identify the body of a soldier found killed on the line there. Pte Dunwell travelled by the night mail from London and occupied a seat in a corridor compartment. On the arrival of the train at Leeds early on Saturday morning information was given by other soldiers who had travelled by the same train, that a soldier had mysteriously disappeared from the train somewhere in the vicinity of Chesterfield. The line at that point was searched and when the body was found the
officials discovered a note which Pte Dunwell had written to his wife, indicating the time he would reach Shipley. This led to the body being identified as that of Pte Dunwell. The body was shockingly mutilated. The deceased was unaccustomed to corridor trains and it is supposed that he had opened one of the outer doors in mistake for another door and had fallen out. Pte Dunwell, who had only recently recovered from gunshot wounds in the head, was 29 years of age and leaves a wife and three children, one of which is 11 weeks old. At the inquest, which took place on Monday afternoon, an open verdict was returned. Without expressing any opinion as to the cause of the accident the jury found that Dunwell was killed by falling out of the carriage. Amid many manifestations of sorrow and regret, the funeral of the late Pte Dunwell
took place on Wednesday afternoon and was accorded full military honours. In spite of the inclement weather a large crowd of people assembled to witness the departure of the cortege. A company of the 3rd-2nd West Riding Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, under Lieut Hollingworth, attended and the coffin was borne on a gun carriage in charge of Sgt Cawood. The band of the brigade played the “Dead March” as the cortege passed along the streets to the cemetery. Two beautiful floral tributes were sent from the neighbours, along with others from the deceased’s wife, Aunt Emma and the employees at Fletcher’s Sauce Works. A firing party in charge of Sgt Rainbow and Cpl Saunders fired the last volley over the grave. The “Last Post” was sounded by the trumpeters and as the officiating minster, Rev W Bowker, pronounced the benediction, the band played “O God our help in ages past.” Shipley Times & Express 18 February 1916