Photograph with kind permission from the Uttoxeter Advertiser

This picture was take from a group of the team that won the Regimental Football Shield in India in 1909[1b]







Uttoxeter Advertiser


James Nuttall




Position in the family

Had sisters Lucy and Nellie and a brother Tom




also had a sister Alice




Where born





When born






Stone Road




With his sister at Eaton Street, Uttoxeter




His sister at Eaton street was Mrs. Foster




Father: 75, Longsight, Harwood, Bolton.














Employment Before Joining up

Leighton Ironworks, Uttoxeter




Where enlisted






North Staffordshire (Prince of Wales’s)





13th Company





1st Bn.




1st Bn, ‘B’ Company








1a, 1d, 1e

Service Number





Date of Death

21 October 1914



1d, 1e

Age at time of death





Where Killed or died

France/Flanders - 1 mile from Armentieres









How he died

Killed in action



1a, 1d, 1e

Location of Grave or Memorial

Ploegsteert Memorial for the Missing - Panel 8




In afield about a mile due east of Armentieres




Uttoxeter Town War Memorial (Market Place










James was a keen footballer who played for local teams[1a]. He played regularly for Uttoxeter team during the season 1912-1913 and in 1913-14 captained the Uttoxeter Territorial team[1a]. His versatility and the fact that he had played practically every position on the field made James Nuttall an acquisition to local teams, and he was always a popular figure with crowd and players alike[1a].

His exploits on the field are mentioned in almost every issue of the Uttoxeter Advertiser during the final few weeks leading up to the outbreak of war.

He left the army a few years before the start of hostilities, took up a position in the Leighton Ironworks and lived with his sister[1a]. During his time in the army he had served some years in India[1a].

He joined up in August 1914, and was one of the first Reservists to leave Uttoxeter to rejoin his Regiment.

In their obituary for Patrick Moore, The Uttoxeter Advertiser [1c] said that when the North Staffordshire Regiment was proceeding to the South of England, prior to embarkation, they were at Cambridge for a short time, and whilst there a brother of Mr. W. Wood, of the Market Square, photographed several groups of soldiers. By a strange coincidence, one of the photographs showed Patrick and James sitting together. James was killed in action only two weeks before Patrick died of his wounds. Unfortunately, we have not been able to trace the photograph yet.

His obituary in the Uttoxeter Advertiser[1a] described him as ‘a fine type of the British soldier – not tall, but well and strongly built’, and ‘of a bright and happy disposition’.

The War Diary for the 1st North Staffordshire Regiment[7a] gives the following details for the last few days leading up to James’s death. When reading this, remember that James Nuttall was in “B” Company:

Hour, Date, Place


Summary of Events and Information

Remarks and references to Appendices

19th October 1914


3 am

Heavy firing heard. Two Coys [Companies] and M[achine] Guns stand to arms (“A” & “C” Coys). After a short time fire ceases. Reveille 5.30 am.

Reference map France 1/80,000 LILLE SHEET 8



At 7am M guns ordered up to cross roads at LA BLEUE on “B” Coy’s right flank. “A” & “C” Coys extend line to the right as far as the CHATEAU to reinforce the Leinsters.

Whole centre was broken. “D” Coy in air and all accounts




Total casualties 4 killed and 33 wounded. Coy QM Sgt Gould performed excellent work on command of two platoons of “D” Coy.

Lt. Adamson “C” Coy was slightly wouded.

Sketch Map No: N.S. 14. Attached.



wiped out or captured. Farm house cleared in front by M Gums and “A” & “C” Coys advance. “B” Coy still hold original line, with 2 platoons on road between X Road at LA BLEUE – HALTE with the Rifle Brigade on



their left. Coy Sgt Major Keeling went forward to try to find “D” Coy which he succeeded in doing under heavy fire and tells the Company Commander the situation, thus enabling him to withdraw his



Company with the loss of one Officer, Capt. Hume-Kelly and 4 men wounded after dark.

A Coy under Capt. Aimes captures about 20 Germans in a farm.


20th October 1914


Orders were received to withdraw about 10pm and Battn withdrew at 2am from the LA BLEUE position through WEZ-MACQUART to a position from RUE du BOIS to PORTEGAL and dug in at once. “A” & “C” Coys less 1 platoon each on the South Side of the WEZ-MACQUART-ARMENTIERES Road and “B” and “D” on the North side.

2.Q.752. Attached



The M Guns covered this road. Rifle Brigade was on our left and Leinsters on our right.


The circumstances of his death are described in the History of the 1st Battalion of the North Staffordshire Regiment. The Regimental History mentions him by name, which is very unusual for a Private soldier.

James died at about 10:30pm when the Germans made a determined attack on the British lines. A few of them broke through, but “B” Company, of which James was a member, held the line. In the course of the fighting, a number of Germans were killed, including one German Officer, and some others were wounded and taken prisoner[6].

The Regimental History[6] tells that for some years after the war the German Officer’s sword was kept on display in the 1st Battalion’s Officer’s mess, together with the following description of how it fell into the Regiment’s possession:

At 10-30 p.m. the enemy made a determined attack on the 3rd Rifle Brigade and the left of the 1st North Staffords, and a few of them succeeded in breaking through. The line, however, was held intact and “B” Company, under Captain G.E. Leman, did good work in helping to repel the enemy, who left bedind the bodies of one Officer and several other ranks, and some wounded prisoners. The German Officer’s sword is preserved as a trophy in the 1st Battalion Officer’s Mess, together with the following description of how it fell into their hands:-

  “This sword belonged to an Officer of a Saxon Regiment, who was killed on the 21st October, 1914, in front of Chapelle d’Armentieres, north of the Armentieres-Lille Road.

  “The trenches on our left had been lost, and, during the night our line was heavily attacked, and a considerable number of Germans working round our flanks attempted to surround the left sentry group of the outpost line. This was held by a section of “B” Company.

  “The men fought magnificently, and drove the enemy off, killing 14 of them, and the Saxon Officer who led the charge on the trench was bayoneted in the throat by No. 6920, Private Nuttall, but at the same time he cut down Private Nuttall with his sword. This is a very fine example of the excellent state of discipline in the Regiment, and the determination of all ranks to hold their positions at all costs.

  “This was one of the many gallant deeds performed by the Battalion in the Great War.”


The War Diary for the 1st North Staffordshire Regiment[7b] gives the following details for this day. The ‘1 killed’ mentioned in the remarks column was James Nuttall:

Hour, Date, Place

Summary of Events and Information

Remarks and references to Appendices

21st October 10pm RUE DU BOIS PORTéGAL

Night attack by Germans who got through Rifle Brigade on our left and were first seen on the left of “B” Coy. Sharp hand to hand fighting in which we Killed 1 German Officer and 8 Germans wounding many others getting away. General Doran congratulated the troops on their steadiness and good work.

See LILLE Map Sheet 8 1/80,000

1 killed

12 wounded

[the rest of the entry is too difficult to read]


Official notification of his death was sent to his sister in Eaton Street, along with the following letter from Maj. GE Leman (commanding 13th Coy). It was dated October 23rd1914:

  “Madam, I regret to inform you that Private Nuttall has been killed in action, as you may have doubtless seen in the papers. He was killed in a sharp little night-affair we had the night before last. His section were very steady and fought well, and I am sorry to lose a good soldier; and on behalf of all ranks of my company I beg to offer you my deepest sympathy.

..”We buried his body in field about a mile due east of a village called Armentieres and his grave is marked with a cross.”

His grave must have been destroyed and his location lost during subsequent battles because he is now recorded as having no known grave. He is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial for the Missing:







This notice was posted in the Uttoxeter Advertiser in October 1915[1d] to mark the first anniversary of his death

NUTTALL. – In affectionate remembrance of our dear brother, Pte. James Nuttall, who was killed in action on October 21, 1914.

Far and oft our thoughts do wander

To a grave so far away,

Where they laid our dear brother

Just one year ago to-day.

Till memory fails, till life departs,

He is foe ever in our hearts.

*  *  *

Little I thought my time so short

In this world to remain;

When from my home I went away

I thought to come again.

- Ever remembered by Sisters Lucy and Nellie and Brother Tom




This notice, posted in the Uttoxeter Advertiser in October 1916, marked the second anniversary of his death

NUTTALL. – In Affectionate Remembrance f our dear brother, Pte. J. Nuttall, North Staffs. Regt., who was killed in action October 21, 1914.

Sleep on, dear brother, in a soldier’s grave,

Your life for your Country you nobly gave;

We could not be near you to bid you good-bye,

But in God’s keeping you now lie.

But the unknown grave is the bitterest blow

None but the aching hearts can know.

On the train we saw you get –

Since that day we have never met;

On the battlefield you fell –

Your death’s too hard for us to tell.

- Ever remembered by Sisters Alice, Lucy and Nellie; Brother Tom (India); and Brothers-in-law Will and Jack.