St Werburgh's Roman Catholic Parish, Chester

James Thomas Sharkey

Pte 2nd Btn Cheshire Regiment 8171

Died: 18-02-1915 age 25

James was born in Chester on 18 February 1890 and baptised at St Francis Catholic Church, Chester on 7 December that year. He was the eldest child of James and Ann Sharkey nee Dennis. His father James was a labourer, who had come to Chester from Derbyshire, as a child. His mother Ann had been born in Chester. The family lived off Crook Lane, Watergate, Chester and each of their eight children was baptised at St Francis.

James’ army number indicates that he was a regular army soldier. In 1910 he married Louisa May Dew and the couple came to live at 23 Fosbrook Street, Boughton, in St Werburgh’s parish.

James’ Medal Roll card reveals that he first went to France on 16 January 1915 and was killed in action there on 18 February 1915.

James Sharkey’s death was recorded in the April 1915 edition of St Werburgh’s Parish Magazine. It seems ironic that he died on his 25th birthday.

James was eligible for the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Allied Victory Medal. His name is listed on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium, Panel 19-22. In Chester it is listed on the WW1 memorial in the Town Hall and that in St Werburgh’s Church.