Welcome to my blog......

The purpose of this blog is to remember the fallen heroes of the Great War, whose names are recorded on the memorial plaque situated in St Barnabas Church, New Whittington, Chesterfield.

To mark the centenary of World War 1 I aim to research all of the men on the memorial. I hope to ensure that the brave men who gave their lives for their country 100 years ago are remembered and each man's story told.

I would love to hear from anyone who may have information regarding the men; photos, letters or passed down memories. Any descendents are most welcome to contact me and I will provide copies of the research that I have undertaken.

"They shall not grow old, as we that are left to grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them"

For The Fallen,
Laurence Binyon September 1914.

Saturday, 4 June 2016



Private 19433 

1st Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment

Formerly; Private 22417 Sherwood Foresters

Killed in action - 4th June 1916

James Clement Longden is remembered on the St Barnabas Church Memorial.  He was one of the youngest men named on the memorial, being only 19 years of age when he lost his life whilst fighting for King & Country.

James Clement was the second son born to Thomas and Caroline Longden.  He appears to have been affectionately known by his middle name "Clement" by his family.

James' elder brother Thomas Ray was born in 1896, James then followed a year later in 1897.  He was baptised on 14th February 1897 at Whittington their home village.

James' parents had most likely met some time around the early 1890's. Caroline nee Webb had been born in Mildenhall, Suffolk around 1868. She was the daughter of William and Elizabeth (Betsey) Webb, William was a butcher and by 1881 the family had moved to trade at Hathersage in the Peak District.

Thomas, James' father was a local man born in Whittington the son of a Green Grocer named James Longden.  Thomas and Caroline married on 25th March 1895, their wedding was the first to be held at St Barnabas Church at New Whittington due to the fire which had taken hold at St Bartholomew's Church that year.

After James came William Clifford in 1898 and Nellie in 1899.  

In 1901 James was just 4 years old, the family lived at 73 South Street and Thomas snr was recorded as a licensed victualler.  After a 11 year gap between children; Thomas and Carrie's final child; a daughter named Winifred Mary was born on 14th October 1910.

1911 before the outbreak of War....

This census shows all of the Longden family living at the Angel Inn at New Whittington.  These "normal" times were probably looked back upon in the War years and afterwards with happy memories at what was before James was tragically taken from the family at such a young age.

Private James Clement Longden
With kind permission of Clifford Longden

James Clement Longden's war....

James' service records have not survived and so we can only piece together his time as a soldier.

His death notification by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) states that he was originally posted with the Notts & Derbyshire (Sherwood Forester) Regiment, Private 22417 and was transferred to the 1st Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment with whom he was serving when he died. He was re-numbered Private 19433.

There are obituaries written in both the Derbyshire Times and the Derby Courier newspapers which give a little more detail regarding the service of James.  

Most notable also is that both newspapers state that James was killed in action on 5th June 1916, not 4th June 1916 as recorded by the CWGC.

The articles tell that James joined the army in the January of 1915, enlisting with the "3rd Notts and Derbys, and underwent training at Plymouth, Sunderland and Gillingham.  While at the later place at his own request he was transferred to the 1st Northamptons, and left for France in July after 6 months training".

When James did arrive in France and join the 1st Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment on 13th July 1915 he would have joined a battalion that had already seen the true horrors of war; they were one of the first battalions to embark, landing at Le Harve on 13th August 1914.  They had already taken part in some major offensives of WW1 including the Battle and retreat of Mons, Battle of Marne and the First Battle of Ypres.

Only two months after James had arrived he found himself in the midst of the Battle of Loos.  The Battle commenced on 25th September 1915 and went on until 15th October 1915.  This was the first time the British had used poison gas as a weapon against the German army.  James was just 18 years old at the time, what would he have been thinking and what horrors such a young man would have witnessed.  

James was killed during the events of 4th June 1916.  His family could be reassured a little by the fact that his body was retrieved and given a place of rest for ever.  A place where they may have visited and no doubt, by now descendants of the Longden family have travelled to pay their respects and remember brave young James Clement Longden.

Private 19433 James Clement Longden is buried at the Maroc British Cemetery, Grenay, France.  His grave reference number is I.F 2.  His grave shows the sign of the cross, his family also chose to have the words "Peace Perfect Peace" inscribed on his gravestone. Three well chosen words which say it all; James is at peace now and all wishes for the future would also be for peace perfect peace.

James was awarded the British War Medal, the Victory Medal and 15 Star for his service.

Newspaper memorial....

James was remembered in the Derbyshire Courier on 17th June 1916. The article reads as follows -


New Whittington Man Killed

By the death of Private J. Clement Longden who
met his fate on 5th (sic) June another Whittington
man has passed to his rest in France.

Private Longden was the son of Mr T C Longden,
Landlord of the Angel Inn, New Whittington,
and joined the 1st Northamptonshire Regiment in 
January 1915.  In July of the same year he went 
over to France, where he has seen some hard 

Prior to his enlistment he worked at Messrs.
Bryan Donkin and Co's works, Chesterfield.

In a communication to Private Longden's parents, Sergeant
W.F Underwood conveys the sad news.  Writing soon after 
the loss the Sergeant says; "It is with the deepest regret I have to
inform you of the death of your son, who was killed on 5th, along
with 3 other comrades.  He was killed instantly and suffered no pain.
The members of his platoon wish me to express to you their 
heartfelt sympathy in your sad loss.  He was a fine soldier and the
pet of my platoon.  Never did he grumble and always a smile, 
no matter how hard the conditions were.
He is buried in the English soldiers cemetery, where so many
of his chums are laid.  I will do everything in my power to make his 
grave just the same as if he had been buried at home.  
His effects will be forwarded to you at a later date.
He used to say that if anything should happen to him his 
penknife should be sent to his dear dad.
I hope that you will find some consolation knowing that he died
bravely defending those he loved so well.  
Yours faithfully W F Underwood, Sergeant"

Two other men were killed on 4th June 1916 from 1st Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment -
Private 22471 T E Tebbutt
Private 10158 C W Holdich

Life went on....

Thomas Charles Longden James' father died suddenly on 6th February 1945, aged 77 years old.  He was buried at St Bartholomew's Church in Old Whittington.  His obituary was documented in the Derbyshire Times (16th February 1945 p7).  The article told how "he was a member of one of the oldest New Whittington families; his father being a farmer and butcher, his brother Mr Jim Longden a farmer and cattle dealer". 

Thomas was licensee of The White Horse Inn, Old Whittington at the time of his death, the license to this establishment had been held within the Longden family for over 50 years according to the obituary.  James had also worked as a farmer and butcher, run the Fox and Goose at Old Brampton and the Angel Public House in New Whittington for 30 years. 

Caroline "Carrie" Longden died on 13th September 1933 aged 65 years old.

Thomas and Caroline are buried together in the churchyard at St Bartholomew's Church, Old Whittington. James Clement is also remembered on their gravestone with the special words once more 
                                                                    "Peace Perfect Peace" 

Grave of Thomas and Caroline Longden
remembering James Clement Longden
photo blogger 's own

Thomas Ray Longden married Sarah Green in 1917.  The couple had four children; *Clement 1919, Douglas 1921, Eileen 1924 and Betty in 1930.  Thomas died on 16th April 1964.  He had remained living in New Whittington, his address on his probate entry was 4 Station Lane, New Whittington.  

James with his brothers Thomas stood behind
& William sat at side in Navy Uniform
With kind permission of Clifford Longden

William Clifford Longden joined the Navy.  His service records state his starting date was on 23rd February 1918, however we can see from the photograph above that he was wearing the Navy uniform during James' lifetime.  The photograph was most likely taken when the boys enlisted, before they went away to fight, indicating he had joined up some time around 1915.  Three days later on 26th February 1918 he was moved to Tregantle, which was a storage base.  William was enlisted as an "A.M2" air mechanic second class, his service number was F50814.  He was employed as a fitter prior to enlisting so he would be a good candidate for the air mechanic role.  

Not long after on 31st March 1918 William was transferred to the R.A.F. He continued with his trade of air mechanic until he was transferred to R.A.F Reserve in December 1919.  His service number with the R.A.F was 250923.

What became of William after the war? If can anyone add anything to his story please do. 

Nellie Longden may have married Joseph Dale on 27th March1920.  If this is correct then she died in 1975. Assuming the correct marriage for Nellie, then she may also have three sons; Gordon Ronald 1921 and Joseph in 1923. Nellie and Joseph may also have had a sad death of a baby named Barry in 1938.  However, this information has not been verified by purchase of registration certificate.  

The silver wedding was announced for Nellie and Joseph Dale in the Derbyshire Times newspaper dated 23rd March 1945 page 8.

Winfred Mary Longden married Wilfred Ellis in 1936.  On the 1939 Register Winfred and Wilfred were running the White Horse Inn at Old Whittington with her father Thomas Longden.  Whether Winifred and Wilfred had any children is not known at this time.  She died in 1993 aged 83 years old.

*Clement Longden nephew of James Clement, son of Thomas Ray and Sarah Longden is remembered for his service with the RAF.  His son Richard Londgen has written a piece on his service during WW2; he reached the massive number of 52 missions unscathed, when the average number of missions achieved was 7 Clem's record was truely amazing..... his story can be read here.

With kind thanks to Clifford Longden for providing the photographs of James and the Longden family.  Thank you for allowing the use of the photographs on this remembrance story of James and his family. Clifford is the nephew of James Clement Longden.


If you may be connected to this family or have any further information on James Clement Longden or his family please do either leave comments via the pen icon below or drop me an email.

If you are descendant of the Longden family and would like to add your own family "story" then please do feel free to contact me.

I hope that I have not given details of living persons, if so please advise and I will remove immediately.

Please note all information has been taken from online indexes and sources.  Due to the sheer numbers of people to be researched I am unable to purchase vital event certificates to confirm my research.


Ref and further reading  -
Parish registers
Medal rolls
Soldiers who died in the Great war
Register of soldiers effects

Newspaper articles - Derbyshire Times 17th June 1916 page 4
                                  Derby Courier 17th June 1916 page 1

War diaries - Piece 1271/1-3:2 Infantry Brigade 1st Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment Aug 194 - May 1919

Battle of Loos - http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/battles/battles-of-the-western-front-in-france-and-flanders/the-battle-of-loos/

Northamptonshire Regiment https://www.forces-war-records.co.uk/units/277/northamptonshire-regiment/

Clement Longden - Aircrew Remembered http://www.aircrewremembered.com/longden-clement.html

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