ANNIS James Samuel
Regiment : 10th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment. Formerly 4657, Worcestershire Regiment.
Service number : 43703
Conflict : WW1
Date of death : Killed in action aged 23 on 28th April 1917
Buried : Commemorated on Arras Memorial, France, Bay 3 and 4.
Relatives : Son of Charles and Miriam Annis, of Pensham, Pershore, Worcestershire
Memorial : Pershore Abbey
Credits : Battalion information researched by Trudy Burge, great niece of James Annis.
Additional information on the memorial: Lincolnshire Regiment.
Resident Pensham, Worcestershire, enlisted Pershore, Worcestershire. Pensham, 3rd/8th Worcesters then 10th Lincolns, died 28th April 1915.
Additional information from Pershore Parish Records, Holy Cross, Film No 216/7, available at Worcestershire Archives.
Extract from the History of the 10th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment (Grimsby Chums):
1917 – Arras
The Chums, now part of the Third Army, were not the same fighting force they were in 1916. Their ranks of Grimsby men had been diluted by new drafts. They were now to attack in the Arras sector in support of the diversion for the French Army attack on the Aisne. A small bombardment of four days was arranged for this battle. It was 9th April 1917.
The first wave set off at 05.30 am with great success. The enemy lines were reached and occupied. A creeping barrage then allowed the Chums to make further attacks, 1500 yards forward of their start positions. The Chums were now on the forward slopes of Vimy Ridge, and were able to look down on the enemy across the Doui plain in front of them.
After a brief period of rest out of the line, the Lincolns carried on with the offensive. The target was not an open countryside target but a heavily fortified town position at Reoux, and its Chemical Works. The attack was started at 4.15. am on 28th April but it was not destined to be a success. Forming up in the open alerted the Germans who opened up with mortar and machine guns. The Chums set off already fragmented. The attack was soon broken up, with small groups of isolated men unable to continue. A German counter attack at 8.00 am led to a retreat and was effectively the end of the Chums attack. The losses were high, 420 dead, missing and wounded. The Battalion was withdrawn from the line on 30th April, shattered.
A photograph of Private J. Annis of Pershore can be found in Berrow’s Worcester Journal Supplement, Saturday 16th June 1917, available at Worcestershire Archives.
Trudy Burge has created the WW1 Pershore website to commemorate the men from Pershore who served their country from 1914 to 1918: http://pershoreww1.webs.com/
James Annis has no known grave, the photograph available shows his name on Arras Memorial.