Sad Story of my Grandfather’s Brother

James Eyre Gray was my grandfather George’s brother. He was born in 1897 in Hooton Roberts, Yorkshire, son of James Eyre & Eliza Ann Gray. The family moved down to Wiltshire sometime before 1900; James’ father James had previously worked as a groom at Brodsworth Hall so I presume he moved the family some considerable distance away from their families for another position. Between 1905 and 1911 the family then moved again to Seale in Surrey and in 1918 we find them living in Sapperton Cottage, Peaslake, Surrey.

Apparently James ran away from home to join up but was brought back, only to do it again! He joined the Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment, #240298, thereafter the Essex Regiment #350753 and served in India, Mesopotamia & France. He died on 17 July 1918 in an enemy air raid when a bomb dropped on the barn where he was sleeping and is buried at the Moreuil Communal Cemetery, Somme, France. James’ name appears on the Seale Parishioners’ War Memorial Cross.

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