Sergeant James Reilly, of 8th Prince of Wales – North Staffordshire Regiment, was born in 1897 in Renfrewshire. The family later moved to Dalmeny where his Father was a Plate Layer at Dalmeny Oil Works.
James enlisted in Glasgow in 1915 a resident of Dalmeny. He was involved in the allied 100 Days Offensive, the last phase of the Final Conflicts which ended the War with the final advance in Picardy, 17th October – 11th November 1918. (11th November 1918 saw the end of the war in France.)
It would appear he was killed in action during the final advance of Picardy, on 4th November 1918, aged 20, 16 days before his 21st birthday and just a week before the end of the war in France. His Mother received a letter from Captain R W Peddar, saying James was lying on top of a ridge firing a machine gun at the enemy, thus preventing them from firing and allowing our troops to come up on the flank. He was killed by a bullet in the head. James was recommended for a decoration, but we can’t find if it was ever awarded.
James is buried on the North Boundary, in Wargnies-le-Grand Churchyard, Nord, France. He was awarded the British War and Victory Medals.
He is also commemorated on the St Margaret’s Church Roll of Honour.
More information to follow.