Lance Corporal James Binns, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards. Service no. 27290.
James was born in Oakworth early in 1898, the birth was registered in Keighley in the first quarter of the year. Parents John and Mary A. Binns. In 1901 he was three years old and living at Cowling with his parents and three brothers at High Lane House, Cowling. His father was a scrapler at a local quarry (a stone dresser). By 1911 he was thirteen and living at 71, Middleton in Crosshills with his parents, seven brothers and one sister. His father was a delver in a stone quarry and James was a card room hand in a worsted mill. He was also employed as piecelooker by Messrs. John Binns and Sons Ltd, at Carr Mill.
He enlisted with the Grenadier Guards at Keighley on October 18, 1916 and went out to France in January 1918.
At the age of twenty, he was killed in action on August 25, 1918 and his body was never found. With no known final resting place he is remembered on panel three of the Vis-En-Artois Memorial at Pas de Calais in France along with 9835 other names.
Craven Herald September 27, 1918: COWLING
Mrs John Binns, 16, Middleton, Cowling, has received an intimation from the Record Office, London, that her son, Corporal James Binns, of the Grenadier Guards, was killed in action on August 25th, while serving with H.M. Forces in France. Corporal Binns joined the Colours on October 18th, 1916, going out to France in January last. Previous in joining up he was employed as piecelooker by Messrs. John Binns and Sons Ltd. at Carr Mill. (This same article also appears in the West Yorkshire Pioneer.)
Craven Herald October 4, 1918: COWLING
A Memorial Service was held on Sunday morning at the Cowling Parish Church, conducted by the Vicar, to the memory of the late Signaller A.C. Benson and Corporal James Binns, both of whom have made the supreme sacrifice in the service of their country.
James was posthumously awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal for his war service. These would have been sent to his mother Mary Jane in 1920/21 along with his memorial plaque and scroll. His mother would also have received James' outstanding back pay of £13 11s 7d in January 1919 and a war gratuity of £8 10s 0d in December 1919.
He is remembered locally on the Cowling Recreation Ground memorial plaque, the main war memorial and on the Cowling Hill Baptist Chapel oak & mahogany memorial plaque. He also features in the 'Craven's Part in the Great War' book.
His mother Mary Jane Binns was living at 16, Middleton, Cowling after the war.
Birth, Marriage and Death records.
Census records for 1901 and 1911.
Soldier's Effects Records, medal rolls.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
Keighley News - newspaper archives held at Keighley Library.
Transcriptions from Craven Herald by courtesy of Craven's Part in the Great War.