James Brassington

Information about birth

Date of birth:
Place of birth:
Ellastone, Staffordshire, England, United Kingdom

General information

Cheese Manufacturer

Army information

England, United Kingdom
British Expeditionary Force
Service number:
Enlistment place:
Lichfield, Staffordshire, England, United Kingdom
 —  Grenadier Guards, 4th Bn.  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
Place of death:
No. 61 Casualty Clearing Station, Dozinghem, Westvleteren, Belgium
Cause of death:
Died of wounds (D.O.W.)


Dozinghem Military Cemetery
Plot: II
Row: I
Grave: 12

Distinctions and medals 2

British War Medal
Medal — 28/01/1920
Victory Medal
Medal — 28/01/1920

Points of interest 3

#1 Place of birth
#2 Enlistment place
#3 Place of death (approximate)

My story

James Brassington, a Dairy Farmer and Cheese Manufacturer from Ellastone, Staffordshire, served as a private in the 4th Battalion Grenadier Guards, part of the 3rd Guards Brigade, of the Guards Division. On the opening day of the Third Battle of Ypres the Division attacked with the 2nd Guards and 3rd Guards Brigade; the 1st Guards Brigade was in support. It advanced from positions at the Ypres-IJzer Canal towards the hamlet of Wijdendrift and towards the northern edge of the village of Langemark. At 3.50 a.m., zero hour, the attacking units of the Guards left their positions. The 4th Battalion Grenadier Guards were in second line. They advanced on the left of the divisional flank. After the first two objectives had been captured, the units in the second line were to take over the advance. With the 4th Grenadier Guards allotted to take the third objective at Fourche and Captain’s Farm.

At 7.15 a.m. the first two objective lines had been consolidated and the 4th Grenadiers commenced their advance from Lapin Farm to the third objective. As soon as they pushed forward the men came under machine-gun fire coming from concrete emplacements at Abri Wood and from positions on the railroad in the 38th Divisional area. The men of the 38th Division had been unable to take out these vital strongpoints. But notwithstanding the withering machine gun fire the Battalion continued to their objective capturing the German strongpoints at Fourche and Captain’s Farm. After the 4th Grenadiers had consolidated these two strongpoints, the German artillery laid down a barrage on the line, causing several casualties. The push to the final objective was then taken over by the 2nd Coldstream Guards, who eventually managed to consolidate positions along the Steenbeek stream on the north-western outskirts of Langemark.

The total casualties in the Grenadier Guards, 4th Battalion were two officers wounded, 15 other ranks killed, 96 wounded and 5 men went missing. Four men later died of their wounds. Private James Brassington was one of them. He was evacuated to No. 61 Casualty Clearing Station, Dozinghem, in the village of Westvleteren, where he died of his wounds on 3 August 1917. James was buried on the adjacent Dozinghem Military Cemetery. He was 29 years old.

Files 1

Sources 6

"Passchendaele. The Day-by-Day Account", McCarthy C., London, Uniform, 2018, pg. 32-35.
Sources used
"The Grenadier Guards in the Great War of 1914-19", Ponsonby F., London, Macmillan & co. LTD, 1920, pg. 221-226.
Sources used
Further reference
Sources used
The Long, Long Trail
Sources used
War Diary Grenadier Guards 4th Bn.
Further reference