James Clement Skinner

Information about birth

Year of birth:
Place of birth:
Salford, Lancashire, England, United Kingdom

General information

Church of England

Army information

Australian Imperial Force
Lance Corporal
Service number:
Enlistment date:
Enlistment place:
Geraldton, Western Australia, Australia
 —  Australian Infantry, 44th Bn.  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
Place of death:
Hill 40, Zonnebeke, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Distinctions and medals 3

Points of interest 3

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

My story

James Clement Skinner was born in Salford, Lancashire in 1892 to Annie Clements and William Skinner. After the death of his father, James’ family emigrated to Western Australia. James worked as a salesman, until he enlisted in the army. He was taken on by the 44th Battalion Australian Infantry, part of the 11th Brigade, of the 3rd Division.

In October 1917 the 3rd Division was engaged in the Third Battle of Ypres, also known as the Battle of Passchendaele. After having seen action on October 4th, the 44th Battalion was rested for a few days. They soon moved back into the lines. New attempts to break through failed miserably. Reinforcements and supplies got stuck in the mud. It was even more difficult to get the artillery forward. Without sufficient artillery support, further attacks were doomed. On the October 12th, the New Zealand and Australian attack breaked down on the fortified heights at Bellevue and Passchendaele. The 44th Battalion was holding the support lines near Hill 40. Throughout the next couple of days the Battalion took turns between the frontline at Tyne Cot and the support line at Hill 40. It was hard to say, which position was the worst. It hardly stopped raining and the men were subjected to heavy shelling.

After ten arduous days at the front James’ Battalion was relieved. During the month of October the 44th had suffered 337 casualties, including 85 men killed.

James, 25, was killed in action on the 12th of October 1917. He has no known grave and is remembered on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.

Sources 3

Sources used
Longmore C., "Eggs-A-Cook!": The Story of the Forty-Fourth. War-as the Digger saw it. London, The Naval & Military Press Ltd, 2009.
Sources used
The long long trail
Sources used