James Sanderson

Information about birth

Year of birth:

General information

Coal miner

Army information

England, United Kingdom
British Expeditionary Force
Service number:
Enlistment place:
Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland, England, United Kingdom
 —  Durham Light Infantry, 12th Bn.  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
Place of death:
Tower Hamlets, Geluveld, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Tyne Cot Memorial
Panel: 130

Distinctions and medals 3

1914-15 Star
Medal — 11/12/1915
British War Medal
Victory Medal

Points of interest 2

#1 Enlistment place
#2 ‘Place of death’

My story

The 23rd Division attacked on the 20th of September at zero hour, 5.40 a.m. The 68th Brigade advanced with the 10th and 11th Northumberland Fusiliers and the 13th Durham Light Infantry. The 12th Durham Light Infantry of Private Sanderson were in support. At zero hour the 12th Durham Light Infantry moved forward through the swamps round Dumbarton Lakes. They arrived at the Blue Line, the second objective around 7.30 a.m. Although the 12th Durham Light Infantry were in support they participated in the attack on the third objective, the Green Line. This Green Line, situated on the forward slope of the plateau astride the Menin Road, was captured and consolidated by 11.50 a.m.
At 3 p.m. the Germans launched a first counterattack with about 100 men. They were dispersed by British rifle and Lewis fire. The British troops were able to reinforce and consolidate the trench and ammunitions, supplies and wire were brought up. In the morning of the 21st around 4.30 a.m. the British artillery opened a very heavy barrage on the Germans. The shelling continued for three quarters of an hour. At 8 a.m. the Germans launched another counterattack to reclaim their lost positions. This attack was more potent and was directed against the left flank, but the Germans were dispersed again by Lewis and rifle fire. Two more attempts were made to retake the British positions, one of which, delivered up the Menin road. Both of the German attacks failed.
After an hour’s bombardment the Germans launched another counterattack. They advanced up the valley from the direction of Gheluvelt at 3 p.m., to be dispersed again. After the failed attack the Germans started shelling the British positions for over two hours. The German troops who were assembling for yet another attack were spotted on the right of the Ypres-Menin road near Gheluvelt. The Durham Light Infantry’s distress signals were responded by a British barrage which came down on the concentrated Germans. Who were now unable to advance.
The Germans did not try to attack again and the remainder of the night was quiet. The following morning troops of the 70th Brigade began to take over the line. We believe Private Sanderson James was one of the men who fell during the German counterattacks preceded by heavy shelling on the 21st of September. He probably died while holding the Green line, situated on the forward slope of the plateau astride the Menin Road, North of Tower Hamlets.

Sources 6

"The Durham Forces in the Field: The Service Battalions of the Durham Light Infantry", Miles W., Uckfield, The Naval and Military Press, 1920, pg. 185-187.
Sources used
"The Third Ypres Passchendaele. The Day-by-Day Account", McCarthy C., London, Arms & Armour Press, 1995, pg. 72-74.
Sources used
Further reference
Sources used
The Long, Long Trail
Sources used
War Diary Durham Light Infantry 12th Bn.
Further reference