Private Frederick James Wells

James Frederick Wells © Dorking Advertiser findmypast.co.uk
James Frederick Wells © Dorking Advertiser findmypast.co.uk

© 2015 Royston Williamson
© 2015 Royston Williamson

Thank you to Lenka Cathersides for the following research.

James Frederick Wells Birth Registration Transcription © ancestry.co.uk
James Frederick Wells Birth Registration Transcription © ancestry.co.uk

James Frederick Wells was born in the 4th quarter of 1888 in Dorking, Surrey to bricklayer William Wells and Ruth Wells nee Colbran.

James Frederick Wells 1891 Census © findmypast.co.uk
James Frederick Wells 1891 Census © findmypast.co.uk

At the time of the 1891 Census, the family lived at 20 Leslie Road, Dorking, Surrey. William Wells was working as a bricklayer and Ruth Wells was looking after their children: Mary Annie, Florence Ruth, Henry and James Frederick.

James Frederick Wells 1901 Census © findmypast.co.uk
James Frederick Wells 1901 Census © findmypast.co.uk

At the time of the 1901 Census, the family lived at Leslie Road, Dorking, Surrey. William Wells was working as a bricklayer and Ruth was looking after their children: James Frederick, Gertrude Caroline, Arthur John, Frank Edward and Marguerite Bessie.

James Frederick Wells 1911 Census © findmypast.co.uk
James Frederick Wells 1911 Census © findmypast.co.uk

At the time of the 1911 Census, the family lived at 22 Leslie Road, Dorking, Surrey. William was working as a bricklayer and Ruth was looking after their children: jobbing gardener James, layer on (printer) Arthur John; Frank Edward, Marguerite Bessie and Grace Emma. Ruth Wells stated that she had given birth to 10 children of whom 8 were still alive. The accommodation had 5 rooms.

James Frederick Wells enlisted in Kingston into the ‘A’ Company, 7th (City of London) Battalion, the London Regiment. He was a Private with regimental number 7140.

James disembarked on the 1st of September 1916 in France.

James Frederick Wells Death Notice © Dorking Advertiser findmypast.co.uk

He was mortally wounded in the field during attack on the Butte de Warlencourt on the 7th of October 1916 in France.

James Frederick Wells Warlencourt British Cemetery Roll of Honour © CWGC.org
James Frederick Wells Warlencourt British Cemetery Roll of Honour © CWGC.org

His body was exhumed and reburied at the Warlencourt British Cemetery in France. His grave reference number is: I.H.20.

James Frederick Wells Personal Headstone Inscription © CWGC.org
James Frederick Wells Personal Headstone Inscription © CWGC.org

The inscription on the headstone, erected by his father William Wells, reads: “Peace Perfect Peace”.

At the time of his death his parents resided at 5 Pixham Lane in Dorking.

James Frederick Wells Soldiers Effects © ancestry.co.uk
James Frederick Wells Soldiers Effects © ancestry.co.uk

James’ father William Wells received £4 and 10d on the 5th of March 1917 and a further £8 on the 10th of December 1919 in Soldier’s Effects.

James Frederick Wells was awarded the British War and Victory medals.

Wells Family History

James Frederick’s mother Ruth Colbran was born in the 4th quarter of 1860 in Rye, Sussex, to Ann Colbran, born about 1821 in Bexhill, Sussex.

James’ father William Wells was born about 1847 in Tirley, Gloucestershire to labourer William Wells Snr, born about 1816 in Worcestershire, and Mary Wells, born about 1820 in Tirley, Gloucestershire. William Wells was baptised on the 5th of March 1847 in Tirley, Gloucestershire. At the time of the baptism, the family lived in Turley and William Wells Snr was working as a labourer.

James had nine siblings of whom eight are known: Mary Annie Wells born in the 3rd quarter of 1882 in Hastings, Sussex; Florence Ruth Wells born in the 4th quarter of 1886 in Dorking, Surrey; Henry Wells born about 1891 in Dorking, Surrey; Gertrude Caroline Wells born in the 4th quarter of 1893 in Dorking, Surrey; Arthur John Wells born in the 4th quarter of 1895 in Dorking, Surrey; Frank Edward Wells born in the 4th quarter of 1897 in Dorking, Surrey; Marguerite Bessie Wells born in the 3rd quarter of 1900 in Dorking, Surrey and Grace Emma born in the 2nd quarter of 1903 in Dorking, Surrey.

Born                           Dorking
Lived                           Dorking

Son of                         William Wells and Ruth Wells nee Colbran.

Enlisted                       Kingston

Regiment                     7th Battalion, London Regiment
Number                       7140

Former Regiment         3017 6th Battalion, East Surrey Regiment

Date of Death              7th October 1916
Place of Death             Somme, France
Cause of Death           Killed in Action

Age                              27

Cemetery                    Warlencourt British Cemetery, France