Corporal James Still

Thank you to Westcott Local History Group for allowing Dorking Museum to publish their First World War research.

James Still was the eldest son of William Still, gamekeeper to the Bury Hill Estate, and his wife Elizabeth. He was born in Westcott in 1879 and grew up in Keepers Cottage, Milton Street, Westcott. Before joining the Army he was a house painter, like his brother Harry.

We do not know when James enlisted, but he joined the Army Ordnance Service which in 1918 became the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, and was posted to the Ordnance Depot, Weedon, Northamptonshire, which in the first World War stored and issued clothing to the Army. He remained there throughout his service.

James married Olive Bush of Snettisham, Norfolk, in 1917 and she continued to live at Snettisham. In August 1918 Olive gave birth to a son, but three months later she was taken ill and died on 21st November 1918. Two days later, James also died – in Weedon Military Hospital. It is believed that Olive and James both caught influenza and were possibly victims of the terrible ‘Spanish flu’ epidemic that swept through Europe at the end of the war. Their son James was brought up in Westcott by his grandparents and his aunt who by that time were living at 5 Milton Street.

William and Elizabeth Still suffered severely in the First World War. They lost two sons and a daughter-in-law. James’ funeral took place in this church on 28th November 1918 and his grave is to the left of the path close to the lych-gate. The family’s headstone also commemorates his wife, Olive, and his brother, Harry, who served in The Middlesex Regiment and who died of wounds in 1917 during the third battle of Ypres. Harry is buried at Brandhoek Military Cemetery in Belgium.

We are grateful to James’ son, Jim Still, for providing family information in this tribute to his father

Born                           Westcott
Lived                          Westcott

Son of                        William and Elizabeth Still of Keepers Cottage, Milton Street, Westcott
Brother of                   Harry Still
Husband of                Olive Bush

Regiment                    Royal Army Ordnance Corps
Number                      3879

Date of Death             23rd November 1918
Place of Death            Weedon Military Hospital, Northamptonshire
Cause of Death           Possibly died of Spanish ‘flu

Age                            39

Memorial                    Westcott Holy Trinity Churchyard

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