James Forest Halksworth


Army Service Corp
Royal Army Service Corps



Medal index card
He was awarded the Victory, British War and 15 Star Medals with clasp for the Victory medal 28/07/19
Entered France 05/09/15
RASC added to Victory medal

James Hawksworth was an employee of the Marsden-Smedley family on their Dethick Estate.

Cpl. James Halksworth, A.S.C. Mounted Brigade, Notts and Derby Rgt (Territorials) volunteered and left for service on 8th August, 1914.
He was posted to Hungerford in Berkshire from where he reported on the early preparations for war.
Several of his communications to home are printed in the Parish Magazine.

14th September, 1914
We have been under canvas 16 days now, and prefer it to billeting out. We have moved our quarters 6 times now, and our next we are expecting will be to France in a month’s time. We have had the Bishop of Southwell to preach to us. I may say we have very little sickness among us now.’

October 1914
Hungerford is quite a small town, 9 miles from Newbury where there are quite a lot of German Prisoners. We have got orders to move on 30th of this month, and I expect it is to France.’

He did not sail for France until September 1915 when he was part of 21st Supply Division. B.E.F. and he is shown as Lce Sgt. J.M. Halksworth No S/4/060109 21st Supply Division A.S.C. (Army Service Corps).

Between October 1914 and September 1915, he had several postings in the south and east of England. He left Hungerford on 30th October, 1914 for Pangbourne to join the Mechanical Transport and proceeded from there to Bulford Camp on the Salisbury Plain and then to Reading and Cromer.

By January, 1915, he was in Norwich and on February 23rd he was at the Supply Depot at Fakenham in Norfolk. He wrote on 17th February, ‘We moved from Norwich on 10th February 1915, there was a party of 12 Issuers, myself included, sent down for a month’s course on supply work. The work was interesting.’

He left Fakenham on 11th March, 1915 and arrived at Bulford on the 15th, ‘a pleasant journey. The rumour is we are bound for Alexandria. We have about 130 lorries.’

He wrote from Bulford on 27th June, 1915 saying, ‘We have our corps strength reduced to about half and we are hoping that on a smaller corps we may stand a better chance of a move.’

It was on 14th September, 1915, he wrote, ‘At last we have got across. We are all busy trying to puzzle out the language.’ In November, he reported that he was quite well. Once he was in France, the letters became more sparse but in December 1915 he was under canvas but the weather was bad and everything was ‘ quiet here, except for the big guns occasionally’. In January 1916, ‘We manage to get a few games of football when duty and the weather permit.’ By June he was hoping for a quick finish to the war.

He received his first parcel of hosiery from John Smedley’s in December 1916 and the groceries followed shortly afterwards. He acknowledged receipt of ‘the underwear and eatables’ and wrote, ‘We are having some dirty weather here now but no doubt the good weather will soon be with us. There appears to be good news coming down to us from the front line.

By February 12th, 1917 he was Sgt J.Halksworth S/4/060109 15th Division, Troops Supply Column, B.E.F. France.
There had been some problem in getting the Parish Magazine to him and he wrote to say that he had received a magazine and that the hard work made time pass more speedily.

Letters from/about James Hawksworth

Lea Nov 18/16
Dear Sir
Through the kindness of Mr. Whitcher I am able to forward you the enclosed addresses.
Pte F Hawley   No.  28086
8th North Staffs, 12th I.B.D., 24th Section, C/o A.P.O.,
B.E.F. , France
Cpl. J.F.M. Halksworth
S/4060109, X Dv.Corps Troops, Supply Column
B.E.F. France
P.S. With reference to the above address. I see in the Church Magazine for February 1916 he is put down as being a Lce Sergeant but the above address is as given to me by Mr. Whitcher.
Yours Obediently
George Barber

Feb 12th 1917
Dear Sir
Many thanks for magazine and note received on the 11th inst.  I am sorry you have had so much trouble in getting my address which is still the same and I also must apologise for not acknowledging the receipt of several magazines.
I am pleased to say that I am in good health, I have been getting plenty of work which does fine to pass the time on and I think the general feeling is that we will be home again before the end of the summer.
As you are no doubt aware we have been getting plenty of winter weather here and there is signs beginning to go snow.
Trusting All at the Vicarage are in Good Health
Yours Respectfully
Sgt. Halksworth
15th Troops Supply Column
B.E.F.   France

[Note: this letter was attached to a note from the vicarage.  The following items also appear in different handwriting:
Sgt J. Halksworth
15 Division Corps  Troops Supply Column, British Exped. Force]

Feb 25th 1917
Mr. Bartlett
Since I wrote to you to say I had received the parcel of underwear, the second parcel of eatables has arrived.
My appreciation of the same I must ask you to convey to Mr. Marsden Smedley.
We are having some dirty weather here now but no doubt the good weather will soon be with us.
There appears to be good news coming down to us from the line just now.
Yours sincerely
J Halksworth


1901: Brook House, Beeley

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
Mary Halksworth Head (widow) 81   Berwick on Tweed
Albert Halksworth son 38 Gritstone quarryman Beely
Clara Halksworth daughter in law 31   Beely
Amy Halksworth granddaughter 11   Beely
Charles H Halksworth grandson 5   Beely
James Halksworth grandson 11   Chapel en le Frith
Henry Manning boarder 22 Woodman Arlington

RG13 piece 3264 folio 50 page 2

1911: Park Cottages, Darley Dale

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
Albert Halksworth Head 48 Quarryman Beely
Clara Halksworth wife 42   Beely
Charles Harold Halksworth son 15 Blacksmith labourer Beely
Maggy Halksworth daughter 6   Beely
James Forest Halksworth nephew 21 Gardener domestic Chapel en le Frith
Charles Hernest Hayes lodger 24 Blacksmith Pilsley

RG14PN21203 RG78PN1262 RD439 SD2 ED5 SN166