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Newton-le-Willows and

Earlestown War Memorial

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In Memory of

Wheeler Corporal James Kettle

12632
“A” Battery 58th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery
Killed In Action 11th June 1917 Age 31

Corporal Kettle, known as “Spokey” to his friends in the army, lived with his wife and two sons at 28, Viaduct Street, Earlestown. He worked as a wagonmaker at the Viaduct Works and was also the captain of the Earlestown Cycling Club.

He joined the RFA in September 1914. His name is on the NEG list of recruits from the Earlestown office published on October 23rd 1914. According to the obituary published in the Earlestown and Newton Guardian on June 29th 1917, he had only been back in France eight days after leave when he was killed.

The obituary published three letters including one from Gunner F. Downall. Captain T. Lewis of “A” Battery said that Corporal Kettle “was at the Gun line, assisting us to make a dug-out, when an enemy shell burst near him, killing him instantly.”

He is buried in Wytschaete Military Cemetery in Plot IV Row D Grave 4. The cemetery is seven kilometres south of Ieper at Wijtschate. The village was captured from the Germans on 7th June 1917 during the Battle of Messines. The cemetery was made after the Armistice by the concentration of isolated graves and small cemeteries from the battlefields around Wytschaete. It has 1002 graves of which 673 are unidentified.