James Stainton

St Bees Dead of the First World War
Roll of Honour
James Stainton
lst Bn Border Regiment
Killed in Action, the Somme 1916, aged 31

I have had some difficulty over the identity of the ‘J. Stainton’ on our memorials. A large part of the problem is that although the records show four Stainton families in our area at the relevant time, none had a member with the initial J.

Of the forty-one Staintons killed in the First World war, I think we can narrow the field to three. These are: John Giles Stainton 6th. Battalion The Dorset Regiment Killed October 1917 James Stainton 1st. Battalion The Border Regiment Killed 1st. July, 1916. Jack Stainton 2nd. Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers Killed May 1917 Initially I thought that the second of these – James Stainton – was the one most likely to be “ours”. The first – John Giles Stainton – was in a distant regiment. The third – Jack Stainton – was in a regiment closer to home, but no-one else from St. Bees had joined it.

James Stainton, however, was in our own County Regiment, as were fourteen others from St. Bees, and his position on the memorials is correct for a 1916 death. (The names appear in approximately date-of-death order). Against this, however, there were problems. The 1920 addresses for both his widow and his parents were in Kendal. James Stainton had enlisted there. And there is a J. Stainton on the Kendal memorial.

Almost by chance, at the Border Regiment’s Museum in Carlisle, I found another Stainton reference. They had a record of 2363 Private Jack Stainton, serving in the “Whitehaven Pals” battalion of the regiment, having transferred there from the Lancashire Fusiliers. And he had enlisted originally at Whitehaven.

It would be better if we had a home address for Jack Stainton, to link him positively to St. Bees. But with the knowledge that 2963 Private J. Stainton of the Border Regiment and 38380 Private Jack Stainton of the Lancashires were actually one and the same, the identity of our J. Stainton appears more certain.

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