James Venables was the most difficult Marston Lad to research. With his war enlistment records missing, at least three men of the same age were found and not one with any Marston connection, the task ahead wasn't going to be easy. As is often the case; the unlocking of James Venables was down to a stroke of luck.
James Venables joined the 13th Battalion of The Cheshire Regiment. His regimental number of W/162 is interesting. The 'W' relates to the 13th Battalion, Wirral.
A search with The Cheshire Regiment has a James Venables commemorated at Marston Memorial as well as Port Sunlight (The Lever Brothers Memorial, which was a Chemical Company known as Port Sunlight) which is the Wirral, and with the same service number.
Cheshire Regiment Source.
Soldiers effects register James Venables Service number 162
His parents were Thomas and Sarah Louisa Venables. James was one of six children born to the marriage. By 1911, James's mother had passed away. James was working within the soap manufacturer's, which would be Port Sunlight who made the famous soap tablets.
The only war records surviving do include his service medal records. The date given for one medal was the 25th September 1915 when he landed in France.
The 13th (Wirral) Battalion, Cheshire Regiment was raised at Port Sunlight on 1st of September 1914 by Gershom Stewart, MP. They proceeded to France on the 25th of September 1915 and concentrated in the area of Nieppe. Their first major action was in defence of the German attack on Vimy Ridge in May 1916.
1st July 1916 | The Lochnagar Mine
The Capture of La Boisselle (1–6 July 1916) was a tactical incident during the Battle of Albert, the name given by the British to the first two weeks of the Battle of the Somme.