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Condition - E.F.
James Alfred Locke was born to James and Annie Locke and lived in Peckham, London. He initially joined the 12th Battalion Rifle Brigade in late 1915 and was given the service number S/16425. Pte. Locke retained this number when he was transferred to the 8th Battalion and went overseas to France in mid-1916. The 8th Battalion Rifle Brigade together with the 7th Battalion and the 7th and 8th K.R.R.C. were made into the 41st Brigade of the 14th (Light) Division. Pte. Locke first saw action on the Somme in 1916,when the 8th Battalion was in the advance on Delville Wood on 23rd August, 1916. On 15th September 1916, the 8/Rifle Brigade was engaged in the first day of the Battle of Flers Courcelette, 1916. This action saw the frst use of British tanks and the 8th Rifle Brigade was supported by three of them. Unfortunately, only one was operational at the time of the attack and that was immobilised at 6.20 by a shell. As a result, the 8th Bttln. was exposed to heavy machine gun fire and suffered a high number of casualties. However, the Bttln. pushed on and captured Switch Trench by 7.00 a.m.
Following these heavy casualties, the 8th Bttln. did not see further action until the Battle of Arras from 9th April to 16th May, 1917, when it attacked Inverness Copse. The Battalion's next action was at the Battle of Langemark between the 16th and 18th August, 1917. Pte. J.A. Locke's final action with the 8/Rifle brigade was during the Battle of Passchendaele between 26th October and 10th November, 1917. After all this heavy fighting Pte. J. A. Locke was killed in action during a trench raid on the 6th December, 1917 aged 21.
He is Remembered with Honour on the Tyne Cot Memorial.
The medal pair and memorial plaque are sold with copies of Pte. J. A. Locke's MIC, CWGC memorial sheet and the British War and Victory Medal entitlement roll showing that he was in the 8th Battalion of the Rifle brigade (dated 8th April 1920).
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