Toombs, James Charles

Dates:
30 July 1890 to 10 February 1917

War Service:
Sergeant James Charles Toombs, 3rd (Reserve) Battn. The Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment). He had served several years and obtained his discharge before re-enlisting on 23 August 1914 after the outbreak of war. He served with the Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders from the following December. He was invalided home suffering from frost-bitten feet and returned to the front in October 1916. He was killed in action at Givenchy 10 February 1917.

The Lewisham Borough News 30 March, 1917 reported his death on its front page under his photograph: "Sergeant J.C. Toombes, West Kent Regiment, was killed by a piece of shell striking the back of his head, in France on February 9. He was the eldest son of Mrs Toombs of 15 Ardmere road Hither Green and had served his time in the Army before the commencement of the present war. He rejoined on 23rd August 1914 and went to the Front the following December. He shortly afterwards contracted frost-bitten feet and was detained at home until October last. He was married and leaves a wife and little daughter seven months old. He was an "old boy" of Hither Green School and was in his 27th year.
Mrs Toombs has two other sons in the army - Driver William Toombs and Gunner Edwin Toombs. Both are expecting shortly to be sent to the Front."

He is buried and commemorated in Gorre British and Indian Cemetry, Pas de Calais, France.

Location of Memorial:
He is remembered on the memorial at Hither Green School.

Details:
He was born in Lambeth on 30 July 1890 and was the eldest son of Mr and Mrs Toombs of 15 Ardmere Road, Hither Green, two of his brothers William and Edwin also served and survived. He married Lily Emma at St Swithin's Hither Green on 23 October 1915 and had a daughter Kathleen Louisa born 20 August 1916. He worked as a house-decorator before re-enlisting.

Source:
Lewisham Borough News 23 March 1917.
Lewisham Borough News 30 March 1917
De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour.

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