1895 May 16. Born Ripley, Derbyshire
1901 census at 27, Charles Street Grassmoor, Hasland, Derbyshire
1911 census at 80 Harcourt St Kirkby - in - Ashfield Nottinghamshire
1913 Jul 28. James Spencer Eason, warrant number 103095. Joined on London Met Police . Last posted to W Division as a PC.
1915. Mar 8. Left Met Police
1915 Mar 12 Attested at Mansfield: Pioneer, Royal Engineers Special Reserve (Motor Cyclist Section); age 21 years 330 days; height 5 ft 10 ins; chest 38 ins; range of expansion 3 ins; trade motor mechanic; next of kin Samuel Eason, father, 80 Harcourt Street, Kirkby in Ashfield, Notts
1915 Mar 13. Joined at Hitchin. Promoted Corporal Motor Cyclist
1915 Jul 18 Lands in France
25.5.1916 to 5.6.1916 In close arrest 12 days; sentenced to be reduced to the ranks by F.G.C.M. (Field General Court Martial) for giving wrong name and number to M.P.
5.6.1916 Rank: Pioneer 76657
26.07.1916 Transferred to 2nd Battalion Royal Fusiliers
10.8.1916 Posted, Private 32941
01.08.1917: Commission as 2nd Lieutenant Duke of Wellington’s (3rd West Riding) Regiment, subsequently Lieutenant
01.08.1917 In Lichfield Military hospital with tonsillitis for 12 days
29.4.1918 Gunshot wound to neck, Kemmel (Flanders)
9.5.1918 To Royal Herbert Hospital, Woolwich
21.5.1918 Arrival report: Regiment: 1/7 West Riding, 49th Division; late 8th battalion but now disbanded; address Harcourt Street, East Kirkby, Notts; date of leaving unit 29.4.18; port of embarkation Boulogne, 10.4(5?).18; port of disembarkation Dover, 10.4(5?).18; cause of return G.S.W. (neck)
15.7.1918 Medical Board report, Royal Herbert Hospital, Woolwich: ‘Disability: GSW neck. He had a bullet pass through the back of the neck with injuries to the 3rd and 4th cervical vertebrae. He is making a good recovery. The inlet & exit wounds in the neck are healed but he has not yet full use of the movements of the arms and legs. To remain in Royal Herbert Hospital pending transfer to a convalescent hospital.’
24.7.1918 In Lamcote Auxiliary Hospital for Officers, Radcliffe on Trent. Letter sent by him to the War Office requesting a gratuity for wound received in action at Kemmel on April 29th. Regiment: 3rd West Riding.
1.8.1918 Medical Board report, Carrington, Nottingham: ‘(1) GSW (2) Neurasthenia. The GSW is unaltered. The general condition appears bad. The GSW healed. Complains of constant headaches, sleeps badly, is very depressed. During his examination had an emotional breakdown. The muscular reflexes are normal. Is slightly unsteady in Romberg’s test. Tactile sensibility of the hands is disordered. He says he is very unhappy in his present surroundings and requires careful and skilled treatment in a special hospital for neurasthenia, or melancholia will supervene. This is an urgent case. He has been instructed to return to Lamcote. Requires special hospital treatment’
Granted leave for 5 months from 29.4.18 to 14.9.18. Gratuity £104-3-4
2.1.1919 Medical Board report, Imperial Hospital, St Anne’s: ‘On admission here (August 28th 1918) restless, irritable, agitated & emotional, easily fatigued, depressed, introspective & apprehensive, insomnia, battle dreams, lack of self confidence and concentration, memory defective, somewhat confused, occipital headache. Present condition: Improved, sleeps better, occipital headache, physical condition & self confidence improved.
To proceed on 3 weeks leave from 2.1.19 & to report in writing to War Office 10 days prior to expiration of such leave, his services having been applied for by Ministry of Labour in connection with Officers University & Technical classes. Should he not have received instructions to report to Ministry of Labour by the end of his leave, to report to 3rd West Ridings at North Shields.’
31.1.1919 Granted leave for a further 4 months. Gratuity £83-6-8
1919 Feb 1. 1919 Feb 1. W. Rid. R. Temp. 2nd Lt. J. S. Eason to be temp. Lt.
22.2.1919 Medical Board report, Oulton Hall Officers Hospital, near Leeds: ‘Disability: 1. G.S.W. neck. 2. Neurasthenia. Origin: 23.4.18, France.
History: At above time & place sustained a G.S.W. neck. Neurasthenia symptoms developed in hospital. Early this year was discharged from a special hospital to C 2. He was unable to carry on and is much troubled that during this period his brother officers thought him peculiar.
Progress: (1) is unaltered (2) is improving under treatment. He exhibits a typical anxiety neurosis based upon a certain occurrence in action. He is self conscious and emotional. Insomnia. Battle dreams due to repression. Appetite good. To remain in Oulton Hall Officers Hospital for further special neurological treatment.’
26.3.1919 Medical Board report, Oulton Hall Officers Hospital: ‘(1) G.S.W. neck. (2) Neurasthenia (1) is unaltered. (2) is much improved under treatment. Receiving special neurological treatment in Oulton Hall Officers Hospital.
Appetite still good. Battle dreams less. Insomnia less. Has regained some degree of self confidence and is less emotional. More sociable. Has recently started to sing, dance and play billiards. It has hitherto been most difficult to get this officer to occupy himself, and he exhibits great anxiety over his domestic and business affairs. The Board are of opinion that he will now improve more rapidly and benefit for a change, and recommend that he be granted one month’s leave. To proceed on one month’s leave and to report to 5th Northern General Hospital, Leicester on 27th April 1919.’
24.4.1919 Granted leave for a further 3 months. Gratuity £62-10-0
23.5.1919 Medical Board report, Leicester: ‘Disability: (i) G.S.W. neck (ii) Neurasthenia. He reported at this hospital on 28.4.19 in accordance with instructions received from Medical Board held at Oulton Hall 26.3.19 and was admitted. No improvement since admission.
He is very depressed and sometimes breaks down completely when spoken to. This occurred during examination by the board. He shuns his fellows and sleeps badly. Cerebration very slow. Stammers badly.
The board are of opinion that the best chance of recovery can be secured only by permitting this officer to escape from military environments. To proceed home pending notification in the London Gazette as to disposal.’
19.6.1919 Letter sent by him to the War Office requesting a leave of absence certificate for the period 13.5.19 to 18.6.19, having been awarded leave by a Medical Board at the 5th Northern General Hospital, Leicester, pending notification in the London Gazette. Address Cropwell Road, Radcliffe on Trent
1919 May 19 Married at Bingham, Nottinghamshire to Dorothy F M Upton age 19 of Radcliffe on Trent
1919 Jun 18. W. Rid. R. . Temp. Lt. J. S. Eason relinquishes his commission: on account of ill-health caused, by wounds, and retains the rank of Lt
11.7.1919 Medical Board report, Leeds: ‘Disability G.S.W. neck. Neurasthenia. States he has not improved since last Board. Sleep disturbed & delayed. Occasional battle dreams. Occipital headaches. Memory fair. Concentration bad – association of ideas disconnected. Depressed & emotional.
Exam: Scar of T & T wound back of neck soundly healed. Not tender or adherent. Fine tremors hands & tongue. Pupils react. No Romberg. K. Js exaggerated. No Clonus (muscular spasm) or Babinski (plantar reflex of the foot which should be absent in adults and only present in babies). Stammers. Slight R. internal strabismus. Easily excitable. H.S. normal. Pulse 80. Twitching of facial muscles. Occasional Diplopia (double vision). 100% disabled.’
3.9.1919 Medical Board report, Clipstone Camp: Regiment 1/7 Duke of Wellington’s: ‘The Board find that (1) G.S.W. of neck is now healed, but still complains of pain passing upwards to the back of the head. (2) The Board find he is depressed & breaks down without apparent reason – this occurred during examination. Memory good for remote and recent events. Speech clear and distinct but stammers slightly. He states he suffers from insomnia which he attributes to thoughts of active service – the chief reason for worry that he has not recovered more rapidly from his wound and is dependent on other people at present. Address Cropwell Rd, Radcliffe on Trent.’
By October 1919 he is referred to as Lieutenant in notes in his records although no date of appointment is specified. Rank of Lieutenant is confirmed on his Medal Rolls index card.
20.11.1919 James writes to the War Office at Cornwall House, Stamford Street, London requesting a wound pension, stating that his last Medical Board was at Cornwall House on 5th November for the purposes of deciding his claim to a pension. There is no report of that Medical Board or copies of any replies from the War Office in his service records.
8.12.1919 He writes again to the War Office asking whether he is entitled to a wound pension, explaining that he was discharged 6 months ago and as yet has received no pension or retired pay.
18.12.1919 He sends another letter to the War Office applying for a wound pension.
19.12.1919 Medical Board report, Leeds: ‘States no improvement but is obviously somewhat better than at last Board. States: sleep variable, frequent sleepless nights; severe bi-temporal headaches; memory good; concentration bad; very irritable; easily worried; attacks of depression.
Examination: Minimal tremor of hands. K.Js 1. Pupils N. Teeth with denture good. No Romberg. Pulse 116 H.S.N. Slight R. internal Strabismus. Slight stammer. Physique and nutrition fair. Depressed and worried about pension. States that this is his 6th Board in 6 months.’
James writes a further letter to the War Office regarding his pensions claim. Although this letter is undated, he refers to a Pensions Board he attended in Leeds some six weeks previously (see 19.12.1919 above). Thus his letter was probably written around the end of January 1920. In it he expresses his frustration at hearing nothing about the result, except that his claim for a pension is receiving attention. He then goes on to say:
‘Now, I am informed that I have to appear before a Board of Medical Officers, to decide my claim to a pension almost before I have recovered from the effects of the last one. I trust you will notify me if there has been a mistake for I can assure you that I am completely tired of Medical Boards and of having the horrors of the past brought back to my mind so frequently and vividly’
28.5.1920 Effects (of wounds) still very severe and likely to be permanent
Eligible for a wound pension of £50 from 29.4.19 to 28.4.20; renewed from 29.4.20 to 28.4.21; further renewed from 29.4.21 to 28.4.22 at a rate of £50 per annum
1921 Jan 26. Joined ADRIC with service no 1600. Posted to O Coy.
1921 Feb 18 Posted to N Coy to make up numbers after Crozier removed around 30 of the Trim looters
1921 Feb 18 Promoted Section Leader.
1921 Jun 11 Posted to L Coy. Reverts to T/Cadet
1921 Jun 16. Involved in Rathcoole Ambush. £14 compensation for loss of property
1922 Jan 20 Discharged on demobilisation of ADRIC
1939 Register. Living at 39a Burleigh Road, West Bridgford, Notts. Occupation: soap salesman. Living with wife Dorothy born 23.9.1900 and daughter Jean Dorothy (married name Marks), born 1936 and under school age
1940 Apr 13. Note in service records: ‘The Officer to whom these personal papers relate applied for enrolment in the Officers’ Emergency Reserve on 29/9/39 and was not accepted’ (he was 45 at the time)
1956 Sep 5. Died Basford, Nottinghamshire. Age 62