Francis James Schofield

Private 1542, South Nottinghamshire Hussars (Nottinghamshire Yeomanry), died of malaria, July 1916

James Schofield, aged 12, seen in a photograph of Barkestone-le-Vale village school in 1904. On the right is the headmaster, W.Cragg, and on the left a girl called A.Stevens. | From the private collection of Mr Denis Kirk. Identification by Sheila Marriott.
James Schofield, aged 12, seen in a photograph of Barkestone-le-Vale village school in 1904. On the right is the headmaster, W.Cragg, and on the left a girl called A.Stevens.
From the private collection of Mr Denis Kirk. Identification by Sheila Marriott.
South Notts Hussars cap badge, WW1 | Bottesford Heritage Archive
South Notts Hussars cap badge, WW1
Bottesford Heritage Archive

Introduction

Private Francis James Schofield came from Barkestone-le-Vale, in the Vale of Belvoir. Though not from Bottesford, he is added to this archive not least to remove any confusion that may arise with Royal Marine Bandsman James Schofield, who was more closely associated with Redmile and Bottesford, and was recorded in the list of servicemen found in the organ at Bottesford parish church and was recorded as an Absentee Voter with an address in Bottesford.

Family background

Francis James Schofield, known as James rather than Frank or Francis, was born in Doncaster in 1891. He was baptised in St James, Doncaster, on the 5th July the son of Fanny (Frances) Schofield, who lived at 1, Barnstone St, Hexthorpe, Doncaster. In the census of 1901, he was recorded as a nine-year old living with his mother, Frances Ann Schofield, who had become the postmistress at Barkestone. He appears to have been an only-child. However, also in the Barkestone household was wheelwright Frank Schofield, Frances’ nephew (thus Francis James’ cousin). At this date, Frances Ann was aged 45 (born in 1856), and Frank was 41 (born in 1860). Frances and Frank were still in Barkestone in 1911, she recorded as postmistress and grocery shop keeper, he still a wheelwright. However, James was not with them at this date, and in fact no further details of James’ life have been discovered until the record of his death in 1916, while serving with the South Nottinghamshire Hussars.

James’ mother Frances was the second daughter of James Schofield senior, a wheelwright born in Barkestone, and Mary Ann Schofield (nee Height). James senior was born in Barkestone in 1814; Mary Ann was born in 1815 in Duddington, Northamptonshire. The family was recorded in the 1861 census living “near the Parish School” in Barkestone: with them were Julia (aged 12), Forgon (a son, aged 7), Frances Ann (5), Charlotte (3), Florence Amelia (1), Susannah (7 months) and grandson Frank, aged 7. There is no indication of who Frank’s father was.

In 1881, James senior, now aged 66, and Mary Ann, 65, were still in Barkstone, accompanied by Frank (21 years old, a wheelwright like his grandfather) and ten year old Agnes, grand-daughter of James and Mary Ann. Agnes was born in Upper Holloway, London, but we do not know who her parents were.

Service records

Details of Private James Schofield’s military service have not been located, but it is possible that he enlisted about 1910, when he was eighteen, which might be the reason he has not been found in the 1911 census. The Forces War Records website has records for him dating from 1914 and 1916, confirming that he joined up before or during 1914.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission records that Private Schofield died on the 20th July, 1916, aged 25, “Son of Frances Ann Schofield, of Barkestone, Bottesford, Nottingham”. He is buried in Salonica (Lembet Road) Military Cemetery, Greece. An additional brief record in ‘Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914-1919’ adds that the South Nottinghamshire Hussars were part of the Household Cavalry. His death is also recorded in ‘Leicestershire & Rutland, Soldiers Died 1914-1920’ (Michael & Peter Doyle), which adds that he died of malaria.

It is probable that James Schofield served in the 1/1st Brigade of the South Notts Hussars. This was a historic regiment, first raised in the 1790s. In the First World War it had three brigades. The 1st, which was formed in April 1908 on the creation of the Territorial Force, was sent to the Middle East, and in 1915 took part in the fighting at Sulva Bay (Gallipoli Campaign). Then in 1916 it was moved to Salonika where it took an active part in the fighting, with many of its casualties due to malaria and other diseases.

After the end of the war

Frank Schofield died in 1923 and was buried in Barkestone on the 12th December. Frances Ann died in 1935, and was buried in Barkestone on the 16th December. The voters list from 1929 shows that Frances and her sister Julia lived on The Green, Barkestone, at this time, and that three other people named Schofield were also voters in Barkestone, Mary Ann “near the School”, Matthew and Helena Ann “near the Sun Inn”. However, the relationships of these to Frances and Julia have not been determined.

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