James Ryan

James Ryan was 6ft tall and looked older, which was why he was accepted as a volunteer at just 16 years of age. He joined the Royal Field Artillery as a Gunner (service no. 1385) and was mobilised on the 4th August 1914 from Southampton to Alexandria. He travelled to Cairo, Ismailia, Kantarah, Albania, Port Said and into Turkey, fighting in Gallipoli and the Dardanelles with the 1st Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, 1/4th East Lancs. Battery, Mediterranean Expeditionary Force. After a spell at home he returned to fight in France and Belgium. In a letter home he stated that 'there isn't a bullet with my name on', which proved correct when Jim was killed by mustard gas on 30th September 1917 on the Menin Road during the third battle of Passchendale . He is buried at the Mendingham cemetery where his headstone shows his age as 22yrs old, which is incorrect as he had lied about his age when he volunteered.

This photograph is part of a collection contributed to the Great War Archive by Simon Green on behalf of his mother Edna, James' younger sister, who still remembers and grieves for her brother 'Jim-jim'.