HARRISON (Jim) James Norman

Name: HARRISON James (Jim) Normanpoppy

Nationality British

Rank: Gunner

Regiment / Service: 88th Field Regiment of the Royal Artillery.

Date of Death: 06.10.1943

Age: 23

Service No: 871220

Cemetery: Kanchanburi War Cemetery, Thailand.

CWGC Certificate:  James Norman Harrison

Grave / Memorial Ref: 8. B.6

Address or Parish: Dutton and Knowle Green

Additional Info: James (Jim) Harrison was born in 1919. Son of Walter and Jenny Harrison of Goodshaw Farm, Dutton. Whilst living at Dutton Jim and his sister Jean attended Knowle Green School. On leaving school, the Harrison family moved to Huntington Hall, and Jim joined the local Territorial Army at Preston. Jim was drafted into the Army on the outbreak of war in 1939 because of his service with the 'Terriers', despite being in a reserved occupation working on hs Father's farm.

At the start of his service, Jim married Alice Fletcher, his sweetheart of two years, at Whitechapel Church. Almost immediately afterwards Jim was posted to France with the 88th Field Regiment of the Royal Artillery. During his time with the Expeditionary Force in France, Jim took part in a number of engagements before retreating in May 1940 to the beaches of Dunkirk where he, and over 300,000 Allied soldiers, were rescued. After his escape from France, Jim stayed in England for about twelve months before he was sent to Singapore via Capetown in February 1942. Singapore was captured by the Japanese Forces. He endured dreadful condition as a prisoner of the Japanese, particularly while working on the infamous Burma Railway and the Bridge on the River Kwai, where he died on 06.10.1943 at the age of 23.

During his time back in England, following his escape from France, Jim and his wife, Alice, had a baby daughter, Pat. Sadly their time together was fleeting, after his posting to Singapore Alice and daughter Pat never saw him again.

After Jim's death, Alice Harrison did not remarry. Until a few years ago, she lived at Stone Cross, Grimsargh, where she was well known to many people through a family association with the Longridge Picture House. Daughter Pat lived at Clayton-Le-Woods. Sister Jean lived in the Lake District and taught deaf children.

Also remembered on the Knowle Green Memorial. Our thanks to Roy Skilbeck of Ribchester for this information and the other men of this area.