James Banks was born in Stourbridge and lived with his parents, Oliver and Annie Banks, in Coventry Street. He attended St. Joseph's RC school and emigrated to Australia in April 1914 to live at The Warren, New South Wales. He volunteered for the Australian Expeditionary Force on 10th January 1916 and listed his next of kin was his sister, Miss A Banks of 7 Coventry Street, Stourbridge. He served on the Western Front and was with the 2nd Division Ammunition Column in 1918 when the Australians had to face the full force of the first German Spring offensive. As the enemy advanced, many Allied soldiers were wounded and taken prisoner. Private James Banks was among them and was taken to a prisoner of war camp. According to the Australian records he died on the 20th January 1919 of influenza and is buried in Charleroi Communal Cemetery (R 27). The CWGM gives his date of death as 26th March 1918. He is commemorated on the Stourbridge, Australian National, St. John's church, Methodist church and St. Joseph's RC school Memorials.
Mary Stevens Park, Stourbridge, West Midlands, United Kingdom
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