Private James Hopkinson M.M.

Private James Hopkinson MM served in the 2nd battalion Scots Guards during WW1. He is entitled to the Military medal, the 1914 Star, the British War Medal, the Victory Medal and the Defence Medal. His enlistment number is 8385.

August 31st, 1912: He enlisted in the 2nd battalion Scots Guards

From July to September 1914: The battalion was stationed at the London Tower in London.

October 4th: The battalion left Lyndhurst Camp and marched to South Hampton. They embarked on the HS Lake Michigan and SS Sistern. They sailed to Dover Harbour on the 5th. They spent the day of the 6th waiting in the harbour and sailed to Belgium on that day at 7 pm. They arrived in Zeebrudge at 6 am on the 7th. They were part of the 20th Infantry Brigade with 1st Grenadier Guards, 2nd Border Regiment and 2nd Gordon Highlanders

Scots Guards leaving the London Tower

SG leaving London Tower

October 9th: They reached the town of Antwerp where they could hear the sound of artillery.

October 15th: First day of the first Battle of Ypres

October 17th: They were put on the Front Line and they launched their first attack the next day. To this would follow a series of fierce and heavy fighting and engagement with the Germans.

October 25th: From the book The Scots Guard in the Great War 1914-1918 “Lord Dalrymple and his C.S.M. counted over 120 shells bursts within 100 yards round them in two minutes” The next, when mustered, there 12 officers and 460 men left in the battalion.

By the end of the month the battalion had lost almost half of its strength that it had when arriving in Belgium at the beginning of the month. They had lost 391 men and only 472 were left to fight.

October 29th: There was an attack at night and battalion was sent to far, they were fired by other British troops upon during their retreat because of the night and the rain. They were withdrawn with extreme difficulties and that night only 150 men were mustered. Some men rejoined the battalion the next day.

October 30th: The fighting had continued and by that day there was only 200 men left in a battalion of a strength of 1002 men 4 weeks before. They continued fighting with depleted forces until November 11th when they received their first reinforcing draft.

December 18th: They launched an attack with a bayonet charge in the German trench; they lost almost 50 % of their men during that attack. He was wounded in action (Gunshot wound to the thigh). He was admitted to hospital on December 21st. He was transferred to the 3rd battalion (Reserve Battalion) on December 21st and discharge from hospital on December 26th.

April 1st, 1915: Transferred to the 2nd battalion (Active Service) and back in the field.

May 8th: Hospitalized at the 14th Stationary Hospital in Wimereux for measles. He was transferred to the 18th East general hospital in Cambridge, UK on May 17th. August 17th: Discharged from hospital.

May 17th: He transferred to the 3rd battalion and to the 2nd battalion on August 17th

August 5th: The battalion left the 20th Brigade to join the newly formed Guards Brigade. It became operational around mid-September.

September 25th: The first day of the Battle of Loos. They marched into the town of Loos around 2:00 pm and were relieved the next day. They suffered less casualties than the 1st battalion, 129 casualties.

October 8th: Their trench section were attacked by the Germans and they were sent to support the Grenadiers Guards which were facing a superior enemy in numbers

October 15th: In the days before the battalion was preparing a gas attack. Germans launched a gas attack at 4 am on the 15th. Scots Guards launched their counter-attack at 5 am, the battle would last 3 days and they suffered 102 casualties for that period.

January 1916: The battalion spent the whole month near the villages Meville, they were shelled most of the day but this was very ineffective.

September 15th: Both battalions were part of a major attack that was not a success. It lasted until the 17th. They were sent to rest of the 18th. 2nd battalion 16 killed, 125 wounded and 28 missing

The battalion launched a second attack to gain the missed objective of Leboeuf and Gueudecourt of September 15th, they suffered even more casualties 42 killed, 200 wounded and 88 missing

January-February 1917: No major fighting during that period but just a series of skirmishes and artillery bombardment.

March: The Germans retrieved their troops from the Hinderburgh Line and they provoked a series of small attacks from the British on their lines. Both Scots Guards regiment saw some fighting during that period.

June: Second Battle of Ypres. July 22nd: Germans launched a gas attack that continued until the 26th. On the 25th, Scots Guards launched their attack to raid the German lines. 6 killed. 28 wounded and 132 gassed

July 31st: Third Battle of Ypres The 2nd battalion launched its attack 38 minutes after 0 hours and suffered less casualties.

October 8th: The 2nd battalion relieved the 1st and got into their position to lead next day’s attack. They are going to be relieved on the 13th.

November 24th: The battalion was sent to the lines for the Battle of Cambrai and take Bourlon Woods. They suffered many casualties but much less than their previous engagement.

November 30th: The Germans counter-attacked and both battalions were thrown back in the battle in order to stop the Germans advance. They were taken out of the lines on December 11th and had a quiet rest of December.

January 3rd, 1918: Wounded (gas) and admitted to the 3rd Field Ambulance. He rejoined on January 24th.

End of March: Start of the German spring offensive. From March 21st up to April 15th, the battalion got 34 killed, 149 wounded and 5 missing

End of April-May: no major attack occurred during that period but the casualties for that period were 9 killed, 67 wounded and 2 missing.

End of June: Battalion received American reinforcement and they were to be trained to gain some combat experience.

August 21st: They were relieved from the line on that day but were called back 2 days later, the 23rd. They were then thrown into the battle relieved on the 25th. For those 2 days they suffered 16 killed and 94 wounded.

August 23th: They were stationed near St-Léger and the battle of the last 100 days of the war started. The battle lasted two days.

September 3rd: They took the trench near Vraucourt the day before and they launched their attack at 5:20 am on the morning of the 3rd. They came within 1000 yards of crossing the canal du Nord.

September 26th: Battle of Cambrai. Both battalions had been practising the crossing of the channel while in reserve at rear in the days before. At 7:10 am on the 24th, the 1st battalion launched its attack, the 2nd followed at 9:05 am. They reached their with o total casualties of 3 killed, 12 wounded and 1 missing.

October 10th: Battle of the Canal du Nord, at 5:00 am they launched their attack and they advanced 4 miles during that day for very minimal loss. The push continued on the 11th and was halted that evening. At 2 pm on the 12th, the Germans had withdrawn the regiment then proceeded forward until the evening of the 13th. They suffered 15 killed and 59 wounded for those 3 days.

Mid-December: They entered Germany as the Army of Occupation. They were stationed in Sulz from December 22nd to January 1st.

January 1st 1919: They arrived in Cologne

February 1st: They were back in Sulz. They left Cologne on March 6th and embarked on a motorized convoy, they reached Wimbledon United, Kingdom on March 10th.

February 11th: He was awarded Military Medal (London Gazette) and received the medal on March 18th.

Private James Hopkinson WW1 Medals Index Card

He received his 1914 Star on February 28th and his WW1 pair May 11th

March 23rd: He transferred to the Regular Army on demobilization

May 7th, 1921: Mobilized and attached to the 1st battalion

August 31st, 1924: He reengaged for four years

August 4th, 1927: He married Lettie Lodge in Leeds

August 30th, 1928: He was discharged from the army

He served for three years in United Kingdom between 1939 and 1945, probably with the Veterans Guards

He died in 1975 (April-May-June)

If you know more information on this gentleman, please leave me message so I can add it to his small biography.

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