Oldham Historical Research Group


WW1 serviceman

Pte. James Green, 127273 - Royal Army Medical Corps
of Oldham

James Green RAMC
 RAMC badge
James Green RAMC with fellow soldiers

JAMES GREEN 1880 – 1952

"James Green was my Great Uncle and, as a small boy in the 1940s and on into my teenage years I regularly had contact with Uncle Jim when he visited his older brother Joseph who was my maternal grandfather. Both men were not given to idle chatter but they clearly derived much brotherly companionship while seated on each side of the coal fire burning in the old fashioned black iron fireplace in Eric Street, Clarksfield. I knew that my grandfather did not serve in WW1 as he was married and in his late 30s in 1914 but I was quite unaware at the time that his unmarried brother James had served in the army during the conflict.

The recent revival of interest in the history of WW1, particularly the personal stories, reminded me that I had inherited a collection of family photographs from my mother. I recalled that there were three pictures of Uncle Jim in uniform but just what role he had was a mystery until I located them and took a look at the images.

It was clear that he wore what proved to be the uniform of the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC). Uncle Jim was a devout Baptist and the discovery that he served with the RAMC was without doubt an appropriate role for the gentle and caring man I knew him to be. I do not know whether this indicated he was a conscientious objector or whether he was able to opt for a non-combatant role due to his age of 34yrs in 1914. Nothing was ever said to me by my mother to clarify his role and activities while serving with the Corps. I know that for many who served in the RAMC it was not a soft option when they were required to venture unarmed into the front line and ‘no-mans-land’ to treat the wounded and recover the dead.

A life-long bachelor working in the cotton mills of Oldham after the war he, like many who have served in combat areas, never to my knowledge expressed any thoughts or opinions based on his experiences. How I wish I had been old enough to ask questions, I wonder now if he would have revealed any details of his personal WW1."
Ray Oliver

James and his older brother, Joseph, were the sons of James Green and his wife, Sarah Ann.
By 1901 the family, now 4 brothers and two sisters, were living in New Earth Street, Clarksfield. The two older brothers, Joseph and James were both working in the cotton mill.
By 1911, Joseph had married Martha Ann and the couple were living at 37 Wren St., Salem (Lees Road). James was still living with the family on New Earth Street and working in the cotton mill. Their mother had died, in early 1908, and there was also a new addition to the family, 7 year old Walter. James senior's sister (in-law?), Lucy, was also living with them.

In early 1916 Military Service Act required all men to enlist for service, by March of that year. Enlisted men were then put into groups by age and marital status. Groups were then called up for military service in order of priority.

26 bowden Street, Oldham

26, Bowden Street

James' Military Service Record shows that he enlisted, as required, on the 2nd March 1916 but wasn't actually called up until November 1917.

He was pronounced fit for active service although his eyesight was below par. He gave his home address as 26, Bowden Street, Glodwick and his next of kin as his father James, of the same address.

His papers show that his religion was 'Strict Methodist'.

On the 12th November 1917, when he was called up, James was placed with the 5th Training Battalion of the RAMC, Private number 127273. On the 4th Jjanuary 1918 his battalion was posted to No. 19 Company RAMC for duty at the 3rd Western General Hospital in Cardiff. In March they were posted to the Depot in Blackpool and, later that month, they embarked at Southampton en route to France and service in Rouen and Boulogne.

In August 1918 his Service Record shows that he suffered an accidental injury to his head resulting in a short stay in hospital. There was always an investigation after such injuries to determine whether or not it was an accidental or deliberate injury. James' Records contain his own handwritten statement, another of the corroborative evidence of a fellow passenger and the official decision that it was accidental.

Letter ref accidental injury

Account of
accidental injury from
Pte, James Green

verdict ref accidental injury

Account of
accidental injury from
witness Pte. Selby

Letter ref accidental injury

Official report of

James' service with the RAMC continued until he was posted home in July 1919 and de-mobbbed the following month on the 13th August.

back to 'SERVICEMEN WE KNOW' Gallery

Contributed by : Ray Oliver

link to home page
WW1 menu page
WW1 links page