28 November 1917 : James Metcalfe

James Metcalfe was born at Cray, Yorkshire on 5 November 1883

Age 17 James emigrated to Masterston, New Zealand.

Location of Cray in northern england (cc OpenStreetMap)

At the outbreak of war in 1914 he was employed as a labourer in Whakatane.

Location of Whakatane in New Zealand (cc OpenStreetMap)

He enlisted into the New Zealand Rifle Brigade on 12 October 1915 and embarked for Egypt on 5 February 1916.

Men of New Zealand Rifle Brigade scaling the walls of Le Quesnoy

After several weeks in Egypt, he was transferred to the Western Front and was a participant in the Battle of the Somme. It was here, on 25 September 1916, that he was wounded in the right shoulder and left leg and evacuated to England for hospital treatment and recuperation, not returning to the front until June 1917.

Battles of Broodseinde and Passchendaele, 1917 (Geographx)

Upon his return, James was transferred to the Otago Regiment with which he served as a stretcher-bearer during the Third Battle of Ypres.

After being severely wounded multiple times while in action James died in No 10 CCS on 28 November 1917.

Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery. Graven by Wernervc CC BY-SA 3.0

He is buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery near Poperinghe.

25/410 Pte James Metcalfe, 3rd Bn Otago Regt

28 November 1917 died of his wounds.

Research by David O'Mara

Links: Stretcher Bearers on the Western Front,  New Zealand Rifle BrigadeOtago Infantry Regiment