Today we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of one of our local Billingborough men.
Private Jim Rylott 242061 of the 2nd / 5th battalion Leicestershire regiment died of pneumonia on 30th March 1917 whilst on active service with his battalion in France, age 19.
Jim was born in Billingborough in 1897 to James Rylott Avison and his wife Catherine Gale both born in Boston.
From 1897 the family had been living in Billingborough where James was working as a poultry labourer.
Jim is listed on the 1911 census as the 3rd surviving son of the the 13 children born to James and Catherine. They had lost 7 children before 1911.
Jim later enlisted in the Leicestershire Regiment in Lincoln.
The 2/5th Battalion, Leicestershire embarked in Southampton and sailed on the SS Huntscraft arriving in Harve, France on the 21st February 1917.
After a night in rest camp no 1, the battalion entrained for Saleux where they were billeted for three nights before moving to Bayonvillers.
In the early part of March the Battalion was in line around Bayonvilles and on the 8th March went into trenches on the main Amiens to Estrees Road to relieve the 8th Durhams.
The brigade received word on the 17th that the enemy had retired from their positions. They advanced on the 17th and consolidated the new positions on the banks of the River Somme, sending patrols over the river the following day without seeing any enemy.
After a few days in divisional reserve in Foucaucourt the Battalion was moved to Le Mesnil and then Eterpigny. By the following day, 29th, the division was based at Catelet and the 2/5th Leicesters moved to Hancourt.
It is not known when Jim fell ill during this period and how long he was in the line during the early part of March 1917.
The Grantham journal reported
OUR HEROES. – Mr and Mrs J Rylott of High Street have received the sad news that their son Pte. Jim Rylott (Leicestershire Regiment) has died from pneumonia, while on active service abroad. He was in Ireland during the troubles last year. Much sympathy is expressed for the family in their bereavement.
In memory of Private Jim Rylott, 2nd/5th Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment who died on 30 March 1917 Age 19
Son of James and Catherine Rylott of High Street, Billingborough, Lincs
Remembered with honour, Bray Military Cemetery.