Biography of Private Jim Rylott, (242061)
2nd/5th bn, Leicestershire Regiment
Formery 5752 2nd/5th Leicestershire Regiment
Died 30th March 1917


  • Name: Jim Rylott
  • Date of birth: 1897
  • Place of Birth: Billingborough, Lincolnshire England
  • Date of Birth Registration: July – September 1897
  • Place of Birth Registration: Bourne, Lincolnshire, England

  • Name: James Rylott Avison
  • DOB: 1866
  • Place of Birth: Boston, Lincolnshire, England
  • Occupation: Labourer Poulterer

  • Name: Catherine Gale
  • DOB: 1866
  • Place Of Birth: Boston, Lincolnshire, England
  • Marriage: 1885 Boston District

Siblings: (Name), (DOB), (POB)

  • Kate Rylott, 1886, Boston
  • James Rylott, 1887, Boston (Died 1889)
  • George Rylott, 1889, Boston (Died 1894)
  • Grace Rylott, 1890, Billingborough (Died 1891)
  • Arthur Rylott, 1891, Billingborough (Died 1892)
  • Beatrice Rylott, 1892, Billingborough (Died 1894)
  • Harry Rylott 1894, Billingborough (Died 1911)
  • John Edwin Rylott (Jack), 1896, Billingborough
  • Jim Rylott, 1897, Billingborough
  • Charlie Rylott, 1899, Billingborough (Died 1899)
  • Alfred Rylott, 1900, Billingborough
  • Gertrude Rylott, 1902, Billingborough (Died 1902)
  • Annie Rylott, 1903, Billingborough
  • Mabel Rylott, 1905, Billingborough

  • 1901: Jim is living with his parents in Billingborough, Lincolnshire
  • 1911: Jim is living with parents in Billingborough, Lincolnshire.
Relatives in services

  • None found

  • No marriage for Jim has been found and because of his age we can assume that he never had the opportunity to marry.
Newspaper Mentions

  • Lincolnshire Echo Wednesday 11 April 1917
    Mr and Mrs Rylott of Hgh Street, Billingborough have received the sad news that their son Pte. Jim Rylott, Leicestershire Regiment has died from pneumonia while on active service in France and sympathy is expressed with them in their bereavement.


  • Grantham Journal Saturday 14 April 1917
    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.

Military Records

Attestation Papers

  • None found
Soldier’s Died In The Great War

  • These records show that Jim Rylott, 2nd/5th Battalion Leicestershire Regiment was killed in action on 30th March 1917 in the Western European Theatre in France and Flanders.

Pension Records

  • Available


  • Father James


  • The British Medal
  • The Victory Medal


  • UK:
  • Billingborough, Roll of Honour in Billingborough St Andrews Church


  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission:
  • 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.
  • Grave II. F. 36.

© Picture taken by South Lincolnshire War Memorials

© Picture taken by South Lincolnshire War Memorials

Military Service Timeline

  • Today we remember Billingborough man, Jim Rylott who died on this day March 30th 1017, aged 19 whilst serving with the 2nd/ 5th Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment.
    Born in Billingborough in July 1897, Jim was the son of James Rylott, a labourer from Levington, and Catherine (nee Gale) from Boston. James and Catherine were married in Boston in 1885.
    They went on to have fourteen children:
    Kate (born 1886, Boston)
    James (1887, Boston)
    George (1889, Boston)
    Grace (1890, Boston)
    Arthur (1891, Boston)
    Beatrice (1892, Bourne)
    Harry (1894, Boston)
    Jack (1896, Boston)
    Jim (1897, Bourne)
    Charlie (1899, Bourne)
    Alfred (1900, Bourne)
    Gertrude (1902, Bourne
    Annie (1903, Bourne)
    Mabel (1905, Bourne).
    Unfortunately for James and Catherine, seven of their fourteen children would die at a very young age:
    James, died 1889 age 1
    George, died 1894 age 5
    Grace, died 1891 age 1
    Arthur, died 1892 age 0
    Beatrice, died 1894 age 1
    Charlie, died 1899 age 0
    Gertrude, died 1902 age 0.
    Although Harry was listed on the 1911 census, later that year he too unfortunately passed age 16.
    On both the 1901 and 1911 censuses, the Rylott family are recorded to be living in Billingborough.
    It is a shame to say that Jim’s service records do not exist. However we are able to use what little information there is available to us to piece together the story of Jim’s life.
    Jim enlisted in Lincoln to serve with the Leicestershire Regiment. Although we do not know precise date of when Jim signed up to fight in the war, we can estimate that this would have been in 1915 following the Battalion’s history.
    The 2nd/ 5th Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment embarked from Southampton and sailed on the SS Huntscraft arriving Le Harve, France on the 21st February 1917. Although the Battalion did not leave for France until two years after Jim’s enlistment, newspaper clippings suggest that he was in Ireland during 1916. It i believed that Jim may have been assisting with what is commonly referred to as the Easter Rising.
    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 Bayonvillers and on the 8th Match went into the trenches on the amin 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.
    On March 30th, Jim unfortunately died of pneumonia aged 19. It is not know precisely when he contracted the disease and for how long he was in the line during the early part of March 1917.
    Just under a month later, April 11, the Lincolnshire Echo reported as followed:
    ‘’Mr. and Mrs J. Rylott of High-street, Billingborough have received the sad news that their son, Pte. Jim Rylott, Leicestershire Regiment, has died from pneumonia while on active service in France, and sympathy is expressed with them in their bereavement.’’
    A few days later, April 14 1917, a similar extract can be found in the Grantham Journal:
    ‘’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.’’
    Two years after Jim’s death, he is still remembered by the local community through the unveiling of war memorials in the village, as published in the Lincolnshire Standard and Boston Guardian dated 19 June 1920:
    ‘’WAR MEMORIAL UNVEILED.- An impressive service was held in St. Andrew’s Church on Friday last, when Col. the Hon. Claud H. D. Willoughby, M. P., unveiled a memorial tablet, which has been fixed in the church in memory of the gallant men of the parish who gave their lives in the war. The service, which was largely attended, commenced with the hymn, ‘’Stand Up! Stand up, for Jesus,’’ sung as a processional, after which the Vicar (the Rev. C. R. Thorold Winckley) said the appointed prayers and read the special lesson. Another hymn, ‘’For all the Saints, who from their labours rest,’’ having been sung, Col. Willoughby proceeded to the tablet, and having unveiled it, addressed the congregation. He regarded it as a great honour to be asked to come to Billingborough to perform the ceremony of unveiling a memorial to their glorious dead. Speaking as a soldier, he knew too well what sacrifices had been made by the men who fought in the war, and their courage and devotion to duty, happily, had not been in vain. The knowledge of that should be a source of some consolation to those who had been bereft of their dear ones in the great struggle for right against might. They all should seriously think of what those men had done for them, giving their lives to save us at a time when this country was threatened with the gravest peril. They could not be sufficiently thankful to those who had answered their country’s call, and he might remind them that those whose names were inscribed on the tablet were heroes in exactly the same sense as those of their ancestors who fought and died for their country. They died that we might live, and their names should be cherished, not only by us, but by succeeding generations, knowing full well that it was by the sacrifices they made that this country and those who lived in it, might enjoy immunity from the tyranny of a cruel and relentless foe. After the dedication prayers, the hymn, ‘’On the Resurrection Morning,’’ was sung, and a memorable service closed with the Benediction. The tablet, which is of carved Ketton stone, has a panel of Swithland slate, upon which the following names are inscribed:- Frank Bristow, Walter Carrington, Edward Chapman, George Dudley, George Dunster, Ernest Durham, Frederick Gibson, Leslie G. Hodgkinson, George Nicholson, John A. Nowers, Jim Rylott, Francis Sellars, Arthur Stennett, Sidney A. Ward, John R. Wilson, Reginald Winckley, Alfred Wing, J. William Wright. Above the tablet appear the words, ‘’For God, King, and Country’’ and below, ‘’Let not their names be forgotten.’’ Amongst those who attended the service were Canon Grinter, Vicar of Bourne, and the Rev. T. E. Menrig-Davies, Vicar of Horbling. A muffled peal was rung on the church bells before the commencement of the service.’’
    Further dedications continued in the months after, which is possibly a continuation from the first event now that the men listed is more extensive. The Grantham Journal, 14 August 1920 states:
    ‘’UNVEILING OF A MEMORIAL WINDOW- A further tribute has been paid to the brave men of Billingborough who have their lives in the war, by the filling of the central light of the east window of the Wesleyan Church with stained glass, the subject being ‘’The Crucifixion.’’ It is a fine piece of work, and does the artist much credit, the colours, especially, being beautifully blended. Immediately underneath the figure of the dead Saviour, appears the following words:- ‘’Greater love hath no man than this: that he lay down his life for his friends.’’ Below are four brass tablets. On the first is the following inscription: ‘’To the Glory of God: In memory of those who made the supreme sacrifice in the Great War, 1914- 1918.’’ On the other three are inscribed the names of the men who fell: John W. Bates, Richard Bennett, Frank Bristow, Walter Carrington, John F. Chapman, John Cox, Harry Cox, George Dudley, William Dudley, George Dunster, Ernest Durham, George E. Gibson, Leslie G. Hodgkinson, John A. Nowers, George Nicholson, Jim Rylott, Lionel Rippin, Francis Sellers, Arthur Stennett, Sidney Ward, John R. Wilson, Reginald Winckley, and John Wright. A crowded congregation attended a memorial service on Sunday afternoon when the unveiling ceremony was performed by the Rev. Alec Sneath, of Thurlby, who has worked as a missionary in East Africa. He delivered a singularly appropriate address, during which many were visibly affected. Suitable hymns and music were sang and played, and the service was most impressive. The window was fixed by Mr. Albert Everin, of Billingborough, and the cost, about £75, has been raised by friends of the Connexion.’’
    Jim is buried in Bray Military Cemetery, as part of 847 Commonwealth burials of which 127 are unidentified. Situated in the village of Bray-sur-Somme, 9 kilometres south-east of Albert, the cemetery was begun in April 1916 by fighting units and field ambulances. As the frontline constantly changed in the Somme region, by September 1916, the cemetery was used by the XIV Corps Main Dressing station. In 1917, it was continually used by the 5th, 38th, 48th Casualty Clearing Stations to bury their war dead. In March 1918, the village, and subsequently the cemetery, fell into German hands but were retaken by the 40th Australian Battalion on 24 August. Soon after, the cemetery was used again by Allied forces. After the armistice, the cemetery became what is known as a ‘’concentration cemetery’’ whereby graves from surrounding areas are brought to this site for better care. In 1924 it is known that graves were still being added to Bray Military Cemetery. The cemetery was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield.
    Jim is buried in grave II. F. 36.


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