James Byard (1883–1968)


Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) 23208 9th & 12th Battalions

On the original Roll of Honour in St Mary’s, Crich, is listed ‘Pte. Jas. Byard’. The likely individual is the James Byard, son of William Henry and Mary Ann Byard, who was born at Bolehill, Wirksworth, and lived at Park Head, Crich at the time of the war. He worked as a stone mason and had married Ellen Jones in 1905. He served with the 9th and 12th Foresters. In Dec 1915 he was posted to the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force on 31st December 1915 and served in Gallipoli. He was demobbed 23rd July 1919.

Sherwood Forester Note [Steve Morse]
BYARD James –  9th battalion and then 12th Pioneer battalion. Would have been on Gallipoli with the battalion.  Balkans should read MEF (Mediterranean Expeditionary Force) on Medal Index Card.  Enlisted Feb 1915 and L/Cpl. Possibly taken ill and sent to UK, then out to 12th Pioneer Battalion. Many men ended up getting all sorts of diseases on Gallipoli.

Crich School log book [Hazel Thomson]

"22nd June, 1915 - Private Byard of the 3rd Sherwood Foresters, visited the school this morning to visit and say “Good-bye” to his children, as he has been ordered to proceed at once to the Dardenelles.  As the whole school had just assembled in the large room, the whole school sang “God of our Fathers” for him, and gave him a cheery send off."  

Medal Index Card
Awarded the Victory, British War and 15-Star Medals
He entered the Balkans War 31 December 1915
Demobbed to Z Reserve 23 July 1919.

His uncle John William Byard is on the Roll.


1891: The Moor, Wirksworth

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
Francis Byard Head 55 Stonemason Ashleyhay
Rachel Byard wife 51   Wirksworth
Andrew Byard son 19 Labourer Bole Hill
Herbert Byard son 12 Scholar Bole Hill
James Byard grandson 8   Bole Hill

RG12 piece 2750 folio 84 page 10

1901: The Moor, Wirksworth

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
Francis Byard Head 66 Stonemason Ashleyhay
Rachel Byard wife 62   Wirksworth
Joseph H Byard son 22 Clay modeller & mouder Wirksworth
James Byard son 18 Clay moulder Wirksworth

RG13 piece 3234 folio 91 page 15

1911: Parkhead, Crich

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
James Byard head 27 Stonemason Bole Hill Wirksworth
Ellen Byard wife 29   Spalding
George William Byard son 4   Bole Hill Wirksworth
Marther Mary Byard daughter 1   Bole Hill Wirksworth

RG14PN20985 RG78PN1251 RD436 SD4 ED14 SN106

1939 Register: Breamfield Lane, Wirksworth
James Byard b.15 June 1882; stone mason
Ellen Byard b.3 December 1880