James Key (1899–1986)


Lincolnshire Regiment 51849 2nd Battalion A Coy
Sherwood Foresters (Notts and DerbyRegiment) 107536  

Photos courtesy Margaret and Emma Stone

James Key photo

James c1930

James Key and daughter 1930s

James with his daughter Beryl c1927

James was born on Cowper Lane, Crich, and was employed at the Heage branch store of the Ripley Co-operative Society. Entering France in April 1918, he was taken as a PoW at Coury in the following May and interned at Friedrichsfield.
He married Ethel Snowball in 1923 and lived on Birches Lane, South Wingfield.

Newspaper reports

Derbyshire Courier, 5 October 1918
Private James Key, Lincolns, son of Mr and Mrs George Key, the Common, has written a home to say he is a prisoner of war. He had been missing for 17 weeks. Writing on 11 June from Friedrichsfeld Vei Wesen, Private Key says that the supply of food given to them was at first bad but it improved later. "We are not bullied about at all," he says. Before joining up he was in the Heage branch of the Ripley Cooporative Society stores. He crossed to France last April.

Derbyshire Courier, 14 December 1918
Several local soldiers who have been prisoners of war in Germany have returned home during the week. They include Lance Corporal Charles Walters, Leicesters, of Fold yard, Crich, who has had six months in captivity; Gunner Jesse Barrett, of Kirkham Lane, Fritchley, who arrived on Monday; Private James Kay was taken prisoner last May, who arrived on Wednesday; and a Private Brown of the Green Fritchley.

PoW Record
KEY James 52849; Pte., 2nd Lincs A; Coury 27.5.18; Unverwundet, Westfront; Crick 1.7.99; Mrs Key, Common, Crick
"Unverwundet" means wounded he was in Friedrichsfield POW camp

Medal Roll Index Card
He was awarded the Victory and British War medals


1901: Cowper Lane Crich

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
George Key Head 30 Wire Drawer Ridgeway
Sarah Key wife 30   Heage
Joseph B Key son 8 Hosiery mender Heage
George Key son 4   Crich
James Key son 1   Crich
Eliza Ann Key daughter 6   Crich

RG13 3231 66 17

1911: Cowper Lane Crich

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
George Key Head 40 Wire Drawer Heage
Sarah Key wife 40   Heage
Eliza A Key daughter 15 Hosiery mender Heage
George Key son 14 Errand boy, steam joinery Crich
James Key son 11 School Crich
Gertrude Key daughter 9   Crich
MaryEllen Key daughter 7   Crich
Alice Key daughter 4   Crich
Ernest Key son 1   Crich
Joseph Beighton step-son 18 Colliery pony driver Heage

RG14PN20984 RG78PN1251 RD436 SD4 ED13 SN273

1939 Register: Birches Lane, South Wingfield
James Key b.1 July 1899; grocery provisions manager
Ethel Key b.16 February 1899
one closed record