WO 1 James McCann,
1st Bn Lancashire Fusilers.
India 1907 to 1911

"This long serving Lancashire Fusilier has created for me a most difficult piece of research.

He was married in St Stephens, Elton, Bury on 24th March 1904.

He was living at 321 Bolton Road Bury and his fiancee Mabel Mary Wallace was living next door at 323 Bolton Road Bury- she was the daughter of an 'Army Pensioner' called Thomas Wallace.

It would appear that these two addresses were married quarters in Wellington barracks (further work needed here )

His son James Wallace McCann was born on 7th March 1905.
He was baptised in Malta on 14 May 1905 by the Reverend J A Hatton C.

His birth certificate is from the Army register and mentions '20th The Lancashire Fusiliers' and lists his job as 5425 Colour Sgt James McCann.

This information is supported by the pic A3 which shows McCann as a C/sgt with his new son in christening robes.
McCann is wearing a Broderick cap which fits the date exactly.

So, we have C/Sgt James McCann in Malta in 1905, which does fit the 1st Bn postings list. They were in Gibralter from 1899 to 1902, then Malta 1903 -1905, followed by Egypt until 1907.

For him to have been a C/Sgt in 1905, one would guess that he would already have had approximately 15 years service already, meaning he would have served from about 1890 when the 1st Bn were in Ireland.

This date is supported somewhat by the earliest pic of him as a L/Cpl.

The majority of his pics are of his time in India, 1907 to 1911,when he clearly has had quite a few promotions and appears in uniform wearing a Sam Browne.

Could he have been the RSM ?

Later pics show him as obviously now commisioned and there are WW1 group pics of him with LF Officers.

There is a medal card of a C/Sgt James McCann at the National Archive which shows him as both C/Sgt and as Captain, so he started WW1 as a C/Sgt.

Medal card of McCann, James
Corps Regiment No
Lancashire Fusiliers 5425 Colour Serjeant
Lancashire Fusiliers Captain

This makes the pic at Warminster dated 1912 somewhat of a mystery, unless McCann left the army and re enlisted for WW1 ?

The later pics are of him in retirement, does anyone recognise the beautiful room where the dinner is about to be held and the bowling pavilion behind the bowlers ?

It would appear that this LF had at least 28 years service and it is frustrating for me to be unable to fill in the gaps.

I will keep working on it, the reader may well be able to help ?


School Marm and Mrs McCann


Warminster 1912

Bowling Club 1920s