Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

The branch of the Day family to which Allan James belonged were not native to Portsmouth, indeed it is difficult to say they were native anywhere else either. His father James had been born in Ringwood, Hampshire, his mother Annie in Brighton and each of his seven siblings in a different town.
James and Annie were married in 1889 but the location has not been determined with certainty. It is known that they were living in Boscombe, Hampshire in 1893 when their second child Ivy was born, then Battersea between 1896 and 1899 when Allan James and his brother Arthur were born. This was followed by Chertsey in 1901 for the birth of May, Sutton in 1903 when Frederick was born, Maidenhead in 1906 for Doris, and Midhurst, Kent for Francis. They finally arrived in Portsmouth around 1909 when they were resident at 45 Hatfield Road, Eastney.
The reason for the frequent changes of address would appear to be James's employment as a Builder's Foreman - he must have been very good at it to have been in such demand. Once the family had arrived in Portsmouth though they seem to have stayed longer than anywhere else as records show that they were still at Hatfield Road, albeit at No. 65, in 1921.
At the outbreak of the Great War Allan James was 18 years old and eligible to enlist but it is not known precisely when he did so. Whatever the date, when he joined he was posted to the Royal Engineers and probably spent most of the war on the Western Front. He died just a couple of weeks before the Armistice was declared.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) list Allan James Day, Serjeant (78410), Royal Field Artillery, died 22/10/1918, age 22, awarded the Military Medal. Buried at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery (Grave Ref: XXXV.A.42.). Son of James and Annie Day, of 65, Hatfield Rd., Southsea, Portsmouth.
Allan Day is not commemorated on the Cenotaph, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth. Nor is he listed in "The National Roll of the Great War", Section X.
Tim Backhouse
January 2015