Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

The Point area of Old Portsmouth was home to the Hudson family for over 30 years though by the Great War they had moved to Portsea. The earliest record of the family is from 1856 when James William's grandfather James Hudson married Mary Jane Harcourt from Liverpool.
Both James and Mary had been born in 1827 but neither have been traced in any census prior to 1871 when they were living at 8 Bath Square. James's occupation was given as Master Mariner which probably means that he was at sea for some earlier censuses. By 1871 the couple had five children, James jnr., Mary jnr., George, Louise and Sarah. James snr. died in 1873 and by 1881 Mary and the three younger children had moved down the road to the Coach and Horses on Tower Street.
Our focus then shifts to James and Mary's third child George Hudson who married Hester Martha Bampton in 1886 (the marriage records actually give her name as Esther, but all subsequent records list her as Hester). Their first home was at 10 Oyster Street which they shared with another family and by 1891 their first two children had been born - Mary, in 1890 and Florence, in 1891. They had moved house to 10 Camber Alley by the time of the 1901 census which recorded that four more children had been born - George (b. 1893), William J. (b. 1895), Charles (b. 1899) and Reginald (b. 1901). It is clear from later records that "William J." was in fact James William Hudson.
1911 saw the family out of the Point area for the first time as their address for the census that year was 10 Marjory Court, Butcher Street, Portsea. George was described as a mariner as he had been for the previous two censuses and James William was a 16 year old errand boy.
Three years later the Great War broke out but James William probably did not enlist on the first call for volunteers as he joined the 15th Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment which wasn't formed until April 1915. After a period of training the battalion was sent to France in May 1916. Nothing is known of his experiences of war except that it ended when he was killed in September 1916.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission list Private James William Hudson (20612), 15th Battalion, Hampshire Regiment, died 15/09/1916. Commemorated at the Thiepval Memorial, (Pier and Face 7 C and 7 B.).
James Hudson is remembered on the Anglican Cathedral WW1 Memorial Cross and on the Cenotaph. He is not listed in the 'National Roll of the Great War', Section X.
Tim Backhouse
November 2014
Thanks to Cynthia Sherwood for additional research