James William Favell
James William Favell – Private G/78270 29th Battalion Middlesex Regiment died on Sunday, 18th February 1917. His grave is in Anfield Cemetery, Liverpool. James contracted Pneumonia while on active service. He was born in Derby according to ‘Soldiers Died’ and also the 1911 census, which I believe refers to West Derby, Liverpool. He enlisted in the Army in Liverpool. In 1911 he was living with his wife Maria Eleanor in Upton, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire and working for himself as a Coach Builder. In the census the spelling of their surname was Favill, with James signing the entry himself. The 1901 census lists a 12 year old James Favell living with his parents and four siblings in Binns Road, West Derby. Head of the household was 49 year old Laurence Favell, a Bricklayers Labourer, born in Liverpool. James and Maria had four daughters and at the time of his death Elsie Mary was 6, Lavinia 5, Mahala Selma 3 and Constance was born just a month after he died. The 29th (Works) battalion was formed at Mill Hill in July 1916 and by March 1917 was stationed at Thetford in Norfolk. The battalion was never posted abroad during the war, being transferred to the Labour Corps later in 1917. The G prefix to his service number was used by Home County regiments like the Middlesex to denote a New Army man.
‘Soldiers Died’ interestingly states that he formerly served under number 78270 with the Middlesex Regiment, and he is listed separately again as being formerly 46366 Kings Liverpool Regiment.
James’ Pension record card shows that on 26th August 1917 Maria remarried to a civilian, John Churchill and became Mrs Churchill, living in Everton, Liverpool. The two youngest children stayed with their Mother who received a £31 re-marriage gratuity (presumably then forfeiting her widows pension) while the children were granted 9 shillings a week until their sixteenth birthday. The two older children had pensions paid to a Guardian, Mrs Mary Anne Favell, of Crumlin Road, Belfast, where presumably they went to live. The Pension card also carries a note against the name of the Widow Maria. Widow is crossed through and unmarried written beside it. The registration of Mahala’s birth also lists the Mother’s name as Emson, so perhaps they were never actually married, but it is difficult to imagine the Army paying a widows pension if they were not.