Sir James Knott
James Knott was born on the 31st January 1855 at Howdon on Tyne. He was the eldest of ten children. His father, Matthew, was a Customs Searcher. James was educated at the Scotch School in North Shields, which he left at the age of 14 to start work as a shipping clerk on Newcastle Quayside. He went on to own his own shipping line.
In 1878, he married Margaret Annie Garbutt (1855 – 1929) and they had three children: Thomas, James and Henry (known as Basil).
The Great War
Major James Knott was killed on the morning of 1st July 1916 – the first day of the battle of the Somme. When the 10th Battalion of the West Yorkshire Regiment advanced across open ground, they were cut down by devastating machine gun fire. Over 90% of the Battalion became casualties.
Captain Henry Basil Knott was wounded in action on 24th August 1915, serving as a Captain of the 9th Battalion of the Northumberland Fusiliers. He eventually died from his wounds on 7th September 1915
James and Basil were just 2 of more than 700,000 British War Dead. They are both buried in a Cemetery at Ypres, and have given their names to the Church. James and Basil are commemorated in the South window of the memorial chapel, and by an inscription on the tenor bell
– ‘we ring in memory of James and Basil Knott, God knows’