James Stivans Sach was one of thirteen children who served in the army during the South African War. After leaving the army he worked at the Hoffmann’s bearings factory in Chelmsford. He married in 1910 and went on to have two children. As a reservist he was recalled to the army at the outbreak of the war and was wounded at the Second Battle if Ypres and again at the Battle of the Somme. He survived until November 1917 when he was killed when a shell exploded in his trench. His home was in Cramphorn Road. Two brothers-in-law died in the war,

James was born at Messing or Tiptree Heath in 1878, the son of Charles Sach and Hannah Sach (nee Wash). His father had been born c1853 at Messing or c1850 at Tiptree Heath; his mother c1854 or c1850 at Tollesbury. The couple had married at Messing on 5th April 1873.

James’ twelve siblings were William Sach (born c1874 at Messing or Tiptree Heath), Thomas Sach (born c1876 at Messing or Tiptree Heath), Charles Sach (born in 1880 at Messing or Tiptree Heath), George Sach (born c1881 at Tiptree Heath), Rosa Sach (born in 1884 in Coggeshall), Frances Sach (born in 1886 in Coggeshall), Arthur Henry Sach (born in 1888 in Coggeshall), Daniel Sach (born c1889 in Coggeshall). Alfred Sach (born in 1891 in Writtle),  Jack Sach (born in 1894 in Writtle), Frederick Sach (born in 1895 in Writtle), and Edward Sach (born in 1897 in Writtle)

The 1881 census recorded James, aged three, living with his parents and three brothers in Messing. His father was a farm labourer. A decade later twelve year-old James was living with his parents and eight siblings at Oxney Green. His father and eldest brother were maltsters; his brother Thomas a haybinder’s labourer.

The 1901 census listed him serving as an unmarried private soldier in the infantry militia at Colchester Garrison. Meanwhile his parents and younger siblings were living at St. John’s Green in Writtle.

James married Ellen Kate Jarvis on 16th April 1910 at St. Mary’s Church in Widford. At the time James was aged 31, and was a labourer living in Widford. His bride was also 31, resident in the village and daughter of John Jarvis a labourer. The following year the census recorded James and Boreham-born Ellen together at 5 Hope Square, off Primrose Hill, Chelmsford. 32 year-old James was a general labourer. James and Ellen went on to have two children: Ethel Frances Elizabeth Sach (born in 1911) and Harold James Sach (1912-1970) and moved to Cramphorn Road.

James lived and enlisted at Chelmsford. As a reservist he was called up at the outbreak of the war in 1914 and rejoined the Essex Regiment with whom he had served in the South African War at the turn of the century. He was killed in action 19th November 1917 while serving as Rifleman 365 in the 2nd Battalion of the Rifle Brigade.

On 7th December 1917 the Essex County Chronicle reported:

“Mrs. Sach, of 9 Cramphorn Road, Chelmsford, has been informed that her husband, Pt. J. Sach, Rifle Brigade, has been killed by a shell. He was employed at Hoffmann’s before the outbreak of the war, and fought in the battle of Mons, and was wounded twice, He was 41 years of age.”


Rifleman, 2nd Battalion, Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort’s Own), (formerly of the Essex Regiment)

Two weeks later the Essex Weekly News reported:

“Rifleman J. Sach, Cramphorn-rd., Chelmsford, was killed in action on Nov. 19 by a shell which burst in the trench where he was standing. Rifleman Sach was a reservist called up at the outbreak of war and was one of the ‘Contemptibles’ at Mons. receiving his first wound at the second battle of Ypres he recovered and was again wounded at the Somme. Going back he received a month’s leave as a time-expired man, at the end of which he again went to France. and was killed as stated. This was the fourth time he had gone to France. Previous to being in the Rifle Brigade he was in the Essex Regt., and served in the South African War, He had been employed at the Hoffmann Manufacturing Co. Deceased, who was 42 years of age, leaves a widow and two children.”

James has no known grave and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, some nine kilometres north-east of Ypres, West-Vlaanderen in Belgium and on the Civic Centre Memorial, Chelmsford.

The 1918 register of electors listed James’ widow at 9 Cramphorn Road, Chelmsford and his parents at 82 Waterhouse Street, Chelmsford. His widow married James E. Gibbons in 1919. James’ brothers-in-law, Harry Jarvis, and John Charles Jarvis were both killed during the First World War.

James’ father died in 1927; his mother in 1938. His remarried widow died in 1945.