James Arthur Mercer was born on 6th February 1894 at 13, Vine Street, Runcorn. He was the son of James Mercer (born Frodsham) and his wife Elizabeth (nee Kirkham) who was born in Runcorn. His father was a railway carter.
According to the Census of 1891, James Arthur’s parents were lodging at The Quay in Frodsham and had two sons, Thomas aged one year and William aged one month. Three years later, James Arthur was born, but by the time of the next census in 1901 he was not living with his parents, but with his grandparents in Aston-by-Sutton. His grandfather Charles Henry Kirkham was a retired joiner. Four of James Arthur’s aunts also lived there: Maria, Carrie, Georgina and Julia.
Ten years later the Census recorded James Arthur as still living with his grandparents Charles Henry and Sarah Ann in Aston-by-Sutton. Carrie and Julia also were still living at home. No occupation was given for James Arthur.
He enlisted in the 18th Battalion of King’s Liverpool Regiment and was a private with the service number 24882. He was wounded in 1916 and sent back to England where he died on 20th July of that year “at home” of wounds, specifically a gunshot wound to the eye and septic inflammation of the brain. However this was not at his home, as he was recorded as passing away at Southwark Temporary Military Hospital in Camberwell in Greater London. He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal for his service in the Great War. He was buried at St Peter’s in Aston-by-Sutton and is commemorated on the War Memorial there.
He was 22 years old when he died.