PRIVATE JAMES MCMAHON
YORK AND LANCASTER REGIMENT
13TH OCTOBER 1918 AGE 30
BURIED: YORK CEMETERY, HASPES, FRANCE
Miss N McMahon of 3 Stacy Street, Shaftesbury Avenue, London, chose Private James McMahon's inscription - a sister perhaps? He is said to have been the son of William McMahon but I have not been able to identify either William or James in any of the censuses.
James McMahon was a volunteer. He first entered a theatre of war, France, on 22 October 1915 serving originally with the Northumberland Fusiliers and then with the York and Lancaster Regiment. He was killed on 13 October 1918 in the crossing of the River Selle, east of Cambrai, which had fallen on the 8th.
Whoever Miss N McMahon was she knew her history. Her 'eternal Flanders' is often known as 'the cockpit of Europe', the battleground of numerous campaigns throughout history. McMahon was killed less that 15 miles from Ramillies and Malplaquet, the sites of the Duke of Marlborough's famous victories of 1706 and 1709. Agincourt, Crecy and Waterloo were themselves only just over 70 miles away. McMahon joined the long line of Englishmen killed in the struggle to keep a strong power out of the Low Countries whether that power was France, Spain or Germany.