Remembering J.P. Paynter of Devoran and Tywardreath who died WW1 in Salonika, Greece on 30 March 2017.
His name features on the Devoran Parish War Memorial and on the village hall Roll of Honour.
James Pearce Paynter, Private 34289, 11th Battalion, Worcester Regiment, died on 30th March 1917.
He is buried at plot F1286, Karasouli Military Cemetrey, Greece. This cemetery was linked to Casualty Clearing stations on the Doiran Front in Greece and Serbia
Although born and brought up in nearby Tywardreath where he us also remembered on their village war memorial, James Pearce Paynter is listed on UK Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914-1919 as a resident of Devoran. He enlisted in Truro.
In 1911 though, James was still working as a Market Gardener like his brothers and like his father before him at The Gardens, Little Par, Tywardreath.
Despite the sadness of his death, there was some happiness for the Paynter family in October 1918 when his sister Millie married a serviceman in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force.
The wartime history of the 11th Worcestershire Regiment and its role in Salonika is set out here: http://www.worcestershireregiment.com/wr.php?main=inc/bat_11
and for March, fighting the Bulgarians on the Doiran front in Macedonia http://www.worcestershireregiment.com/wr.php?main=inc/h_macedonia_1917 , the entry for March 30th period 1917 notes light casualties.
In March 1917 the weather improved and the Allied forces prepared for active operations. Some readjustment of the front took place. The 26th and 22nd Divisions exchanged positions, and on the 24th March, after ten days of training in reserve, the 78th Brigade shifted its front to the east. The 11th Worcestershire took over trenches half-a-mile to the east of those previously held, facing down into the Jumeaux Ravine.
That Ravine is a steep cleft in the hills. Its precipitous slopes are covered with rough scrub. The hill tops are bare and rocky. The northern side of the Ravine, held by the Bulgarians was steeper and also slightly higher than the southern side. The Bulgarian line included a distinctive summit known as the Petit Couronn which was strongly entrenched and formed an important tactical point in the enemy’s main line of defence along the further side of the Ravine.
The left flank of the Battalion rested on a little gully known as the Senelle Ravine. The companies in their new position received a certain amount of attention from the enemy’s artillery, but the trenches were well sited and casualties were not very heavy (24th to 3lst March. Casualties, 3 killed, 5 wounded). On the evening of March 31st the 11th Worcestershire were relieved by the 9th Gloucestershire and moved back into reserve at Pearse Hill. (WorcestershireRegiment.Com Macedonia 1917 website excerpt)
James Pearce Paynter, buried in Greece but remembered in his home villages in Cornwall, 100 years on.
“Until the Day Breaks and the Shadows flee away”
Blog entry posted by Mark Norris, Devoran War Memorial project, March 30th