PRIVATE JAMES EMERSON PROCTER
1ST/5TH LINCOLNSHIRE REGIMENT
20TH MAY 1915 AGE 21
BURIED: PACKHORSE FARM SHRINE CEMETERY, WULVERGEM, BELGIUM
" ... at 3pm [on 20 May 1915] the Germans blew the mine, killing 11 men and wounding 22 others of the 1/5th Lincolnshires, four men also being missing believed killed."
Records of the 1/5th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment
Private James Emerson Proctor was killed in this explosion, as was his only brother Private Ernest Arthur Proctor. The 1911 census records a sister in the family but it doesn't appear that there were any other children.
James Emerson's headstone inscription comes from a popular song, 'When the Ebb-Tide Flows', written in 1906 by Clifton Bingham with music by Stanley Gordon. His brother's inscription is of a completely different hue - 'Died for home, country and honour'. It makes me wonder whether their mother, Lillie Proctor, chose James' inscription and their father, John Walton Proctor, Ernest's.
The song is featured in a set of Bamforth's song cards. Originally they depicted the sailor as a fisherman but a wartime set shows him in uniform. There were three cards, each with a separate verse.
Out with the tide at the dawn of the day, under the morning star,
Gaily the fisher lad sailed away, over the deep afar
"Mother dear" cried the sailor lad,
Don't be lonely at home or sad
Though wild the storm and wide the foam,
There's One above will guide me home!"
I shall come home, when the ebb-tide flows,
Go where I may, there is One who knows.
Fierce though the gale, still His care will prevail,
I shall come home when the ebb-tide flows.
Over the foam, I shall come home, when the ebb-tide flows.
Father Eternal, though I may roam, guide Thou me home.
Grey haired and silent upon the quay there is a mother lone,
Never again to her heart came he, though the long years have flown.
Sound he sleeps in the trackless main,
Tides have ebbed and re-flowed again,
But still she smiles, because she knows
She'll meet him when Life's ebb-tide flows.