Friends of Hastings Cemetery

James Allan Ross Armitage

KC J03

JAMES ALLAN ROSS ARMITAGE, remembered with his wife and sister-in-law on the grave of his Uncle Stephen Armitage, was the third son of Dr. J. A. Armitage of Wolverhampton and Hastings.  Born on December 12th, 1888, he entered Laxton House in September 1901. He

was a school prefect, a member of the XV and Captain of Fives.  He left in 1907.


Accepting a commission in the I5th West Yorkshire Regiment he had been promoted Captain when he was recalled from Egypt by the Ministry of Munitions to take charge of the Farnley Iron-works. [A family firm].

He married Ruth Johnson McLaren in mid-1918 and his residence at the time was Sherburn House, York Place, Harrogate.  In April 1918 he was diagnosed with diabetes and his condition was considered ‘stationary’.  However, on examination later that year, it was noted that his weight had dropped from 12st 10lbs in 1916 to 9st 7lbs in 1918.  The medical board considered he was not fit enough to continue any form of military service (he was still on loan to the Ministry of Munitions) and recommended he that he should relinquish his commission but his health, impaired by his working Egypt, again broke down, and he retired to St. Leonard's in the autumn of that year. He died on July 19, 1919.

Hastings and St Leonards Observer - Saturday 26 July 1919

ARMITAGE. —On the July, at 73, Marina. St. Leonards, Captain James Allan Ross Armitage, son Dr. and Mrs. J. Auriol Armitage, aged 3O.

His wife, Ruth Johnson Armitage, who died in 1966  is interred in the grave, as are the cremated ashes of her sister - Muriel Estelle McLaren – Burial of cremated remains 16/2/1967

Muriel was born in Whitby, 1901.  In 1911 her mother was a widow, resident in Perthshire, but they were apparently visiting probably two older daughters, one of them was Ruth, who later married James Allan Ross Armitage.  Muriel died in Hastings in 1967.

FRANK RHODES ARMITAGE was the eldest son of Dr.J. Auriol Armitage of Hastings, and formerly of Wolverhampton.  He was born at Edinburgh on July 6, 1883.  He entered Laxton House in September 1896 and remained for six years; he was the first of four brothers who were at this house.  He was a school prefect, head of his house, and a member of the XI.

In 1902 he went up to Pembroke College, Cambridge (with a Scholarship for Classics) and there studied medicine, proceeding in 1906 to the London Hospital, where he was for some time assistant surgeon to out-patients.  Later he succeeded to his father's practice.

When the war came he joined the R.A.M.C. and was awarded the D.S.O. early in 1917.  He was killed in July of the same year.  Armitage was a brilliant golfer and a strong cross country runner………

Hastings and St Leonards Observer - Saturday 18 August 1917
Dr. James Auriol Armitage and Mrs. Armitage of “Netherwood” St. Helens, Hastings, have suffered a severe bereavement in the death at the Front of their eldest son.  Captain
Frank Rhodes Armitage, M.8., D.S.O, R.F.A. This gallant soldier was killed in action July 30th whilst attending the wounded, and by his removal the services of one the bravest and best of men has been lost to the Empire.  He was seated in a dugout with another officer, when the shell which killed Captain Armitage inflicted severe injuries his companion………..

……The Colonel of Captain Armitage's Brigade writes: "It is impossible for me to say how officers, myself, and every N.C.O. and man in the Brigade feel for you in your loss. C.A.' was truly beloved all, and a braver and better man never walked this earth.  His pluck, sterling qualities, and energy absolutely endeared 'him to us all and his place can never be filled."……

More on the three Armitage sons killed in World War One at Oundle School site