Hubert James Francis Irving was born in the 4th Quarter of 1897 to John Sherwin and Caroline Minnie Irving at Loughborough Leicestershire. He was the youngest of three sons born to John and Caroline Irving. Older brother Cecil Eric was born 1893, and Malcolm Claude born 1895. Both Hubert and Malcolm were born in Loughborough Leicestershire, while Cecil was born in Derby.
Their mother Caroline had been married previously to Alfred Disney and had two daughters Mary Louisa and Florence M. and two sons Ernest and John. Ernest, John and Florence were born in Duffield, Derbyshire and sister Mary was born in Derby. By the time of the 1891 census Caroline is a widow and head of the family. Also on the 1891 census John Sherwin Irving is living as a boarder in Caroline’s home at 1 North Street St Alkmunds Derby. John working as a Mechanical Engineer and Caroline is given as Living on Her Own Means.
Caroline’s first husband had died 1st July 1890 and had been a Railway Clerk, he left £199 15s 0p. Caroline was the executor. When Caroline married Albert in 1875 her maiden name was Roberts.
According to the 1901 census the family, with the exception of Ernest and John, are living at 7 Rectory Road Loughborough and John Sherwin Irving is working as an Electrical Engineer Inspector. By the 1911 census only the two sons Cecil and Hubert are with their parents and are living at 105 Albert Street Rugby. Cecil is a Pupil Teacher at an Elementary School teacher and Hubert is at school and their father is working as a Mechanical Engineer for a Manufacturing Engineers. Malcolm is away from home living in Woking and is an Apprentice in Dentistry.
Hubert was usually called “Jimmy”, was a temporary student teacher at Murray school and was a member of the church choir, an assistant scoutmaster and in the school band.
Hubert James Francis Irving enlisted in Rugby and joined the Army, 1st Battalion London Scottish Regiment, in May 1916, Service Number 7785, 513674. The Regiment had been transferred to the newly arrived 168th Brigade 56th division (London) on the 8th February 1916 who were then assembling in the Hallencourt area. 1916 they saw action on the Somme and were involved in the Battle of Ginchy, Battle of Flers – Courceloette, Battle of Morval and the Battle of Transloy Ridge. In 1917 the Regiment were in action during the German Retreat to the Hindenburg Line and the Battle of Arras April 1917. Hubert would have participated in some of these battles and it was probably at the Battle of Arras when he was killed in action and given the date of death as 5th May 1917 aged 19 years.
Rugby Advertiser 26th May 1917
Pte. HUBERT JAMES FRANCIS IRVING, 1st Battalion London Scottish Regiment, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. J. S. Irving, 24 Lancaster Road. Officially reported killed in action on May 5th, somewhere in France; aged 19.
Also in the same paper Rugby Advertiser 26th May 1917 under War News.
Pte. JAMES IRVING
Mr. J. S. Irving, of 24 Lancaster Road, Rugby, had received information that his youngest son, Pte. James Irving, of the London Scottish was killed in action on May 5th. “Jimmy” Irving as he was familiarly called by his intimate friends was only 19 years of age and joined the Army in May 1916, as soon as he was old enough to do so. He was a scholar at the Murray School, and gaining a scholarship from there, proceeded to the Lower School. When a boy he was a member of the Parish Church Choir. He was afterwards a student teacher at the Murray School, and was subsequently appointed temporary teacher there, which post he held when he joined the Army. He was assistant scoutmaster and a member of the school band. Of a bright and sunny disposition, he was very popular with both staff and pupils, and his cheerful letters from the front were always most welcome. On Monday evening the Murray School Troop of the Boys Scouts, with the staff and scholars, attended an intercession service at the Holy Trinity Church, which also took the form of a memorial service. The scouts carried the drooped colours, and marched to the sound of muffled drums. Pte. Irving was the first member of the school staff to be killed in action.
Under the Registry of Soldiers Effects Hubert’s father was sent £3 0s 7p the 5th September 1917 and later sent War Gratuity of £3 0s 0p on the 22nd October 1919.
Hubert has no known grave and his name his on the Arras Memorial in France, Bay 10. He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM