Private James William Snowball


James William Snowball was a Freemason and member of Lodge Temperance 2557 which at the time was meeting at the Royal Assembly Rooms, Westgate Road, Newcastle Upon Tyne.

The hand written entry in the Roll of Honor at the end of the Lodge Temperance 2557 Minute Book reads “Private Jas. W. Snowball, No 81328, 19 Room L Block S. Camp RAMC Wiltshire Barracks, Sheffield”

It has proved difficult to identify a convincing service or pension record for James so perhaps they are among the 60% of the soldiers’ Service Records irretrievably damaged or lost completely as a result of enemy bombing in 1940 during the Second World War. His WW1 index medal Roll shows that he was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal. The British War Medal was issued to personnel for leaving his native shore for service overseas while the Victory medal was issued to those who entered a theatre of war.

James was the son of William and Eleanor Snowball (nee Gent) who were married in 1880 in Newcastle Upon Tyne . They had at least three children including:

  • ·         Isabella (b 1877 – d 1887)
  • ·         George Dugmore (b 1882)
  • ·         James William (b 1884)

James was born in Newcastle Upon Tyne and married Alice Mills in Newcastle Upon Tyne in 1910. In the census taken in April 1911 they were living at 110, Stanton Street, Elswick and he was working as a “Collector of monies from automatic gas meters”. They had at least two children including:

  • ·         Catherine (b 1912)
  • ·         James William (b 1913)

At the Lodge Temperance 2557 meeting held at the Assembly Rooms on the 16th September 1912 James was proposed by WBro. Edward. W. Watson and seconded by Bro. D. O. Skilling as a fit and proper person to be made a Freemason. He was a 28 year old Collector working for the Gas Company living at 110, Stanton Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne. At the meeting of the 21st October  1912 a successful ballot was held and he was initiated into the Mysteries and Privileges of Ancient Freemasonry on the 16th December. He was passed to the second or Fellowcraft degree on the 12th February 1913 at Lodge Prudence 3424 and then back at Lodge Temperance was raised to the Sublime degree of a Master Mason on the 17th March 1913. He signed his Grand Lodge certificate on the 19th May 1913.

James appears to have had a good standard of living for on his death on the 30th May 1954 at 213, Whitehall Road, Gateshead he left £2497 5s 7d to his widow Alice.

James is commemorated in Newcastle on the North East War Memorial Project website  Roll of Honour 1914-18 Lodge Temperance 2557 (NUT254).