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The East Lancashire Regiment
The East Lancashire Regiment was raised in 1855.
Battalions during the Great War.
- 1st Battalion
- 2nd Battalion
- 3rd (Reserve) Battalion
- 4th Battalion
- 2/4th Battalion
- 3/4th Battalion
- 5th Battalion
- 2/5th Battalion
- 3/5th Battalion
- 6th (Service) Battalion
- 7th (Service) Battalion
- 8th (Service) Battalion
- 9th (Service) Battalion
- 10th (Reserve) Battalion
- 11th (Accrington Pals) Battalion
- 12th (Reserve) Battalion
- 13th (Service) Battalion
Can you add to this factual information? Do you know the whereabouts of this unit on a particular day? Which battles they took part in? Or any other interesting snipts?
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Please note we currently have a backlog of submitted material, our volunteers are working through this as quickly as possible and all names, stories and photos will be added to the site. If you have already submitted a story to the site and your UID reference number is higher than 213858, your information is still in the queue, please do not resubmit without contacting us first.
Those known to have served with The East Lancashire Regiment during the Great War.
Select a story link or scroll down to browse those stories hosted on this site.
- L/Cpl. Percy Allsup Read their Story.
- Pte. Harold Victor Atkinson MM. Read their Story.
- Sgt. Joe Bradshaw DCM. Read their Story.
- Sjt. Ernest Horatio Clegg
- Cpl. Charles Duckworth Read their Story.
- James Frederic Dyer Read their Story.
- L/Cpl. Frank Fell
- Pte. Joseph Firth (d.22nd April 1917) Read their Story.
- Capt. Horace Lance Flint
- Sgt Frederick Helm DCM. (d.8th Apr 1915)
- Cpl. John Hindle (d.1st July 1916) Read their Story.
- 2nd Lt. Basil Arthur Horsfall VC. (d.27th Mar 1918) Read their Story.
- George Hulbert Victor Mart Read their Story.
- Pte. William Mozley MM. Read their Story.
- Pte. Martin Noon (d.19th May 1915) Read their Story.
- Pte. John O'Hara (d.25th Feb 1918) Read their Story.
- CSM. George Page (d.1st Jul 1916) Read their Story.
- Pte. James Parry (d.1st March 1919) Read their Story.
- Pte. William Thomas Royle (d.23 March 1918) Read their Story.
- Cpl. William Spear Read their Story.
- Pte. Emanuel Spencer Read their Story.
- Pte. James Talbot (d.20th Jun 1917) Read their Story.
- Pte James Talbot (d.20th June 1917) Read their Story.
- Pte. Thomas Taylor
- Sgt. Jeremiah John Toomey MM. (d.8th July 1916) Read their Story.
- L/Cpl. H. R. Townshend (d.9th Jun 1917)
- Pte. Arthur Turner (d.29th Nov 1915) Read their Story.
- Pte. Edward "Ned" Tyson Read their Story.
- Pte. Albert Weeden Read their Story.
- Pte. John George Weeden Read their Story.
- Pte. George Wilson (d.12th Nov 1914) Read their Story.
- Pte. James Edward Wood (d.14th Oct 1916) Read their Story.
- Pte. James Edward Wood (d.14th Oct 1916) Read their Story.
The names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add,, or any recollections or photos of those listed, please get in touch.
Pte. Edward "Ned" Tyson 6th (Service) Btn. East Lancashire Rgt.Grandad was severely wounded at Gallipoli, where the 6th were fighting. He came from a large Liverpool family who moved to Darwen around 1891. He moved to the Isle of Man in 1930 for health reasons and died in 1967 after a successful business career.
James Frederic Dyer 1st Battalion East Lancashire ResimentI have a silver mug inscribed: "To My Dear Son Bt. Major James Frederic Dyer 1st Battalion East Lancashire Regiment in loving recognition of Duties well fulfilled in the Great War 1914-1919 from Mother July 8th 1919"
He was my grandfather
Pte. William Thomas Royle 4th Btn. (d.23 March 1918)William Thomas Royle was born in Rochdale in 1891. In 1911 he married Mary Ann Hall from Blackburn. Billy and Polly, as they were known, settled in Blackburn and had three daughters Elizabeth (Betty), Jane (Jenny) and Sarah (Sally).
When the First World War broke out, Billy was working as a painter's labourer. As family members, friends and colleagues signed up as volunteers Billy said he was not going to fight until he had to because he had a wife and three children to care for.
One day, opening his lunch box at work, Billy found a white feather. White feathers were given to men, mostly by women, as a sign of their cowardice in not joining up. Originally given by society women to their better off boyfriends when they wanted to get rid of them, the practise was adopted around the country by other classes. Some men actually started wearing badges stating that they were in reserved occupations to avoid being presented with the white feather. On his way home from work that day Billy went to Canterbury St Barracks in Blackburn, signed up and went home to announce what he had done.
Billy was a member of the 4th Battalion East Lancs Regiment. In early 1918 he came home on leave. When he had left home to return to Barracks at Colchester, Polly noticed he had left his dogtag on the windowsill. Bill's brother in law, who was returning to Colchester the next day said he would take it with him. When he arrived in Colchester, Billy had gone, posted overseas.
On March 23rd 1918, in the early hours of the morning, the 4th Battalion East Lancs Regiment was in the trenches of the Somme, waiting for the order to go over the top. Billy, as lookout was one of the first to go. Billy was killed as he went on the offensive, his body was never identified and he remains missing to this day. Billy is commemorated on the memorial to the missing at Pozieres in Northern France
At the end of the war, when the soldiers returned to parade through Blackburn, Polly went along with her mother Sarah. She saw a soldier, who from behind she thought was her Billy. He was Walter Peace and Polly later married him
His story was told to me by his daughter Jane, who was my grandma, and by my great-gran Polly.
Pte. Arthur Turner 6th Battalion East Lancashire Regiment (d.29th Nov 1915)Arthur Turner was my Grandfather, I always knew that he died in the Great War, but like most people, questions are never asked from those who have now died, and would have provided lots of information if I had only taken the time to ask when they were still with us. Take his wife, Margaret, my grand-mother who died just 3 weeks before her 100th birthday. I always knew that my grandfather had medals, and it is these that I have now been given from a member of the family who found them at the back of a drawer and this is how I got hold of his service number.
What I would really like to know, if anyone can help, is if there are any photo's in some archives,of the 6th Battalion regiment, because my grandfather just might be one of them.
Cpl. John Hindle 11th Battalion East Lancashire Regiment (d.1st July 1916)John Hindle was my paternal grandfather's brother and I can't remember there being any stories except that he died in WWI. I found the details on checking UK, Soldiers who had died in the Great War. I would like to find out more and am continuing to 'dig'.
Pte. John O'Hara 2nd Btn. East Lancashire Regiment (d.25th Feb 1918)I joined the army myself in 1985 and did a full career leaving summer last year. In my last year of service I decided to research my family tree. I had not been told of any ancestors or relations other than myself who had served in the army. I read about the Battle of the Somme and saw in the orbit how many Infantry Battalions from the North West served in that Battle, a massive amount of soldiers and wondered why male members from my family had escaled serving in the war. Research of my family tree revealed that I did indeed have a relative:
My great grandfather John O'Hara who had not only served in the army like but shared the same birthday. He died in WW1 in Belgium. I find it amazing that nobody in my family had told me about this especially since I had made the Army my career as well. But, I put it down largely to the attitude of the time of 'shutting up and putting up' with it and the desire to just get on with life after such tragic events. All the time I used to travel home on leave from Germany through Belgium and I never knew I had a relative buried there.
This weekend I have been over to Belgium to visit my Great Grandfather's grave in the War cemetery at Poelcapelle. We took over a wreath formed in the shape of a cross with Lancashire red roses, bought from a florist in Oswaldtwistle where he used to live and where his name is engraved on the cenotaph.
It was a proud moment to place the wreath on his grave and be the only one from my family who has paid him the respect he deserves. I am immensely proud of his sacrifice and to be associated with him.
Pte. James Edward Wood 7th Service Battalion East Lancashire Regiment (d.14th Oct 1916)I know so little about my Grandad James Wood. My father, a WW2 veteran said Grandad had been killed on the Somme in 1916 when all his children were very young. I have seen his name at Thiepval and each time I visit I find it very moving. I will in time, I hope find out more.
Cpl. Charles Duckworth 3rd Btn. East Lancashire RegimentI am researching my grandfather's army details. If any one has any information about his service between 1914 when he enlisted aged 40 and when he was pensioned out in 1919 suffering from malaria, I would like to hear from you.
CSM. George Page 1st Battalion East Lancashire (d.1st Jul 1916)My Grandfather Company Sergeant Major George Page 9261 was killed on the 1st July 1916 at Redan Ridge nr Beaumont Hamel the first day of the battle of the Somme. He joined the 1st Battalion East Lancashire Reg in 1907 and served 5 years, He was called back to the battalion on the 22nd of August 1914 on the outbreak of the Great War and sent to France and was in action on the 26th August.
He saw action in the Battles of the Marne; the Ainse and the retreat from Mons. He was wounded on the 15th February 1915 at Pleogsteert Wood, Belguim and spent 5 months in hospital recovering from shrapnel wounds to the head. He rejoined the Battalion in September and was in the Beaumont Hamel area when he was killed.
He was married to Edith and they had four children George, Mary, Cecil, and Charlie. His name is engraved on the Theipval Memorial as he was never found.
Pte. John George Weeden East Lancashire RegimentJohn George Weeden was born 29-01-1889 and died in 1975. He joined the East Lancashire Regiment on 10-04-1907 at New Cross, London signing on for seven years as a regular and 5 years as a reserve. On 27-07-1914, a few days before WWI commenced he was serving as a reserve in South Africa. On 05-11-1914 he landed in France and was described as an honest, hard working soldier and a good horseman. On 09-04-1919 he was discharged and awarded the "1914-1915 Star with clasp" "British war Medal 1915-1920" and the "Victory Medal".
John's brothers who also served in the East Lancashire Regiment during WWI :- Thomas b.1886 served between 1914 and 1920 with the service number of 10029 and Albert b.1894 served between before 1914 to 1920 with the service number of 6210
Pte. Albert Weeden East Lancashire RegimentAlbert Weeden's war records, like many others were were destroyed by enemy action during WWII. He is known to have joined the East Lancashire Regiment and believed did so long before the commencement of WWI. This is based on him receiving service number 6210 and his brother, John b.1889, received the service number 9310 on joining the same regiment on 29-01-1907. A third brother also joined the regiment, he was Thomas b.1886, who received service number 10029.
Albert was not allowed to speak of his service due to a domineering wife but it is known he served at the Somme and in Poona, India. Sometime during his service he transferred to the Machine Gun Corps and received a service number 176623.
He was awarded the "1914-1915 Star" "British War Medal 1915-1920" and the "Victory Medal". All three bear his name, his 6210 service number and the name East Lancashire Regiment. His medal role shows the word "Disembodied 24-04-1919" but his Machine Gun Corps service sheet states "Discharged SR 14-08-1920". Does SR mean special reserve ? I could not find out what happened between 24-04-1919 and 14-08-1920.
Have photographs of the man, one is where he is "dressed up" and was wearing a kilt. Another shows him in "whites" with a Naval badge of rank on his arm. First thoughts were of "dressing up" again but the uniform appears to be a perfect fit and as he was a very small man I think it doubtful he would have found another "loaned" uniform to fit.
Pte. William Mozley MM. East Lancashire RegimentMy grandfather, William Mozley was born in Slough. He served in the East Lancashire Regiment in France, attached to the Medical Corps. I believe he was awarded the Military Medal for gallantry for going into No Mans Land to drag injured soldiers back to trenches. I am interested in searching for his complete war history.
Pte. Joseph Firth 8th Bn East Lancashire Regiment (d.22nd April 1917)Joseph Firth is my paternal mother's brother, my great uncle born in Bacup, Lancashire in 1898. I know very little about him other than that he enlisted without his mother's knowledge and he died in WW1. His elder brother, William Roberts, re-enlisted to search for him and prior to his departure to Salonika he absconded and was missing for more than 21 days when he was declared a deserter. He had previously earned the 1914 Star which was rescinded because of this situation.
I have visited the National Archives in Kew and obtained a copy of the War Diary for the 8th Btn of his unit in the month that he died.
Pte. Emanuel Spencer East Lancashire RegimentManny Spencer served with the East Lancashire Regiment.
Cpl. William Spear 2nd Battalion East Lancashire RegimentBill Spear was my Grandfather. Born in Burnley in 1890. His Father, Richard Henry Spear was the secretary of the Burnley Miners Union. Richard Henry was born in Cornwall and as a boy travelled with his Father, a miner in Cornwall, to the coal mines of Lancashire. Grandad Bill worked in the coal mines from 14 or 15 years old. In 1910 he joined the East Lancs at Fulwood Barracks, Preston and was sent to South Africa on Garrison duty.
In 1914 he was sent back to Southampton and travelled with the 2nd Battalion to the Western Front. My father states that he did not return until 1920. Grandad became a founding member of the MGC, Machine Gun Corps.
In WW2 he lived in Coventry and the Luftwaffe bombed his house. In the 1960s he, with his wife Ada, moved to Australia to be with us. He had a fall from a carpark roof and after a long time in hospital failed to recover. In 2007 I had a holiday in Europe and stumbled upon Fulwood Barracks. The museum is not open on Fridays. I happened to arrive on a Friday. To my surprise they opened the museum when I said that Grandad joined the East Lancs at Fulwood Barracks in 1910. Just the memory of the day makes the hair on my neck stand. We were there on 27th or 28th of June,the Regimental Day is 1 July, Somme Day. One day I hope to return to attend a Regimental Somme Day. It was a day that changed my life and I shall be eternally grateful.
Pte. Harold Victor Atkinson MM. 15th Battalion, C Company Lancashire FusiliersMy Great Uncle Harold Atkinson fought in WW1 with the Lancashire Fusiliers. My grandfather, a gunner in the Royal Field Artillery, said that Harold had been a despatch rider. He enlisted in Burnley, Lancashire and initially was in the East Lancs Regt (23517) but eventually became 35736 in C Company of the 15th Lancashire Fusiliers.
During The 3rd Battle of Ypres 1-3rd December 1917 he is cited in the book 'The Lancashire Fusiliers' on page 277 as, "Much individual good work had contributed to the battalion's achievement. The Military Medal was awarded to 2 runners, Privates H. V. Atkinson & G. Beardsall, for gallantry in carrying messages throughout operations." The Burnley Express says he did this "under heavy shell fire, work for which he volunteered to do." The award of his Military Medal was also reported in the London Gazette, Issue number: 30573 Page:322, 13th March 1918.
He died not long after winning his medal on 25th December 1917 - having been killed instantly as reported by his friend Pte, W Smith - the day before he should have had the ribbon of the Military Medal pinned to his chest. He wrote to his parents the day of his death to inform them he had won the Military Medal, having found out about his award on the 23rd.
In a report in the Burnley Express, Captain Kenneth Leeming said "Pte. Atkinson was his own messenger and he had learned to love him like a brother as he was always so cheery. He was thankful that Pte. Atkinson lived to know he had won the Military Medal, which he thoroughly deserved".
He is buried in Duhallow A.D.S. Cemetery, Belgium and is also commemorated on St. Cuthberts Memorial, Burnley, Lancashire. He is also said to be commemorated in Droylsden Cemetery, UK
His elder brothers Roy Atkinson (781701) Royal Field Artillery and Herbert Atkinson (6806) 18th Hussars also served but survived.
Pte. James Parry 1st Battalion East Lancashire Regiment (d.1st March 1919)My Grandmother never knew but always loved her Uncle Jimmy who died aged 21 due to the effects of mustard gas. His parents were Joseph and Elizabeth Parry who were Welsh miners that had moved to Bryn, Ashton in Makerfield when the mines opened. Jimmy was injured and was cared for at the Lord Derby War Hospital in Winwick, Warrington, England. He is buried at St Thomas' Churchyard in his home town of Ashton. We have no photo's of him or the other family members who died in the service of our country. But his memory is lovingly kept in the memory of his descendants through the love of a niece who he never met.
Pte. James Edward Wood 7th Battalion East Lancashire Regiment (d.14th Oct 1916)My Paternal Grandfather, James Wood, I believe joined up at Preston, Lancs. I have no photo of him and only know what my Father told me about him. I was surprised to learn that he was based at Perham Down before going to France, a place I lived in a few years ago. I have visited Thiepval on the Somme several times to pay my respects, as he is named on the memorial as one of the missing.
Sgt. Joe Bradshaw DCM. 11th Battalion East Lancashire RegimentJoe Bradshaw was my husband's grandfather and was revered as a legend in the family. He originally joined up in 1910 giving his name as Jack Bradshaw, and re-enlisted at the start of the war. He appears to have been in Egypt when he was awarded the D.C.M., and I have yet to find out the reason for the award. I am not sure whether the family actually knew as he was a very self-effacing man, so much so that on hearing that the Accrington town dignitaries and population were waiting to greet him on is return when it became known of his medal, he got off the train at the station before so avoid the fuss. If anyone knows how I can find details of the reason for the award I would be most grateful.
2nd Lt. Basil Arthur Horsfall VC. 1st Btn. East Lancashire Regiment (d.27th Mar 1918)Second Lieutenant Basil Arthur Horsfall was born on 4 October 1887 in Colombo, Ceylon. He left a position with Barclay's Bank, London, to become a rubber planter back in Ceylon, where he also held a civil service position with the Public Works Department and served with the Ceylon Engineers. During the Great War, he served as 2nd Lieutenant with the 1st Battalion, attached to the 11th Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment. The citation to his VC reads:
"On the 21st March 1918 between Moyenneville and Ablainzevelle, France, the enemy attacked Second Lieutenant Horsfall's centre platoon, his three forward sections were driven back and he was wounded in the head by enemy fire. Ignoring the wound, he immediately reorganised what remained of his troops and counter attacked to regain his original position. Despite the severity of his head wound, he refused to go to the dressing station, as the three other officers in his company had been killed. Later, he made another counter attack, but was ordered to withdraw. The last to leave his position, he was shot soon afterwards."
Pte. James Talbot 9th Btn. Loyal North Lancashire Regiment (d.20th Jun 1917)James Talbot died of his wounds aged 29. Buried at Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extention, France. He formerly served as 29704 with The East Lancs Regt.
George Hulbert Victor Mart 6th Btn. East Lancashire RegimentMy relative, George Hulbert Victor Mart, enlisted in the East Lancashire Regiment in 1912, he was living with his Aunt Maud in Preston probably in Raby St. He was transferred from the 1st. Batt. to the new 6th with 60 other regulars to strengthen new recruits, and sailed from Avonmouth in June 1915. At some point he was wounded in hand-to-hand fighting, transferred to the Loyal North Lancs. and then the Cheshires serving then in Belgium.
Pte James Talbot 9th Btn. Loyal North Lancashire Regiment (d.20th June 1917)James Talbot was my grandmother's brother. He died as a result of his wounds on the 20th June 1917 and is buried at Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extention, France. A tribute to him appears on the family grave in Haslingden Cemetery.
Before serving with the Loyals he had served as a Private in the East Lancs Regiment (S/N 24704). Other than these uncovered facts little is known of James. He was 29 at death and we have been unable to uncover whether he was married, although we suspect he wasn't. At the time of his death the 9th Battalion, 25th Division was engaged in the Battle of Messines, Flanders. We do not know when, how or the type of wounds that James succumbed to.
Sgt. Jeremiah John Toomey MM. East Lancashire Regiment (d.8th July 1916)I know nothing of Jeremiah Toomey apart from a damaged photograph recovered from my uncle's shed and that he is buried in Hillies Station Cemetery. I hope there is some one out there who may know his story. His widow remarried and she had to obtain a UK death certificate to do so, all it said in the volume there recorded in was died of wounds.
Pte. Martin Noon 4th Battalion East Lancashire Regiment (d.19th May 1915)My Great Grand father Martin Noon was killed in Gallipoli his grave is in the Lancashire Landing Cemetery Turkey.
Pte. George Wilson 1st Battalion East Lancashire Regiment (d.12th Nov 1914)George Wilson is my great grand father who was in the 1st Battalion of the East Lancashire Regiment. He sadly lost his life not long after arriving in France and is now buried in Belgium.
Available at discounted prices.
A Chaplain at Gallipoli: The Great War Diaries of Kenneth Best
Gavin Roynon (Editor)
Many chaplains were not permitted to go near the Front in the First World War - others insisted on doing so, like Kenneth Best in the Gallipoli Campaign. Best had no military training before the war but he felt that he could only fulfil his pastoral role by getting close to the front line and working with the troops under fire. Best was attached to the 42nd East Lancastrians - the first Territorial Army Division to serve overseas in the conflict, so arguably the least experienced in the ways of war. In his diary we follow his progress through his initial training in Egypt and on to his arrival in Gallipoli in May 1915. Gallipoli has become notorious, even by the standards of the First World War. After a naval campaign to open up a supply route to Russia through Turkey failed, some 480,000 Allied troops were drawn into a land invasion in which hundreds of thousands were injured or killed. In his diary, Best records his efforts to encourage frightened men before they go over the top, toMore information on:
A Chaplain at Gallipoli: The Great War Diaries of Kenneth Best
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