- South Lancashire Regiment during the Great War -
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South Lancashire Regiment
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Kitchener's New Army:
- South Lancashire Regiment 6th Btn
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- South Lancashire Regiment 11th (St Helens Pioneers) Btn
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There are:27720 pages and articles tagged South Lancashire Regiment available in our Library
Those known to have served with
South Lancashire Regiment
during the Great War 1914-1918.
- Acheson Joseph. 2nd Lt 2nd Btn. (d.7th Jun 1918)
- Andrews Thomas Joseph. Rflmn. 1/5th Btn.
- Archbold James. Pte. 6th Btn. (d.5th Apr 1916)
- Ayles Frederick Norman. Pte. (d.13th Nov 1914)
- Ayles Fredrick. Pte. 2nd Btn. (d.13th Nov 1914)
- Ball Stephen John. L/Cpl. 11th Btn. (d.16th Aug 1917)
- Bell J.. Pte. 7th Btn. (d.10th Jun 1917)
- Bell Samuel Edward. Capt. 7th Btn. (d.19th Nov 1916)
- Benbow John Henry. Pte. 1st/5th Battalion (d.17th Oct 1916)
- Bentley Fred. Pte. 6th Btn. (d.19th July 1917)
- Bernes Michael. L/Cpl. 2nd Btn. (d.24th Oct 1914)
- Betts Charles Alfred. Sgt. 7th Battalion
- Boam S.. Pte. 7th Btn. (d.10th Jun 1917)
- Boland Harold George. L/Cpl. 2nd Btn
- Bowker Sydney. Pte. 2nd Btn (d.15th Apr 1918)
- Brady John. Pte. 2nd Btn. (d.6th Jun 1915)
- Brady Lawrence. Pte. 1st Btn. (d.9th Oct 1917)
- Brady William. Pte. 11th Btn. (d.25th Jun 1917)
- Brewer James Angus. Capt. 9th Btn. (d.18th Sep 1918)
- Brogan Henry. Pte. 8th Btn. (d.7th Jul 1916)
- Burton R.. Pte. 6th Btn. (d.19th Feb 1917)
- Camps Thomas William. Sgt. 8th Battalion
- Cherrett Hubert. Lance Corporal 1st/4th Batn. A Company (d.4th Jun 1917)
- Clift William. Pte. 13th Btn.
- Coleman Richard. 7th Btn. (d.10th June 1917)
- Corrigan Bernard. Pte.. 1st/5th Btn. (d.4th Dec 1917)
- Cummings Fred. Pte. 6th Btn. (d.4th Jul 1916)
- Davies Daniel. Private (d.21st Aug 1918)
- Dewett Edmund. Pte. 6th Btn. (d.2nd December 1915)
- Doherty Charles Leonard. 5th Battalion, C Company
- Downing Thomas. Pte. 6th Btn. (d.19th Feb 1917)
- Dunn Herbert. Pte. 7th Btn. (d.7th Jun 1917)
- Evans Peter. Pte. 7th Btn. (d.7th Jun 1917)
- Evans Reginald Arthur. 1/5th Btn. (d.17th Sep 1918)
- Fairclough John. Pte. 7th Btn. (d.8th June 1917)
- Fellows James Edwin. Pte. 7th Btn. (d.10th Jun 1917)
- Ferguson Alexander. Pte. 8th Battalion (d.3rd Nov 1915)
- Findley M. V.. L/Cpl. 7th Btn. (d.10th Jun 1917)
- Fleming Harry. Pte. 1st Btn (d.14th July 1919)
- Fleming Harry. Pte. 1st Btn. (d.14th Jul 1919)
- Ford Frederick. Sergeant 7th Battalion
- Foster F.. Pte. 7th Btn. (d.10th Jun 1917)
- Fox Brabazon Hubert. Mjr. 9th (Service) Battalion
- Furnaess Ernest George. Pte. 8th Btn. (d.29th August 1916)
- Galley John. Pte. 7th Btn. (d.13th July 1916)
- Game David James . Sgt. 6th Btn.
- Goodier Thomas. Pte. 6th Batt
- Goodwyn Charles Ivor. Pte. 2nd Btn (d.22nd Mar 1918)
- Green George. Pte. 2nd Btn. (d.3rd Sep 1916)
- Green Malcolm Charles Andrew. Lt.Col. 2nd Batalion (d.17th Nov 1914)
- Hatton William. Pte. 2nd Btn. (d.10th Apr 1918)
- Hough Herbert. Pte. 7th Btn.
- Hufton H.. Pte. 7th Btn. (d.10th Jun 1917)
- Hulme Samuel. Pte. 7th Battalion (d.6th April 1916)
- Hutting William. Pte. 2nd Btn.
- Johnson John William. Pte. 5th Btn. (d.2nd Aug 1916)
- Jones John George. Cpl. 2nd Btn. (d.15th Oct 1914)
- Jones R. M.. Pte. 6th Btn. (d.21st Dec 1917)
- Keegans John. Pte. 7th Btn.
- Kewley Samuel. Pte. 6th Btn.
- Kirkham Bernard . Cpl. 2/4th Btn (d.1st Nov 1917)
- Lewis Griffiths. Pte. 2nd Btn. (d.26th Jun 1916)
- Lofthouse John. Pte. 6th Btn. (d.25th Feb 1917)
- McCann John. Pte. 2nd Btn (d.25th Dec 1914)
- Miller Edward. Pte. 8th Battalion (d.10th July 1916)
- Miller Walter Charles. Pte.
- Moore Frank. Pte. 11th
- Myers James Thomas. Pte. 1/5th Btn. (d.3rd March 1915)
- Myles Edward James. Pte. 6th Btn.
- O'Brien Joseph. Pte. 6th Btn. (d.5th April 1916)
- O'Hare Felix John. Pte 2nd Btn. (d.8th Jun 1915)
- Parker Robert Thomas. Pte. 1st Battalion
- Peacocke Herbert P.. 2nd Lt. 8th Btn. (d.3rd July 1916)
- Pearce Alfred George. L/Cpl. 11th Btn. B Coy.
- Phelps Thomas Edgar. Pte. 2nd Btn
- Plant John Thomas. Pte. 8th Btn. (d.3rd Jul 1916)
- Prescott Richard. Pte. 6th Btn. (d.26th July 1915)
- Pritchard Issacc Thomas. Private 2nd Btn.
- Rennells W. J. M.. 2nd Btn. (d.28th March 1915)
- Riding William. Sgt.
- Roberts Wallace. Pte. 2nd Btn. (d.26th April 1918)
- Rogers John. Pte. 2nd Btn. (d.9th Mar 1917)
- Rucastle I.. Pte. 7th Btn. (d.10th Jun 1917)
- Saunders George. Pte. 2nd Btn.
- Sefton Joseph. A/Cpl
- Shellam Harry. Pte
- Smith Alfred A.. Pte. 1st/4th Btn. (d.17th Sep 1917)
- Smith John. Pte. 2nd Btn. (d.14th June 1917)
- Sowerbutts Nathaniel. Pte. 7th Btn. (d.10th Jun 1917)
- Speake John Higgin. CSM. 6th Btn. (d.16th Apr 1916)
- Speake William Henry. Pte. 1/5th Btn.
- Stockton Randall Richard. Pte. 8th Btn. (d.24th Oct 1916)
- Thompson Walter. Pte. 2nd Battalion (d.13 July 1916)
- Tranetr Joseph. Pte. (d.1st Oct 1918)
- Tye Robert. Serj. 2nd Battalion (d.13th August 1917)
- Walsh Patrick. Pte. (d.6th October 1917)
- Watton Stanley Victor. Second Lieutenant 3rd/7th Btn. (d.27th Aug 1916)
- Webber Henry. Lt. 7th Btn. (d.21st July 1916)
- Wignall John. Pte. 11th Btn (d.16th July 1917)
- Wilding George. Private, then Lance Corpo 7th (Service) (d.22nd/23rd Nov 1916)
- Williams John Arthur. Pte. 7th Btn.
- Yates Thomas. Pte. 6th Btn. (d.10th Nov 1915)
All 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 Add a Name to this List
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L/Cpl. Alfred George Pearce 11th Btn. B Coy. South Lancashire RegimentOne day in September 1914, three young men went to enlist in the British Army caught up in the fever of war. One of these men was Alfred George Pearce. He, with his wife, managed a public house in Liverpool and had four small children. When he returned home and told his wife, she was furious and said "What did you do a stupid thing like that for!"
In his going away photograph his cap badge is from the Cheshire's but he is recorded as being transferred to 11th Battalion in December 1916. During his training he had to go down the mines to be toughened up. His time in the mines was cut short as an accident resulted in him having a couple of broken ribs. His daughter Ruby told us how she enjoyed peeling his skin from his back after he had a cast removed.
Because he was a countryman from Hampshire originally, he was assigned to the section that looked after the regiments horses. They had at one stage a horse shoe on the back of their jacket. The losses were so heavy they turned the horse shoe round in case it improved their luck. In the end the horse shoe was abandoned. On the march to the front line, they saw some awful sights. Bodies lining the sides of the roads and families trying to escape the ravages of war. During the march forward, they stopped overnight at a French village were they were billeted in a barn full of hay and straw. They all settled down for the night. The hay providing a little comfort as they thought. Next morning they were all coming out in scabies. The Germans had sprayed the hay and straw with the infection before they left the area. Consequently all the regiment had to strip off in the village square, their uniforms burnt, and they were painted with Gentian violets. Not a very pleasant experience, but great amusement to the ladies of the village. He told of their instructions not to attempt to pick up anything like pens from the ground, or kick dead rats, as they could all be booby trapped.
Alfred George Pearce survived the war unscathed and lived to a ripe old age of 98. He always said never go to war even if it means running away to Ireland. Alfred's father, Joshua, was from Ecchingswell in Hampshire. [1901 Census].Suzanne Dalewicz-Kitto
Pte. William Hutting 2nd Btn. East Yorkshire RegimentPrivate William Hutting served as N°9849, 2nd East Yorkshire Regiment, 83rd Brigade in 28th Division He changed units at the end of 1915 and went to the Machine Gun Corps with the n°176806. After he changed another time the unit for going to the South Lancashire with the n°8855.
It's the only information have find about this solder. I found his toothbrush near Arras Thanks if you have any another information about this soldier.michel
Lt. Henry Webber MID. 7th Btn. South Lancashire Regiment (d.21st July 1916)Herny Webber was killed in action on the 21st of July 1916, aged 67 and is buried in the Dartmoor Cemetery in France.
Son of William Webber, M.D., and Eliza Webber (nee Preston), he was the husband of the late Emily Webber (nee Morris). Native of Horley, Surrey. For over 40 years a member of the London Stock Exchange. Henry Webber is the oldest known battle death recorded for the First World War.
The WW1 soldier who went to war in his 60s
By Jasper Copping With permission of The Daily Telegraph
In his poem, Wilfred Owen lamented the “doomed youth” who lost their lives in the slaughter of the First World War. But it seems that the ultimate sacrifice was made not just by the young. Almost a century on from the outbreak of the conflict, a tale has emerged of how a 67-year-old soldier became Britain’s oldest known combatant victim. Henry Webber was far older than the maximum age to serve in the army, but had eventually succeeded in lobbying the authorities to allow him to join up. He had been motivated by a desire to serve with his three sons, who were all serving. But in a twist of fate, all three were to survive the conflict, while Webber was to die on the Western Front. His tale has emerged in response to a series of supplements, published by The Sunday Telegraph in advance of this summer’s centenary of the outbreak. His great grandson, Paul Bellinger, also 67, from Woldingham, Surrey, responded to an appeal for readers’ stories. Mr Bellinger, who was raised by his father in South Africa, only discovered the story himself, at the age of 59, when he found his mother had had two more children, in Britain. Along with his newly-found step sister Ann, he has unravelled much of the story of their great grandfather, and has since visited his war grave in France. Mr Bellinger, a producer for the American television show 60 Minutes, said: “What a resourceful individual he was. His is a fantastic story and to find out that I had that sort of history in my family was a great revelation.”
Webber was born in Tonbridge, Kent, in 1849, and was educated at Tonbridge School and Pembroke College Oxford, graduating in 1870. Two years later, he joined the Stock Exchange - of which he was to remain a member for 42 years. He became a member of the firm of Norman Morris and Co and 1874 he married the eldest daughter of Norman Morris, one of the firm’s senior partners. The couple went on to have four sons and five daughters and settled in Horley. Webber became a very active member of local society, as one of the original members of Surrey County Council and the first chairman of the parish council. He was also involved in the administration of a local hospital, became chairman of directors of the Horley Gas Company and served as a county magistrate, church warden and president of the local Boys Scouts Association. A keen sportsman, he was an accomplished shot, a master of the Old Surrey and Burstow Hunt, a talented cricketer - scoring 200 runs aged 59 - a member of the MCC, and the first captain of Gatwick Golf Club. After the outbreak of war, in August 1914, he tried to join his sons in uniform. He was repeatedly turned down, as he was more than 20 years over the age limit.
He first volunteered to serve 'in any capacity’ but when rebuffed he recruited a company of 'rough riders’ - fellow-horsemen like himself - and offered the unit complete to the army. Again, he was turned down. But he persevered was eventually given a commission, on 26 July 1915. Whether this was in recognition of his persistence or because he lied about his age, is unclear. After a brief training period at Park Royal, north west London, he was sent to France as a battalion transport officer. He served with the 7th South Lancs battalion and was apparently accepted by its younger officers. It was said that many comrades were unaware of his true age, although his commanding officer apparently found that his own father and Webber had rowed together at Oxford in the same year, over half a century earlier.
His role involved helping in the build-up for the Somme offensive, which started on July 1st 1916. He and his unit were not involved in the initial attack, but took part in following actions, including the capture of La Boiselle on July 3rd 1916. Two weeks later, on July 17th he wrote a letter to his old school: “Fifty one years ago I got my colours in the XI and last week 51 years ago was bowling against the old boys and looking on some of them as “sitters” and in the “sere and yellow leaf”. “Yet here I am a Lieutenant in HM army having to salute three sons if I meet them out here, a Colonel and two Majors. I am 1st Line Transport Officer to this Battalion and we have been plumb in the centre of the picture during the last ten days and gained no end of “kudos” and also a very severe mauling. “I am so far extraordinarily fit and well, though, when I tell you that for four consecutive days I was either on my feet or in the saddle for twenty one hours, out of twenty four, you will see that there is a bit of work attached to the job.” Four days later, before the letter was received, he was dead. On July 21st the 7th Lancs moved up to relieve a battalion in the front line near Mametz Wood.
That night Henry Webber took supplies as usual with the battalion transport. Leaving his men to unload the horses, he went over to where the commanding officer was talking to a group of officers. However, at that moment, the area - a mile or so east of Albert - came under attack and a shell landed nearby. Webber was among 12 men - and three horses - which had been hit, suffering a head wound. He, along with the others, was taken to a dressing station, but never regained consciousness and died that night, just over a month after his 67th birthday. Following his death, his family received messages of sympathy from the King and Queen and the Army Council, which was unusual for a lieutenant and apparently a reflection of his age and eagerness to serve. His Commanding Officer wrote “He was so gallant and full of energy. We all had the greatest admiration and respect for him.” He was also mentioned in Sir Douglas Haig’s despatches of the 4th of January 1917.
Within two years, his widow too had died, according to the family having been unable to recover from her husband’s death. The three sons all survived. His eldest, NW (Tommy) Webber CMG DSO (& 9 Mentions in Despatches) rose to become a brigadier general and had a distinguished war career ending up as chief of staff to the commander of the Canadian Corps and was later managing director of the Army & Navy Stores group. The other two were Maj H.H. Webber RGA and Major Leonard Morris Webber RFA.s flynn
Sgt. David James Game 6th Btn. South Lancashire RegimentSgt. David James Game served with the 1st Battalion South Lancs 1904-1913 [7yrs India], 2nd Battalion South Lancs BEF 1914 [Battle of Mons] and 6th Battalion South Lancs BEF 1915-1919 Gallipoli and Mesopatamia
My grandfather was born 23rd August 1888 in Cambridge, he was one of 9 children, his parents moved to Leamington around 1899, and they lived in Bedford Street. Grandad enlisted with the 1st Battalion South Lancs in 1904 aged 15 years old, he was under age, on his service record he put his DOB as 1886, he served 9 years, 7 of them in India, he left in 1913 to join his brothers in Canada. Unfortunately war broke out and Grandad was back to the UK, he was now with the 2nd Battalion South Lancs as the 1st Battalion served the war in India.
Being in the regular army he was with the BEF [British Expeditionary Force] who were sent out to France whilst the New Army was being trained. I am able to piece together my grandfather’s experiences from himself, his service records and the War Diaries. Having served in France between 5 August and 22 November 1914, Grandad was truly "An Old Contemptible". He was also entitled to wear the clasp & rose to his 1914 Star Medal, awarded to all those who served under fire with the original British Expeditionary Force. By European standards the peacetime British Army was very small, but what it lacked in numbers it made up for in quality. Its Regular soldiers were long-time service professionals, confident in their marksmanship and discipline, and intensely proud of their Regiments. In comparison with the largely conscript continental armies, the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) of 1914 was indeed ‘a rapier among scythes’
Grandad took part in, the battles of Aisne and La Bassee, From 12th to 29th October 2nd South Lancashires experienced severe fighting and heavy casualties at the Battle of La Bassée, on the 21st October under cover of the mist, the Germans penetrated the front of the South Lancashires, on this day alone they lost seven officers and over two hundred men , but despite determined German attacks the battered line never broke.
First Battle Ypres: 2nd South Lancashires joined the 1st Loyal North Lancashires in the Ypres fighting, withstanding repeated attacks at Nonne Boschen 11th-13th Nov. The battle swayed back and forth as fresh German divisions were committed and, with ever decreasing numbers, the British Regular Army fought almost literally to the death, constantly attacking , withdrawing and counter attacking. The line held but at a terrible cost, both battalions being reduced to barely company strength. "Although names are given to periods of fighting, it is not possible to describe them as battles. It was a period of continuous, prolonged, ruthless encounter hardly interrupted at night. Our troops had no rest. They were out-numbered, out-gunned and opposed by a determined, skilful and implacable enemy. The fighting was largely individual. The casualties were so heavy that units lost their identity and were roughly grouped under brigades. The troops fought in shallow trenches and shell holes, and in terrible weather conditions. In addition to wound and death casualties, they suffered from frozen feet and knees and from rheumatism. Repulse of German attacks was a daily commonplace. Hourly shelling, to which no reply was possible, owing to shortage of ammunition. Only at night could supplies be brought up and wounded removed. As soon as dusk fell, Ypres was crowded with vehicles passing in and out...
It was at Nonne Boschen on the 13th Nov my granddad was wounded, he was returned home to England. In July 1915 he was with the BEF attached to the 6th Battalion South Lancs on his way to Gallipoli, they sailed from Avonmouth in June 1915, landed at Cape Helles (Gallipoli) 7-31 July, then moved to Mudros. Landed at Anzac Beach 4 August 1915. They were in action in The Battle of Sari Bair, The Battle of Russell's Top and The Battle of Hill 60, at ANZAC. It was here in Gallipoli he was promoted to Sergeant. They were evacuated from Gallipoli and went to Egypt via Mudros.
February 1916 he was on his way to Mesopotamia, the 6th Battalions of the East Lancashires, South Lancashires and Loyal North Lancashires, veterans of Gallipoli, were sent to Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) . They landed at Basra in March 1916. They formed part of the 38th (Lancashire) Infantry Brigade of the 13th (Western) Division of Kitchener’s New Army Here they had to acclimatize into the extreme weather conditions. Even so, with temperatures regularly exceeding 50 deg.C, death and illness from heat-stroke were common and dysentery, malaria and other tropical diseases were endemic. Grandad was used to the high temperatures, from his time spent in India, he partook in the battles here, and he finally returned home in March 1919. He was so very lucky to have survived all this, to come home, due probably to his expert pre war training.
He married Ellen Donald in 1920. On his return home from the Great War to a home fit for heroes, he found 2 1/2 days a fortnight work, digging trenches" for pipes. In 1923 - 1926 he joined the East Lancs as a private. Re-enlistment was encouraged by the short-term offer of a considerable financial incentive, this enabled my grandparents to eventually buy their home in Coventry. I believe he was truly a remarkable man.Pat Evans
Pte. George "Dodger" Green 2nd Btn. South Lancashire Regiment (d.3rd Sep 1916)George Green was a private who had previously fought in the Boer war. He was still on the reserve list and received call up papers on the day war was declared. He fought with the BEF and was injured in his right arm during an assault in the Richbourg area.
He was admitted to the hospital on 15th October 1914. It is not know when he rejoined his company. He died on the 3rd September 1916 on the Somme near Thiepval where his company were trying to take the Liepsig Redoubt. The picture of him was taken on a ward at the hospital and his wife Sarah wore it around her neck in a locket all her life. She never re married.Paul Green
Capt. Samuel Edward Bell MC. 7th Btn. South Lancashire Regiment (d.19th Nov 1916)Samuel Bell died of wounds on the 19th of November 1916, aged 19 and is buried in the Etaples Military Cemetery in France. He was the son of Mrs. and the late Edward Bell, of Holywood, Galloway Rd., Fleetwood, Lancs. Native of Fleetwoods flynn
Cpl. John George Jones MID 2nd Btn. South Lancashire Regiment (d.15th Oct 1914)John George Jones was killed in action on the 15th of October 1914, aged 29. Buried in Bethune Town Cemetery in France, he was the husband of H. E. Armstrong (formerly Jones), of 24 Prince St., Haworth Brow, Keighley. Native of Scarborough, Yorkshire, he had lived in Burnley since the age of six.s flynn
Pte. Harry Fleming 1st Btn South Lancashire Regiment (d.14th July 1919)Harry Fleming died of Cholera on the 14th of July 1919 and was buried in Nowshera Military Cemetery. He is cCommemorated on the Delhi War Memorial (India Gate) in India.s flynn
Pte. Herbert Dunn 7th Btn. South Lancashire Regiment (d.7th Jun 1917)Herbert Dunn has no known grave and is remembered on the Ypres Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing.
The Leigh Journal reported: "Mrs Dunn, Leigh, received official news on Friday morning of the death of her husband, Private Herbert Dunn, Lancashire Fusiliers, during the Messines advance on June 7th. Private Dunn, who was 36 years of age, leaves a wife and two children. Before joining the Army last August he was employed as a packer at the Mather Lane Mills where he had worked for 24 years. He is on the Roll of Honour at Pennington Church. Private Dunn and Private Hayward of Orchard Lane, Leigh, who was reported killed last week, both went up in the same group on the same day. They were put in the same regiment, went through their training together, and were both killed on the same day’."
Pte. John William Johnson DCM. 5th Btn. South Lancashire Regiment (d.2nd Aug 1916)My uncle John Johnson DCM was killed in action 2nd of August 1916 at Oxford Copse. The war diary records that the Valley was shelled by 8 inch Howitzers for 15 minutes, at 8am and again at 2p.m. Casualties:- 15 Killed, 17 Wounded.Phil Johnson
Pte. Peter Evans 7th Btn. South Lancashire Regiment (d.7th Jun 1917)Peter Evans has no known grave and is remembered on the Ypres Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing.
The Leigh Journal reported: "Father of Seven Killed. Mrs Evans, Plank Lane, Leigh received news last weekend of the death of the husband, Private Peter Evans, South Lancashire Regiment, during the recent advance in France on June 7th. A friend in the same company writing to Mrs Evans says, ‘I am very sorry to have to inform you of your husband’s death. He was killed by shell fire on June 7th. He suffered no pain. Before going into action he handed me ten franc notes, telling me to forward them to you in case anything happened to him. I enclose them, please let me know if you receive them alright. His death has cast a gloom over the whole Company for he was a cheery fellow and well liked by everyone.’ Private Evans, who was 36 years of age had been in the Army two years. He leaves a wife and seven children, the youngest three weeks old. Before the war he was employed as a collier at the Plank Lane Collieries."
Pte. Ernest George Furnaess 8th Btn. South Lancashire Regiment (d.29th August 1916)Ernest George Furnaess was my grandmother's brother. He was born in Pembroke Dock in 1887. He was killed in action in the village of Thiepval in the Somme, aged 28 years on 29th August 1916. He had married Susannah Jones in February 1915 and they lived at 42 Victoria Road, Rhyl. I know nothing more about him.
Pte. Patrick Walsh South Lancashire Regiment (d.6th October 1917)Patrick Walsh was transferred to the Labour Corps. He is buried in the South-West part of the Ardagh Old Graveyard, Co. Cork.s flynn
Pte. William Clift 13th Btn. South Lancashire RegimentThe 13th Reserve Battalion of the Prince of Wales Volunteers, South Lancashire Regiment formed at Oswestry, Shropshire in September, 1915 as a "local reserve battalion". I always thought that my father, 154918 Pte. William Clift had served in WW1 in the Machine Gun Corps but I have a photograph in which he is plainly wearing the uniform and cap badge of the Prince of Wales Volunteers, South Lancashire Regiment. He lived in Shropshire so it is logical that he initially enlisted into this regiment as I understand he was a volunteer. The 13th Bn however was absorbed into the 16th Reserve Brigade in 1916 and this formation remained in this country but provided troops for other units. I have a newspaper cutting from the time of my father's death confirming that he served in the MGC in France and that he was wounded. I would be very grateful if anyone can throw any light on movements from the POW Volunteers South Lancs and from 16 Brigade during WW1 as I am trying to trace his date of enlistment and postings etc and engagements that he was in. Perhaps someone could tell me if I am clutching at straws or if it is worthwhile pursuing.Michael Clift
Pte. Walter Thompson 2nd Battalion South Lancashire Regiment (d.13 July 1916)Brother of George Edward Thompson 2nd Devons KIA July 1st 1916 Sommme.
Brother of William Henry Thompson KIA HMS Inefatigable Jutland 31 May 1916L.T. Watson
Pte. Alexander Ferguson 8th Battalion South Lancashire Regiment (d.3rd Nov 1915)Private Alexander Ferguson of the South Lancashire Regiment was killed by a fragment of a 'Whizbang', while in his fire trench in Ploegsteert Wood, Flanders, on the 3rd of November 1915. He is buried in Rifle House Cemetery.Colin Hawksford
Pte. John Smith 2nd Btn. South Lancashire Regiment (d.14th June 1917)John was the son of Albert and Mary Smith, Johnson's Cottage, Denbigh; husband of Catherine Elizabeth Smith, Goppa, Denbigh.Richard Roberts
Pte. Wallace Roberts 2nd Btn. South Lancashire Regiment (d.26th April 1918)Wallace was the husband of Marie Roberts, 49 Chapel Street, St Helens.Richard Roberts
W. J. M. Rennells 2nd Btn. South Lancashire Rgt. (d.28th March 1915)Private Rennells was a prisoner at Wittenberg POW Camp. He died on 28th March 1915 during the typhus epidemic in the camp. He is buried in Berlin South Western Cemetery, grave XII.C.12
Pte. George Saunders 2nd Btn. South Lancashire RegimentMy grandfather George had a short war. He was there where the first shots were fired at Mons and in the next three weeks fought in five named battles, during which his regiment lost half its men to death or wounds. George was badly wounded, pulled from a pile of dead bodies and sent home. His death certificate in 1968 refers to after-effects of his wounds, which he endured for 54 years.
Despite its being only 13 miles from London, George was born and brought up in Old Bexley village, which was rural in those days. My mother says he joined the army, aged 17 in 1908 as a regular, to get away from a house full of women. Curiously, he enlisted in the 2nd South Lancashire regiment, who were based in Tidworth and recruiting in London.
War was declared on 4 August 1914, his regiment was mobilised and 27 officers and 980 men left Southampton for France ten days later. On 22 August they arrived at Mons (battle honour) and that afternoon commenced in action for 36 hours. On 24/25th they were in the fighting retreat (battle honour) and on 26th they stood firm at le Cateau (battle honour) which allowed the other allied units to escape and regroup. 2nd South Lancashires were widely scattered and down to 500 men. They had marched 200 miles, much of which was in battle. Continuing their march they were in the Battle of the Marne (battle honour)on 6 to 8 September. From 10th to 12th they turned and were in pursuit of the Germans who were in retreat, having outrun their supply lines. The Germans entrenched north of the river Aisne and on 15th September, four weeks after arriving in France and three weeks since Mons, 2 South Lancashires gained their fifth battle honour for the first Battle of the Aisne. It was there that my grandfather was wounded. The battalion was 'withdrawn to safety' on 21st September, having been in almost continuous action for 31 days.Tankertonian
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