​​​​​Men from the Blackburn area commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial
 

G H I J K L 

 Letter G

Garrett David | Gaskell Harold | Geddes Robert | Gerrard Arthur | Gleave Thomas
Greaves Robert W | GreenHalgh Fred | Greenwood Fred | Gregson John
Gregson Robert | Griffiths Thomas Henry

 

Private David Garrett

Garrett David.jpg 2nd/5th, Lancashire Fusilier’s, 7640
David Garrett was born in 1892, the second son of Thomas and Rebecca Garrett.  His elder brother was Thomas and he had a younger sister, Sarah, and a younger brother, Hugh.  The 1911 shows him to be living with his parents at 23 Wellington-road, Witton and that he was employed as a Cloth Machinist. His obituary card notes that he worked at Bank Top Foundry, so it is likely he had changed his job. It is not known when he enlisted into the army but his first Regiment was the East Lancashire's No. 4180. He was later transferred to the Lancashire Fusiliers 2nd/5th Battalion, No. 7640. He married Margaret Harrison at St. Luke with St. Philip, on March 11th 1916; it was more than likely that he was in khaki at the time.  He was a member of St. Luke's Conservative Club and attended St. Luke's Church and Sunday school.  Again, there is no information as to when he first went to France.
 In 1916, the 2nd/5th Battalion were part of 164th Brigade 51st (Highland) Division.
The 33rd Division attacked High Wood at dusk on the 19th of July.  Two Battalions of the 19th Brigade crept forward on 20th of July, during a bombardment and attacked when it lifted at 3:25 a.m. During the afternoon of the 21st July, another Battalion went forward and managed to reach the northern fringe of the wood. Due to the number of British casualties, two more Battalions were sent forward as reinforcements but as dark fell a German bombardment forced the British from the north end of the wood, which was retaken by German troops and both sides dug in.
After the attacks on the 20th July ended the Germans reoccupied most of High Wood, until only the southern corner remained in British hands. They also dug a new defensive position, known as Intermediate trench, ahead of the Switch Line to the west of the wood. This meant that taking the wood, became an even harder for the British.
On the night of the 22nd/23rd of July, the 4th Gordon Highlanders attacked the eastern corner of the wood, whilst the 1st Royal West Kent’s attacked the south-eastern part of the wood and Wood Lane, there with the 14th Royal Warwickshire’s at their side.
There had been a preliminary bombardment, but this had not inflicted sufficient loss on the defenders, and they were able to hold High Wood. No significant gains were made, although the Royal West Kent’s suffered 420 casualties. The other battalions also suffered losses.
Units from the 51st Division fought here on the 23rd of July. The attacks On High Wood went on until the 15th of September.
David Garrett was killed on the 9th of September during this battle, he was just 24 years old.  He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Memorial at Thiepval, Pier and Face 3 C 3 D.
It is thought that at least 8,000 British and German soldiers died in the wood in 1916. 
David is also commemorated on a family grave in Blackburn Old Cemetery (information supplied by Maurice FFelan, Friends of Blackburn Old Cemetery).

Gunner Harold Gaskell

Gaskell Harold.jpg
B Battery, 15th Brigade Royal Field Artillery, L/8342
Harold Gaskell’s mother, Elizabeth, was a self-employed confectioner at 145 Penny-street, Blackburn, where Harold was born, in 1895.
By 1911, aged 15, Harold was an apprentice cake maker in the business. He went on to serve his apprenticeship with his uncle, Thomas Crossley, (Weighing Machine Makers) of Regent Works, Old Chapel-street, Blackburn. His mother was a widow, and Harold was an only son, a sibling having died in infancy.
He took a keen interest in cycling, of which he was an ardent devotee. He was a member of Holy Trinity Church and a special Memorial Service was held in his memory, 5th November 1916.
Harold enlisted in February 1915 into the 15th Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery. He embarked in December, having trained as a Gunner.
March 1916 saw the Brigade move with 5th Division taking over a section of front line between St Laurent Blangy and the southern edge of Vimy Ridge, in front of Arras. This was a lively time, with many trench raids, sniping and mining activities in the front lines. When the Franco-British offensive opened on the Somme on 1st July 1916, the 5th Division was enjoying a period of rest and re-fit and was in GHQ Reserve. However, this restful time was not destined to last, and the division fought at High Wood, Guillemont, Flers-Courcelette, Morval and then Le Transloy.
It was here, at Le Transloy, that Harold would be killed, on 10th October 1916. Harold has no known grave, and is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on the Somme, Pier and Face 1 A and 8 A.


Private Robert Geddes

geddes Robert.jpg
8th Seaforth Highlanders, 8004
Robert Geddes was from a family of seven and from Scottish descent. His parents were both born in Creetown, Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland, near Dumfries.
At the time of the 1911 census his father was a self-employed master tailor and his mother was a tailoress. The family lived in Lancaster Street, Blackburn.  Robert was a tram conductor on the Cherry Tree section of the Corporation Tramways for over 3 years prior to enlisting.
Robert married Martha in 1908 and resided at Granville St, Cherry Tree. Their only son, Robert Walton McKenzie Geddes, was born 15th January 1909 making him just over seven years of age when his father was killed.
Private Geddes, whose Regiment, the Seaforth Highlanders, fought the war in its regimental Scottish kilts, received serious injuries during the Retreat from Mons in September 1914. Robert was hit by shrapnel in his left leg, with another piece piercing his jacket, and another – his water bottle. He struggled on with the rest of the troops, but fell behind. Badly injured, but determined to fight on, he charged his rifle and fixed his bayonet, when he was challenged by a sentry at an encampment he stumbled across. He mistakenly thought he was in German hands, but then recognized the blue uniform of the sentry, signifying a French encampment. They too recognized his kilt. He was carried to their quarters where they tended his wounds, before despatching him to Paris, the next day on an ambulance train.
From there, he was transferred to England where he spent many months in various hospitals being treated for the painful wound in his leg. As he recovered from his injuries at home in Granville Street, Robert gave a graphic account of his experiences during the first few weeks of fighting to the local newspaper in October 1914.
His recovery took until the summer of 1916 when his time as a Reservist had expired and he was requested by the War Office to re-enlist. Two months later, he returned to the front and was killed just four weeks later, September 19th, 1916.  He was 30 years old.
His wife, Martha, received a letter from his Officer telling her that Robert had been hit by a shell and that he suffered no pain. He expressed his hopes that Robert’s long service to his country would be of some comfort to her as it was to his comrades. He went on to say that the brave soldier was buried near where he fell and that she would be informed, in due course, by the War Office, of the exact spot.
Geddes Street (now demolished) in Cherry Tree was named after him and his family.
Robert was described as “One of the heroes of Mons” and he was a very brave man indeed and an absolute hero in the face of adversity. It is believed he was killed while tending an injured soldier.
It is an unfortunate aspect of war that although he was properly buried, his grave has been lost. The heavy bombardments often caused this across the Somme. Robert is, however, still remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on the Somme, Pier and Face15 C and also on the memorial at St Francis’ Church, Feniscowles.


Rifleman Arthur Gerard

gerard Arthur.jpg
10th King’s Royal Rifle Corps, R/3124
Arthur Gerard, son of Mr and Mrs J Gerard of 114 Roman-road, enlisted on September 2nd 1914 into the 10th Battalion King’s Royal Rifle Corps. He had previously been employed as a weaver, but left for the front line in June 1915. It was around this time that his brother, Ralph, was killed at the Battle of Loos.
Arthur would go on to fight in the Battle of the Somme, where he would be killed near Guillemont on 3rd September 1916.
The Battle of Guillemont (3rd-6th September 1916) was an attack by the Fourth Army on the village of Guillemont. The Fourth Army had advanced close to Guillemont during the Battle of Bazentin Ridge (14th-17th July) and the capture of the village was the culmination of British attacks which began on 22nd-23rd  July to advance on the right flank of the Fourth Army, to eliminate a salient further north at Delville Wood. German defences ringed the wood and had observation over the French Sixth Army area to the south towards the Somme.
His commanding officer wrote:
“It is with the deepest regret that I have to inform you of the death of your son, Arthur, of this Battalion, who was killed in an attack on Guillemont on Sunday, September 3rd. In the midst of your sorrow, in which we must sympathise with you very sincerely, we trust that the knowledge that your son died a hero’s death fighting, and fearlessly, in an attack which has, without doubt, brought great success to our army, will console you in your grief.”
A memorial service was held at St James Church, Lower Darwen for Arthur. His younger brother Harry survived, fighting with the Rifle Brigade.
Arthur died aged twenty-four, and is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial Pier and Face 13 A 13 B. He has no known grave.  
*The CWGC spells his surname Gerrard


Thomas Gleave

Gleave Tom.jpg
1st/4th East Lancashire Regiment, 201467
Thomas Gleave, born 18th April 1896, was the son of Elizabeth and Thomas Gleave of 51 Mill-street, Blackburn. Thomas, like his father, would go on to become a cotton weaver, at Britannia Mill. His father died in 1908, leaving Thomas alone with his mother. They would spend time at Furthergate Comp Church.
Thomas enlisted into the 1st/4th East Lancashire Regiment in July 1915, and following only a few weeks training was sent to the Dardanelles as part of the reinforcements as part of the 42nd Division. Through battle casualties and sickness, it was down to little more than one third of its normal establishment. It received reinforcement in the shape of men of the Yeomanry, fighting dismounted. The Division, along with all other units in the Helles bridgehead, made a successful withdrawal from Gallipoli by 8th January 1916.
After a short stay on Mudros while sufficient shipping was made available and the army administration got on top of the flood of units coming to Egypt from Gallipoli, the Division returned to Alexandria.
Further work was undertaken on the Suez Canal defences throughout the spring and summer of 1916. In early August 1916, the Lancashire Fusiliers and Manchester Brigades made a very long march under blazing sun, towards Romani where a short engagement took place in which the Turkish units were pushed back with heavy loss. The Brigades (of the by now retitled 42nd (East Lancashire) Division) had to wade and struggle through loose sand, and the physical effort was extreme. Many men collapsed.
Romani was an important victory, because from there the British force pushed a railway and water line across the Sinai desert that would enable an assault with the intention of clearing Palestine. The East Lancs were involved as advance guards as the building moved forward as far as El Arish. However, a decision had been taken to restructure the force in Palestine, and in consequence the Division was ordered for the first time to the Western Front. All units embarked at Alexandria by the end of February 1917.
The 1st/4th East Lancashire Regiment was in Equicourt near Cambrai in July 1917, when Thomas was killed, only 2 days before a month long furlong.
The Lieutenant of Private Gleave’s Company, in a letter to the mother says:
“A party of Germans has been observed coming towards our trenches, when they suddenly disappeared.  Your son along with a sergeant volunteered to go out, with the idea of ascertaining the German positions etc.  After a short interval an explosion was heard, evidently a British bomb, also the report of a rifle.  The sergeant was seen to run a short distance, and then disappear.  A search party was sent put at dusk, but failed to find any trace of either man.  I have every reason he adds “to believe that he is a prisoner in enemy hands.  I regret his loss, as he was a plucky lad and a brave soldier.”
Thomas was never found. He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on the Somme, Pier and Face 6 C.


Private Robert W Greaves

Greaves R W.jpg
1st Border Regiment, 5056
​ Robert W. Greaves was born in 1896, one of eleven children (nine boys and two girls) born to John Thomas and Nancy Greaves of 2 Thompson-street, Blackburn.
He had attended St. Phillips Sunday School. His eldest brother Josiah worked for the Lancs &York's Railway Co. as a fireman which is perhaps how Robert came to work at the Lower Darwen engine shed. His father had been a coal cart driver and a foundry labourer with the rest of the family working in the cotton industry.
Robert had enlisted in the special reserve before the outbreak of war. He had one brother also in France and another brother had returned home in January 1916 from the army as a time expired man. As war broke out, Robert was ordered to report for duty, in the 1st Border Regiment.
In August 1914 the 1st Borders were in Maymyo, Burma. They returned to England, landing at Avonmouth on 10 January 1915, when Robert would join them, having spent the last 5 months in training.
On 17th March 1915 the Battalion, as part of 29th Division, sailed for Gallipoli, going via Egypt and Mudros. They landed at Cape Helleson 25thApril 1915. Following the terrible campaign, in January 1916 they were evacuated via Mudros to Egypt. They then moved to France in March 1916, to prepare for the Battle of the Somme.
In this opening phase, the British assault broke into and gradually moved beyond the first of the German defensive complexes on the Somme. Success on the first day in the area between Montauban and Mametz led to a redirection of effort to that area, for the initial attack was defeated with huge losses north of Mametz. There was a stiff fight for Trones Wood and costly, hastily planned and piecemeal attacks that eventually took La Boisselle, Contalmaison and Mametz Wood.
Robert died aged twenty in the first battle Somme on the 1st July 1916.
He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on the Somme, Pier and Face 6 A and 7 C He has no known grave.


Fred Greenhalgh

15th Lancashire Fusiliers, 39768

Private Fred Greenhalgh of the 15th Lancashire Fusiliers, son of Thomas and Ellen Greenhalgh of 14 Stanley Street, Blackburn Lancashire, was killed on 20th November 1916, shortly after the Battle of Ancre Heights. Fred, born 1885, originally worked at a cotton mill before the war, as a stoker for the boilers.
Fred was formally part of the East Lancashire Regiment before joining the 15th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers, the first ‘Salford’ Pals Battalion.
The Battle of Ancre Heights was the continuation of British attacks after the Battle of Thiepval Ridge from 26th–28th September, by the Reserve Army (renamed Fifth Army on 29th October) from Courcelette near the Albert–Bapaume road, west to Thiepval on Bazentin Ridge.
British possession of the heights would deprive the German 1st Army of observation towards Albert to the south-west and give the British observation north over the Ancre valley to the German positions around Beaumont Hamel, Serre and Beaucourt.
A brigade of the 31st Division attacked north of Serre forming the northern flank guard, before being withdrawn in the evening after the 3rd Division to the south was stopped in no man's land by the Serre garrison, which was not taken by surprise, having heard the British infantry advancing through the fog. South of Serre most of the objectives were taken; the 51st Division took Beaumont Hamel and the 63rd Division captured Beaucourt-sur-l'Ancre. South of the Ancre, II Corps captured St Pierre Divion and reached the outskirts of Grandcourt, while the Canadian 4th Division capturedRegina Trench north of Courcelette. Desire Support Trench 400 yards (370 m) beyond Regina Trench was consolidated on 18th November. Large operations ended, until the renewal of pressure by the Fifth Army as soon as weather permitted, in January 1917. The British advanced 5 miles (8.0 km) on a 4 mile (6.4 km) front up the Ancre valley and caused the Germans to begin the withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line prematurely, in the area north of the Somme. Fred Greenhalgh was killed manning the line in the aftermath of the battle on 20th November 1916. Casualties in the 32nd Division from 18th–24th November, were 2,524, more than 50 percent being "missing".
Private Fred Greenhalgh is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on the Somme, Pier and Face 3 C and 3 D and has no known grave.


Private Fred Greenwood

Greenwood Fred.jpg
11th East Lancashire Regiment, 24523
Private Fred Greenwood, 11th East Lancashire Regiment, was born in July 1891 into a weaving and boot-making family. His father, John, was a Boot-Maker Master, whilst his mother was a weaver. His brother and sister would follow similar family trades, as would Fred himself, becoming a weaver.
As a child he attended St. Matthews Church and Sunday school, but soon joined the family trades. When war broke out, his brother John joined up, whilst Fred initially continued to work. But with the creation of the Accrington Pals, Fred joined with a flurry of others in 1915.
The 11th Battalion East Lancashire Regiment, more commonly known as The Accrington Pals, was raised in September 1914 in Accrington, Lancashire.
At the end of February 1916, the 31st Division was ordered to France, to prepare for the attack on the Somme. They were to fight at Serre, on the very edge of The Battle of The Somme.
At 6.30a.m., 1st July 1916, the British artillery commenced its final furious bombardment of the German front line. At 7.20am, Captain Tough led the first of the battalion's four waves 100 yrds into No Man's Land under the cover of artillery and mortar fire. A few minutes later, the second wave followed led by Captain Livesey. As shells continued to burst on the German front trench, the men of the 3rd and 4th Companies R169 scrambled from their underground shelters bringing machine guns, rifles and grenades to bear on the attacking troops.
At 7.30a.m., the bombardment was lifted from the German front line and the leading waves rose and walked in line towards the German positions. Machine gun and rifle fire immediately tore into the advancing lines of infantry. One British observer likened the lines of dead to "swathes of cut corn at harvest time". Incredible as it now seems, groups of Pals defied the machine gun fire, threaded their way through the barbed wire and dropped into the German front line. The remaining survivors in the German front line - bereft of reinforcements - were forced to withdraw. By 8am, the battle for Serre was effectively over.
Records indicate that out of some 720 Accrington Pals who took part in the attack, 584 were killed, wounded or missing. Fred Greenwood was listed as missing that day, and his body was never found. He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on the Somme, Pier and Face 6 A and 7 C, and also, in Blackburn Old Cemetery, C of E. S 4728/9.


Private John Gregson

Gregson John.jpg
2nd East Lancashire Regiment, 5242
Born in Blackburn in 1894 to Richard and Elizabeth Gregson, John Gregson enlisted in his hometown of Blackburn with the 2nd Battalion East Lancashire Regiment.
Before the war, John was a reacher at Wood’s Brick Works, whilst his father was a Limewasher and his mother a cardroom hand. His two sisters were still at school when the war began.
As part of the 2nd Battalion, Private Gregson came under the command of the 24th Brigade in the 8th Division. Having arrived in France in February 1915, John would fight at the Battle of Neuve Chapellein March 1915 and the Battle of Aubers in May 1915.
Between October 1915 and June 1916, John served with the 23rd Division in the action of Bois Grenier. On 5th September the 23rd Division was attached to III Corps and moved to the Merris-Vieux Berquin area, where trench familiarisation began under the tutelage of the 20th (Light) and 27th Divisions. The Division took responsibility for a front line sector for the first time nine days later, taking over between Ferme Grande Flamengrie to the Armentieres-WezMacquart road.
The 2nd Battalion were again thrust into battle in the opening phases of the Somme, around Albert. It was here, on 10th July 1916, that John was killed. He was reported as missing for over a year, although his officer wrote to the family to express his sorrow at losing a fine soldier.
John died aged twenty-three, and is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on the Somme, Pier and Face 6 C. He has no known grave.


Private Robert Gregson

Gregson Robert - Copy.jpg
1st East Lancashire Regiment, 20005
Robert Gregson was born in 1894 into a cotton weaving family. When he was old enough, he would go on to work with 2 of his sisters, whilst his father was employed as a lorry driver at the same works.
Robert and his father were dedicated to the armed forces, having both signed up for Territorial service before the war. John Gregson, Robert’s father, would join the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, whilst Robert joined the 4th East Lancashire Regiment, after being recruited in Southport in September 1913. He left before the war began, but was immediately recalled and placed into 1st Battalion.
The 1st East Lancashire Regiment faced a wealth of tough battles, but it was the Battle of Le Transloy where Robert would lose his life.
The failure to secure original battle objectives led to a renewed major assault on the afternoon of 12th October when infantry on 4th army’s right foundered towards German trench lines in front of Le Transloy while formations on the left slogged towards the butte de Warlencourt. Despite the slightest of gains the operation was not successful.
Orders for a fresh attack, issued late on 13th October ignored the desperate conditions and physical state of the attacking troops. The subsequent early morning assault on 18th October witnessed heroic efforts but  minimal gains were made against resolute defenders well supported by accurate artillery fire.
The inauspicious beginnings of the 18th October attack were described with grim and brutal reality by the official historian:
"In almost every brigade, forming-up positions had been taped out in front and careful compass bearings taken of the direction of the advance. When the moment of the assault arrived the British front positions and the approaches thereto were a maze of water-logged shell-holes and flooded trenches. As the troops struggled forward through the darkness (the moon being obscured by heavy rain clouds) officers and men stumbled and fell in the slippery ooze; rifles and Lewis guns became clogged with it so that bomb and bayonet were soon the only weapons."
On the 18th October the 1st East Lancashire’s, who had only recently returned to the Somme, attacked at Le Transloy through “a vast lake of mud, pitted with shell-holes”, losing all the officers, warrant officers and senior NCO’s of the assaulting companies and a total of 362 other ranks.
Private Gregson is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial in France, Pier and Face 6 C.


Private Thomas Henry Griffiths

Griffiths T H.jpg
2nd/5thLancashire Fusiliers, 7595
Thomas was born in Blackburn to an Irish-born Labourer, Thomas Ludden, and his wife Sarah.
In February 1915, Thomas Griffiths, joined the 2nd/5th Battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers, was sent to join the 66th Division, on its way to France.
However, it was only a few short months before his battalion was transferred again to the 3rd Highland Brigade, Highland Division, where less than one month later the formation became 154th Brigade of the 51st (Highland) Division. In early May 1915, the Highland Division was hurried to the defence of Ypres. The enemy had attacked on 22nd April 1915, using poison gas for the first time. All available reserves were deployed to stop the Germans taking advantage of the initial surprise. The Division remained in action until moved to the area of Estaires on the River Lys, on 19th May.
The Division then remained in France and Flanders and took part in the following engagements: The Battle of Festubert, the Highlanders were still "practically untrained and very green in all field duties" before Festubert, according to First Army commander, Sir Douglas Haig; The Second Action of Givenchy, shortly after thus unsuccessful action the Division moved south to the area north of the River Somme. They relieved a French Division near Hamel. At this time, the Highland Division now being considered experienced, various New Army units were attached to it for instruction. Indeed, it had also begun to build a reputation as a hard, fighting formation.
In 1916 came the attacks on High Wood and The Battle of the Ancre – both phases of the Battles of the Somme. During The Battle of the Ancre, the Division captured Beaumont Hamel and took more than 2,000 prisoners. By the end of the Somme and believing it could not face another sustained assault such as this; the German Army was preparing to make a strategic withdrawal to the prepared Hindenburg Line many miles east.
Private Griffiths was killed in action on 9th September 1916, as the Battle of the Ancre began. He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on the Somme, Pier and Face 3 C and 3 D.



Letter H

Halewood George | Halton David | Hargreaves Edwin | Hargreaves Thomas
Hargreaves Wilfred Henry | Hartley Joseph | Hartley WilliamHaworth Absalom
Haworth Philip | Haworth Robert William | Haworth William | Haydock Arthur
Haydock Edgar Brindle | Hayhurst William | Hesketh William | Hindle James William
Hindle John Crook | Hindle Robert | Hodgson Reginald | Hodson John | Holden Joseph
Hook William Henry | Howard George | Howarth John | Hull Jesse

 
11th East Lancashire Regiment, 15690
Private George Lewis of the 11th Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment, the Accrington Pals, was killed on 1st July 1916. He was 20 years of age.
He was a single man, one of several brothers and sisters born to William Houghton Halewood and Harriet Halewood. He was living with his parents at 31 Flemming Square, Blackburn, when he died.
The obituary which appeared in the Blackburn weekly telegraph of 29th July 1916 gave his address as 31 Flemming square and said he was a member of Blackburn YMCA. The obituary also said that one of his comrades, Private J. Sharples had written to his parents and told them that "Lewis (by which name he was best known) went into the trenches in very good spirits to do his duty."
Private Halewood has no known grave and is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the missing on the Somme, Pier and Face 6 C.
George was killed at the battle of albert which is the official name given to the British efforts during the first two weeks of the first battle of the Somme. As such it includes the first day of the Somme, the most costly in British history.

1st East Lancashire Regiment, 22807

David Halton was born in the year 1880 and baptised 5th December 1880. He was the son of David, a house painter, and Ellen Halton, with 5 siblings. Born in Blackburn – where he would later enlist in the East Lancashire Regiment – he married Ann (née Lupton), a cotton warper, also from Blackburn. Their marriage was registered in the summer of 1907 and they went on to have a son, Arthur.
As part of the 4th Division, Private Halton would have joined the action in The Battle of Le Cateau (26th August – 1st September 1914). This tactical victory is said to have been short but sharp with the total British casualties amounting to 7,812 of all ranks, killed, wounded and missing; 38 field guns were lost. Heavy casualties were inflicted on the Germans and another delay imposed on their Schlieffen timetable.
Followed by this were The Battle of Marne (7th-10th September 1914) and The Battle of Aisne (12th – 15th September 1914). The Battle of Armentieres (13th October – 2nd November 1914) included the tactical incident of the capture of Meteren by 4th Division. The Division also faced The Battles of Ypres 1915 ("Second Ypres") (22nd April – 25th May 1915).
The Battle of Albert (1st-13th July 1916): In this opening phase, the British assault broke into and gradually moved beyond the first of the German defensive complexes on the Somme. Success on the first day in the area between Montauban and Mametz led to a redirection of effort to that area, for the initial attack was defeated with huge losses north of Mametz. There was a stiff fight for Trones Wood and costly, hastily planned and piecemeal attacks that eventually took La Boisselle, Contalmaison and Mametz Wood.
Private Halton was killed in action in France on 1st July 1916. He has no known grave, and is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on the Somme, Pier and Face 6 C.

2nd/5th Lancashire Fusiliers, 204062

Private Edwin Hargreaves was reported missing on 9th September, 1916 but his mother had to wait until March 1917 before the army confirmed Edwin had died.
Edwin was a single man. He was born on 15th May, 1888 and records show he was baptised on 17th June, 1888 at St. Pauls, Blackburn.
Census records show that he was one of seven children born to John and Betsy Hargreaves. Sadly, no obituary or photograph of him appeared in the local papers.
Edwin was a member of the 2nd/5th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers and would, most likely, have been killed in the Battle of Ginchy.  The narrative below of the Battle of Ginchy is taken from the Commonwealth War Graves website.
"Ginchy village, a mass of shattered masonry and shell holes by late summer 1916, had been a key objective for 7th division in the important attack of 3rd September. It was not taken and in the days immediately following repeatedly defied British assaults. A further concerted attempt on Ginchy was planned for the afternoon of Saturday 9th September as the 4th Army sought to support French attacks beyond Combles ( to the south east ) and secure a stable line of attack for a large-scale breakthrough offensive intended for mid- September.
The task of clearing the village was given to the depleted 16th (Irish) Division. Its two attacking Brigades (47th and 48th) were supported on the right by 56th Division’s operations in Leuze and Bouleaux woods.
Precisely at 4.45pm on 9th September, the 48th Brigade rushed towards Ginchy from the south-west but was instantly halted by a ferocious German barrage. Two minutes later, 47th Brigade’s attack (from the south) was immediately cut down by close- range machine gun fire.
In wet conditions, bad light and the confusion of the assault, elements of the 1st Royal Munster Fusiliers veered to the flank and, there confronted by the enemy, resolutely drove the Germans back. Pressing on, 48th Brigade’s troops were in the village by 5.30pm and consolidated. The attack was characterised by dash, turmoil and heavy casualties.
During the evening the Germans made several attempts to re-enter the village and fighting continued as the 1st Welsh Guards relieved the exhausted 48th Brigade later that night.
The capture of Ginchy forced the remaining German defenders out from the eastern edge of Delville Wood, but the new British line formed a salient vulnerable to German counter attacks.
Edwin has no known grave and is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on the Somme, Pier and Face 3 C and 3 D.
Hargreaves T.jpg
1st East Lancashire Regiment, 20041
Private Hargreaves was a married man, aged 31. He was the son of Edward and Isabella Hargreaves and the husband of Bessie Hargreaves who he married in 1906. Thomas had previously been employed as a weaver at Prospect Mill, Wharf-street Blackburn.
He and Bessie were living at 95 Harwood-street, Blackburn at the time of his death.
“The Blackburn Times”, 29th July 1916, reported that Private Thomas Hargreaves had been killed on 1st July, 1916.
The 1st Battalion took part in the Battle of Albert from 1st July 1916 to 13th July 1916. The Battle of Albert is the official name for the British efforts during the first two weeks of the first Battle of the Somme. As such, it includes the first day of the Somme, the most costly day in British Military history.
The report of his death stated that Thomas had joined the Territorials soon after the outbreak of war. He was transferred to the 1st Battalion East Lancashire Regiment and, once at the front, he immediately volunteered for scout work. His name is on the Roll of Honour for Holy Trinity Church.
The Blackburn Times report noted that before going to France Thomas had acted as an orderly to Lieutenant Ormerod. Additionally, the article mentioned that two of Thomas’s brothers were also serving in the Army, one in France and one in training in England.
Private Hargreaves has no known grave and is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on the Somme, Pier and Face 6 C.
Hargreaves W H.jpg
1st King’s Royal Rifle Corps, R/14599
Wilfred married Annie on the 23rd December, 1905. The army records show that they had two children, Alexander and Henry. Wilfred had previously been employed as a taper in a cotton mill.
Rifleman Wilfred Henry Hargreaves, of 1st Battalion King’s Royal Rifle Corps, was reported missing on 27th July, 1916 but his wife had to wait until 12th July, 1917 before the army decided to accept that he had died.
The records show a letter from his wife dated 2nd August 1917, in which she acknowledges receipt of the form from the army informing her that the army had official news to certify Wilfred’s death. The letter goes on to say Annie cannot draw her death money until the army send her a death certificate and asking for this to be done.
Wilfred’s Battalion was attached to the 2nd Division. In July 1916, the 2ndDivision were part of the 4th army and, it is likely therefore, that Wilfred was killed during the Battle of Delville Wood.
The Battle of Delville Wood was fought between 15th July and 3rd September 1916. Following the successful dawn attack of 14th July, the newly won British line formed a salient, the right side of which was threatened by Delville Wood. Before any eastwards attack on the German second position could be made it was vital that the whole of Longueval and Delville Wood was captured.
The South African Brigade was tasked with clearing the wood; and on 15th July they cleared the southern sector and then made a further advance before digging into their position.
The Germans retaliated with ceaseless shelling, machine gun fire and a succession of aggressive counter attacks.  Fighting continued day and night as renewed South African assaults wore themselves out against German defences. The South Africans were eventually relieved after six days of continuous fighting, on 20th July, 1916.
Vicious fighting for the wood continued for another 6 weeks, the advantage continuously changing. The 27th July saw the 2nd  division renew the assault, followed by the 17th division.
The wood was only completely cleared of Germans following the fall of Ginchy on 9th September, 1916.
Delville Wood remained the most costly action the South African Brigade fought on the Western Front.
Wilfred has no known grave and is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the missing on the Somme, Pier and Face 13 A and 13 B.
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9th King’s Royal Rifle Corps, R/13285
Private joseph Hartley of the 9th battalion, king’s royal rifle corps was reported killed on 24th Agust 1916. He was 32 years of age.
Joseph was a single man, one of several brothers and sisters born to James and Mary Hartley. Joseph was living at 11 Frederick-street, Blackburn when he enlisted on 25th May 1915. He gave his age as 30 years 5 months and his occupation as a labourer. He was 5’ 4” tall and weighed 148 pounds. He gave his next of kin as his sister Ada.
Before enlisting he was employed by Whittaker and Co. Ltd., at Grimshaw Park, Blackburn.
By 1916, Joseph had been serving for nearly 2 years, and found himself about to embark on the Battle of the Somme, around Delville Wood.
Delville wood was a tract of woodland, nearly 1 kilometre square, the western edge of which touched the village of longueval in the Somme. On 14th July 1916 the greater part of longueval village was taken by the 9th (Scottish) division and on the 15th, the South African brigade of that division captured most of delville wood. The wood now formed a salient in the line, with waterlot farm and mons wood on the south flank still in German hands, and, owing to the height of the trees, no close artillery support was possible for defence.
The three South African battalions fought continuously for six days and suffered heavy casualties. On 18th July, they were forced back and on the evening of the 20th the survivors, a mere handful of men, were relieved. On 27th July, the 2nd Division retook the wood and held it until 4th August when the 17th division took it over. On 18th and 25th August it was finally cleared of all German resistance by the 14th (light) division.
Private Hartley was killed in this action. He has no known grave and is remembered on the Thiepval memorial to the missing on the Somme, pier and face 13 A and 13  B.
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2nd East Lancashire Regiment, 19489
Sergeant William Hartley of the 2nd Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment was reported killed on 7th July 1916. He was 20 years of age.
He was initially reported as missing and a report in “The Blackburn Times” in July 1917 said a Lieutenant in his company had written to William’s mother expressing hope that he had been taken prisoner.  The Lieutenant went on to say that William was always cheerful and a good soldier and that he was sorry to lose him.
The same article said William had been with the East Lancashire Territorials when war broke out and had proceeded to Egypt with the regiment, and from there, to the Dardanelles where he was wounded three times.
Sergeant Hartley was a single man who was born in Stalybridge. He was one of four children born to Mary Ann and John Thomas Hartley. The family lived at 29 Kay-street, Blackburn.
Before enlisting, he was employed as a weaver at Britannia Mill. He was also connected with Christ Church, Blackburn.
The 2nd Battalion took part in the battle of Albert from 1st July 1916 to 13th July 1916. The Battle of Albert is the official name for the British efforts during the first two weeks of the first Battle of the Somme. As such, it includes the first day of the Somme, the most costly day in British military history. The 2nd Battalion were in action near Contalmaison on 7th July and it is probable that this is where Sergeant Hartley was killed.
Sergeant Hartley has no known grave and is remembered on the Thiepval memorial to the missing on the Somme, pier and face 6

7th Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent) Regiment, G/2260

Absalom Haworth was born in 1891, the son of William and Janet Haworth. Born a twin with John Haworth, he had two older brothers, Walter and Edwin.  Janet and the children are said to have been born in Turton, a village outside of Darwen, but in later census returns they are listed as born in Blackburn. As usual the family work in the textile industry but in 1901, living at 59, Bolton-road, Edwin is described as a postman.
In 1911 they moved back to Rockcliffe-street, number 93, with just the twins and Margaret at home with their parents.
Absalom enlisted in September 1914 into the 7th Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment, which formed part of 18th Division. The units of the Division initially concentrated in the Colchester area but moved in May 1915 to Salisbury Plain. King George V inspected the Division on 24th June. Embarkation for France began on 24th July and units moved to assemble near Flesselles, completing concentration there five days later.
For the next year, the Battalion would get to grips with trench warfare, but in 1916 were to get their first big assault, at the Battle of Albert, the first Battle of the Somme.
On the first day, British forces at the southern end of the British line made an impressive advance alongside the French Sixth Army, capturing the villages of Montauban and Mametz and breaking through the enemy's defensive system. North of Mametz the attack was an almost unmitigated failure. The situation led to a redirection of effort, with the offensive north of the River Ancre effectively being closed down and all future focus being on the line south of Thiepval.
The loss of 60,000 British casualties on 1st July was not repeated and in the fighting from 2nd–13th July the British lost another 25,000 men.
It was on 2nd July, the second day of the assault, that Absalom was killed. In the records of soldier’s effects Janet is named as the sole legatee claiming an amount of £2-1s-11d.
Absalom has no known grave, but is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on the Somme, Pier and Face 11C.
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1st King’s Own Scottish Borderers, 13481
Phillip Haworth was the son of Margaret and Edmund Haworth. The 1911 census places Phillip living with his parents at 59 Nuttall-street, Blackburn. He was one of 7 children and he was unmarried. He and his brothers and sisters were weavers at Albion Mill.
Phillip enlisted shortly after the outbreak of war, on 29th August 1914, and joined the Kings Own Scottish Borderers (KOSB’s). He was allocated to the 1st Battalion which was a professional Army Unit.
As part of the 29th Division, the battalion was sent to Gallipoli. The HMT Royal Edward sailed form Avonmouth on 28th July 1915 with reinforcements for the 29th Division. Phillip Haworth was one of these men. On 13th August 1915 the ship was torpedoed by the UB-14, she sank in 6 minutes with significant loss of life. Phillip was one of the survivors, and re-joined the Battalion at Cape Helles.
The Battalion was evacuated from Cape Helles and, after a period in Egypt, they moved to France. They took part in the Somme offensive, before moving to the Ypres sector then taking part in the Battle of Cambrai.
On 1st July the Battalion were in action near Beaumont Hamel adjacent in the line to the Newfoundland Regiment. The 1st Battalion KOSB’S suffered 558 casualties in this action but Phillip Haworth managed to escape this unscathed. He remained with the Battalion in the Somme area until January 1917, when the Battalion was heavily shelled on 22nd January. Phillip was killed in the bombardment.
Phillip Haworth has no known grave, but is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on the Somme, Pier and Face 4 A and 4 B. His elder brother William was also in the army and was badly wounded in July 1916.
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104th Brigade Royal Field Artillery, 56729
Gunner Robert William Haworth of “A” Battery, 104th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery was killed in action on the 12th July 1916. He was 24 years of age.
He was a single man, one of 5 children, and lived with his parents, Mr Robert Livesey Haworth and Mrs Jane Haworth at 17 Fore-street, Lower Darwen.
In a letter to his parents advising them of Robert’s death, Major J. C. Walford, who was in charge of his battery wrote:
“With the deepest regret I have to tell you of the death of your son. He was killed in action this morning, painlessly and instantaneously.
I hardly dare to intrude on your grief further except just to add the true sympathy of every soul in the battery. He was a fine soldier in the best sense of the word and no one was more popular with us all. I will give all particulars when he is buried at a later date.”
Gunner Haworth enlisted on 14th December 1914 and was drafted to France on 12th August 1915. He had been home on leave in April before returning to his unit.
The obituary notice which appeared in “The Blackburn Times”, 29th July 1916 reported that Robert attended the United Methodist Free Church, was a member of the choir and Treasurer of the Band of Hope Society.
A memorial was held in the church on Sunday evening (23rd July) and was conducted by the Reverend J. W. Tagg. There was a large attendance from relatives and friends of the deceased. At the close of the service the organist played the dead march in “Saul”; the congregation standing.
Prior to enlisting Gunner Haworth was employed by T. & R. Eccles, Lower Darwen. The 1911 census recorded him as a weaver.
 Gunner Haworth’s battery was attached to the 23rd Division which took part in the Battle of Albert from 1st July 1916 to 13th July 1916. The Battle of Albert is the official name for the British efforts during the first two weeks of the first battle of the Somme. As such, it includes the first day of the Somme, the most costly day in British military history.
The 23rd Division captured Contalmaison on 9th July and Robert was killed a few days later.
Gunner Haworth has no known grave and is remembered on the Thiepval memorial to the missing on the Somme, pier and face 1 A and 3 A.
He is also listed on the war memorial in the grounds of St. James’ Church, Stopes Brow, Lower Darwen.
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7th King’s Own (Royal Lancaster) Regiment, 18152
William Haworth, born 1883, was the son of William and Eliza Haworth, living at 7 St. James-street. His father was a spinner, and young William had two sisters – Alice and Susannah.
By 1911, William was married to Mary nee Cavavan. They had one child and lived at 61, Coddington-street which was between the railway line, the canal and Bottomgate. Mary’s mother Elizabeth, born in Bolton, lived with them. William worked as a weaver at Alexandra Mill on Audley Range just east of St. Joseph’s Church.
William enlisted originally into the Border Regiment in October 1914, but was transferred to the King’s Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment) shortly after. Following extensive training with 7th Battalion, William was sent to France in July 1915.
The Battalion served on the Western Front for the remainder of the war, taking part in many of the significant actions:
The Action of Pietre, a supporting/diversionary action during the Battle of Loos
Compared with the small-scale British efforts of spring 1915, this attack of six Divisions was a mighty offensive indeed - so much so that it was referred to at the time as 'The Big Push'. Taking place on ground not of their choosing and before stocks of ammunition and heavy artillery were sufficient, the opening of the battle was noteworthy for the first use of poison gas by the British Army. Despite heavy casualties, there was considerable success on the first day in breaking into the deep enemy positions near Loos and Hulluch. But the reserves had been held too far from the battle front to be able to exploit the successes and succeeding days bogged down into attritional warfare for minor gains.
The Battle of Albert in which the Battalion assisted in the capture of La Boisselle.
The Battle of Pozieres Ridge represented an attempt to exert renewed pressure on the strategically important central uplands, notably around the vital positions of Thiepval and Pozières. The job of securing the ridge was given to I Anzac Corps, with 7th Battalion King’s Own (Royal Lancaster) assisting.
At 12.30am on 23rd July infantry of the 1st Australian Division dashed towards the village, screened by an intense hurricane bombardment. Assisted by British 1st Division on the right and the 48th Division on the left, the Australians quickly secured their first objectives. Subsequent consolidation of the village encountered violent German counter-attacks and continuous enemy shellfire. The 1st Division held on amidst intense fighting until relieved by the 2nd Australian Division on 27th July. Repeated efforts were then made to move up the ridge beyond the village towards the 'windmill' and the German second line positions on the crest, which, after a series of costly local assaults, was in Australian hands by 5th August.
In was in this fight that William was killed. William Haworth has no known grave, but is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on the Somme, Pier and Face 5 D and 12 B.

2nd Coldstream Guards, 15791

Arthur Haydock was the son of Mathias and Ellen who lived at 36, Plane-street, Blackburn Arthur had an older brother and two sisters and his mother’s brother lodged with the family.
In 1911, Mathias, aged 61, worked as a collector for a doctor but twenty years earlier he was described as a musician and cloth overlooker and Ellen was a weaver.
Arthur was employed as a brewer’s labourer and the family lived on Plane Street.  It is likely that he worked for Lion Brewery which was close to his home.
Arthur joined the Coldstream Guards just after war broke out in August 1914, but would spend the first year of war training, joining the 2nd Battalion as it moved to the newly created Guards Division in August 1915.
Arthur would go on to fight in the following battles:
The Battle of Loos 25th September – 18th October 1915
Compared with the small-scale British efforts of spring 1915, this attack of six Divisions was a mighty offensive indeed - so much so that it was referred to at the time as 'The Big Push'. Taking place on ground not of their choosing and before stocks of ammunition and heavy artillery were sufficient, the opening of the battle was noteworthy for the first use of poison gas by the British Army. Despite heavy casualties, there was considerable success on the first day in breaking into the deep enemy positions near Loos and Hulluch. But the reserves had been held too far from the battle front to be able to exploit the successes and succeeding days bogged down into attritional warfare for minor gains.
The Battle of Albert 1st -13th July 1916
In this opening phase, the British assault broke into and gradually moved beyond the first of the German defensive complexes on the Somme. Success on the first day in the area between Montauban and Mametz led to a redirection of effort to that area, for the initial attack was defeated with huge losses north of Mametz. There was a stiff fight for Trones Wood and costly, hastily planned and piecemeal attacks that eventually took La Boisselle, Contalmaison and Mametz Wood.
The Battle of Flers-Courcelette 15th- 22nd Sept 1916
A renewal of the offensive finally broke through the area that had proved so difficult since 14th July. Using a small number of tanks for the first time in history the British Army finally captured High Wood and pressed on through Flers and up the Bapaume Rd to Courcelette.
Arthur was killed on the first day of the Battle of Flers-Courcelette. He has no known grave, but is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on the Somme, Pier and Face 7 D and 8 D.
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11th East Lancashire Regiment, 15283
Corporal Edgar Brindle Haydock was killed in action 1st July 1916. He was a member of the 11th Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment (the Accrington Pals). He was 24 years of age.
He was a single man, one of ten children born to James Henry and Mary Haydock and he was living at Spring Mount, Pleasington at the time of his death.
Edgar was born on 28th March, 1891 and he was baptised on 13th May, 1891 at St. Michael’s and all Angels’ Church, Blackburn. At this time he family were living at 152 Whalley New-road, Blackburn.
He took part in the Battle of Albert which is the official name for the British efforts from 1st July 1916 to 13th July, 1916. As such, it includes the first day of the Somme, the most costly day in British military history. Out of approximately 700 men, 585 were killed or wounded in about 30 minutes.
The objective of the Pals’ Battalions of 94th Brigade was to capture the hilltop fortress of Serre and form a defensive flank facing North-East and North. The attack was to be led by the 11th East Lancashire’s on the right and the 12th York and Lancaster’s (Sheffield City Battalion) on the left. The 13th and 14th York and Lancaster’s (1st and 2nd Barnsley Pals) were to support the two leading battalions. Against them, Serre was held by the 169th (8th Baden) Infantry Regiment.
In the early evening of 30th June, the 11th East Lancashire’s left their camp at Warnimont Wood for an arduous 7 mile trek to the trenches in front of Serre. At 2.40am on Saturday 1st July, the leading companies of the battalion reached the front line trenches to find them already heavily shell-damaged. The build-up had not gone unnoticed and, as daylight broke, the forward lines were again pounded by enemy shellfire.
At 6.30am, the British artillery commenced its final furious bombardment of the German front line. At 7.20am, Captain Tough led the first of the Battalion's four waves, 100 yds. into the nightmare of no man's land under the cover of artillery and mortar fire. A few minutes later, the second wave followed led by Captain Livesey.
As shells continued to burst on the German front trench, the men of the 3rd and 4th companies IR169 scrambled from their underground shelters bringing machine guns, rifles and grenades to bear on the attacking troops.
At 7.30am, the bombardment was lifted from the German front line and the leading waves rose and walked in line towards the German positions. Machine gun and rifle fire immediately tore into the advancing lines of infantry. One British observer likened the lines of dead to "swathes of cut corn at harvest time". Incredible, as it now seems, groups of pals defied the machine gun fire, and threaded their way through the barbed wire and dropped into the German front line.
On their left, some of the 12th York and Lancaster’s also fought their way through. All was in vain. Behind, the third and fourth waves suffered dreadful losses before even reaching no man's land. The leading companies of the 13th York and Lancaster’s were cut down in turn. Some of the pals - their officers killed or wounded - pressed on towards Serre, never to be seen again. The remaining survivors in the German front line - bereft of reinforcements - were forced to withdraw. By 8am, the battle for Serre was effectively over.
Corporal Haydock has no known grave and is remembered on the Thiepval memorial to the missing on the Somme, Pier and Face 6 C.
He is also remembered on the Cenotaph at Immanuel church, Feniscowles.
On 4th August 2014 a birdbath for the church garden was commemorated in his memory donated by his relatives.
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8th Border Regiment, 16478
William Hayhurst was one of six surviving children and had five siblings who had died. The family lived at various addresses on the west side of Blackburn and were all employed in the cotton trade.
In 1911 William’s parents William aged 58 and Elizabeth aged 55 lived at 6, Lancaster-street, with William 23, Christopher 19 and Abram Nightingale a widower – probably Elizabeth’s brother.
He had been a weaver at Primrose Mill, Livesey, a mill of 300 or so employees with 804 looms run by John Fish Ltd. in the 19th and early 20th   centuries. In 1907 the mill became part of the Birtwistle Group.
William joined the 8th Battalion Border Regiment in early 1915, and, after initial training at Codford and into billets in Boscombe in November 1914, they moved to Romsey in May 1915 and on to Aldershot the following month.
The Battalion landed at Boulogne 27th September 1915, and were put attached to the 25th Division. The Division would go on to fight the following actions:
German attack on Vimy Ridge:
During this defensive fight, the Division's first Victoria Cross was won by Lieutenant Richard Jones of the 8th Loyal North Lancs. It was a posthumous award, for this officer was killed in action on 21 May 1916.
Withdrawn for rest and training, west of St. Pol. then moved to the area behind the Somme front in the third week of June 1916, in the area around Warloy. They were with the Fourth Army Reserve at the opening of the offensive.
The Battle of Albert 1st – 13th July 1916                     
7th and 75th Brigades with some supporting units received orders on 2nd July to move to Aveluy Wood and Martinsart respectively, and came under orders of 32nd Division. On 3rd July, 75th Brigade made a virtually unsupported and inevitably costly and unsuccessful attack in one of the awful, piecemeal, efforts to hold on to the minor gains made in the Thiepval area on 1st July. The rest of the Division relieved 32nd Division in the night of 3rd/4th July. More localised and equally ineffective attacks were made. On 5th July, 74th Brigade was detached for duty with 12th (Eastern) Division at La Boisselle, where it took part in an attack on Ovillers.
William was reported missing on the 5th July 1916 aged 29 and single. William’s brother Christopher was also serving in France.
William has no known grave, but is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on the Somme, Pier and Face 6 A and 7 C.
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8th King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, 13106
William Heskethwas born in Birkdale near Southport and the year would be about 1893. His mother was Mary Jane aged 54, born in Southport, who had nine children – two of whom died, born either Southport or Birkdale except for the youngest two who were born in Blackburn. His father was John worked as a carter and was aged 54 in 1911.
In the 1911 census William is shown as an 18 year old working at the Star Paper mill and living at 13, Gladstone Terrace, Cherry Tree, Blackburn. It would not have been far to walk to work from Cherry Tree to Feniscowles, where the Mill was based. The rest of the family worked in the cotton mills.
William joined up at the start of war, joining the 8th King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. The Battalion was formed at Pontefract September 14th and came under command of 70th Brigade in the 23rd Division. They landed at Bologne August 1915.
On September 5th the Division was moved to Merris-Vieux Berquin area where trench familiarisation began. The Division took responsibility for a front line sector for the first time nine days later taking over between Ferme Grande Flamengrie to the Armentieres-Wez Macquart-road.
It remained in this area for some time and was finally relieved after a five month spell on the front line. After numerous engagements in the very north of France, the Division was ordered to the Somme, where it played a part in the capture of Contalmaison.
It was here, on 1st July 1916, that William was killed. He has no known grave, and is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on the Somme, Pier and Face 11 C and 12 A.
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9th King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, 13753
James William Hindlewas the only son of Robert and Mary Ann. He had an older sister Alice Ann whose husband was also serving in France and had been for two years. The family home was at 30, Greaves-street just off Montague-street and his name is commemorated at Montague-street Primitive Methodist Church.
The family worked in the cotton industry but James was employed at Altom Coal Pit Clayton-le-Moors. This was theAltham Colliery known as Dickie Brig Pit.
James enlisted into 9th Battalion King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in September 1915, spending several months training before being shipped to France.
James got his first real combat experience late that year, when on 19th December 1915, the Germans first used Phosphine Gas on the sector he was covering.
Throughout the winter and spring of 1916, the Battalion fought small attacks around Ypres before being moved to the Somme Region, for the Battle of Albert on 1st July.
In this opening phase, the British assault broke into and gradually moved beyond the first of the German defensive complexes on the Somme. Success on the first day in the area between Montauban and Mametz led to a redirection of effort to that area, for the initial attack was defeated with huge losses north of Mametz. There was a stiff fight for Trones Wood and costly, hastily planned and piecemeal attacks that eventually took La Boisselle, Contalmaison and Mametz Wood.
James was killed on 1st July 1916. He has no known grave, but is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, Pier and face 11 C and 12 A


Lance-Sergeant John Crook Hindle

Hindle JC.jpg 12th Middlesex Regiment, G/6800
Sergeant Hindle, aged 24 years, was a well-known local journalist who had joined the 11th Hussars soon after the outbreak of war. In order to get to the front more quickly he had transferred to the 12th Middlesex Regiment with whom he had been on active service for nearly a year.
A young giant standing over 6’ 2’’, the ideal of a soldier and very popular with his officers and comrades. If he had so elected he might have had a commission after the long winter campaign; the rigours of which he endured stoically, but he preferred to remain in the ranks.
According to his obituary which appeared in “The Blackburn Times” July 22nd, 1916,  John had seen much fighting and, from time to time,he sent home interesting descriptions of the great conflict. An old boy of the Public Higher Grade School and Blackburn Grammar School, he was the youngest son of the late Mr. John Hindle and his wife Sarah. John took an interest in all forms of sport, particularly cricket and football and he was a prominent member of the press eleven that had flourished a few years ago. In every walk of life Jack Hindle had played the game and “The Blackburn Times” noted that his memory will be held in affectionate remembrance by all who were intimately associated with him. Ellen, his sister had married a William David Ritzema, the manager of a newspaper office and whose father was a newspaper proprietor living at Quarry Glen, near the top of Buncer Lane.
John was killed on 14th July 1916 as his Battalion were sent in to capture Trones Wood along the Bazentin Ridge. Efforts were made to find him after he was reported missing, and his body was found. Unfortunately due to the severe artillery barrages by the enemy, his grave disappeared along with hundreds of others, and he has no known grave. He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on the Somme, Pier and Face 12 D and13 B.
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1st King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, 16652
According to the 1911 Census, Robert, aged 18 years, was the second son of James and Mary Hindle who resided at Wals-street, Blackburn, along with his three brothers and four sisters. His parents were both cotton weavers and, at that time, Robert was employed as an engine cleaner.
Robert was connected with Bank Top Congregational School and he married Elizabeth E. Anderton early 1914. He joined the army at Christmas 1915 and only lived for another six months. The family, consisting of Robert, Elizabeth and their only child, were residing at Addison-street at the time of his death. He also had a brother and brother-in-law serving In France.
Robert’s Regiment was known to have been fighting at The Battle of Albert (1st–13th July 1916). This comprised the first two weeks of Anglo-French offensive operations in the Battle of the Somme. The Allied preparatory artillery bombardment commenced on 24th June and the Anglo-French infantry attacked on 1st July, on the south bank from Foucaucourt to the Somme and from the Somme north to Gommecourt, 2 miles (3.2 km) beyond Serre. The French Sixth Army and the right wing of the British Fourth Army inflicted a considerable defeat on the German Second Army but from the Albert-Bapaume road to Gommecourt the British attack was a disaster, where most of the c. 60,000 British casualties of the day were incurred.
Robert was killed on 1st July 1916, the opening day of the battle of the Somme. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial Pier and Face 5 D and 12 B, a photograph and brief announcement was made in the Blackburn Times, 24th March 1917, almost nine months after his death.

1st/10th King’s Liverpool Regiment, 5966

Reginald Hodgson was born in January 1894, the son of George and Sarah Hodgson. Reginald was an apprentice joiner and worked for his father George, a joiner and builder. He had a brother Harry who was five years younger. In 1901, the family lived at 82, Revidge-road. By 1911, they had moved to a house called “Kinross” on Mavis-road. This was a prosperous part of Blackburn so presumably the business was doing well.
On 13th December 1915, Reginald enlisted into the 1st/10th Battalion King’s Liverpool Regiment. By 1916, the Battalion was attached to 55th Division.
On 3rd January 1916, the Division began to assemble in the Hallencourt area which was completed by 27 January. The Division relieved the French 88th Division south of Arras - in the area Wailly - Bretencourt - by 16th February. Trench warfare commenced, with many raids and minor operations. On 17th April 1916, a large scale raid was undertaken by the 1st/8th (Irish) Battalion, the King's (Liverpool), in which second Lieutenant E. F. Baxter became the Division's first winner of the Victoria Cross. In this relatively "quiet" period before the Division moved into the Battle of the Somme, it nonetheless suffered casualties of 63 officers and 1047 men killed, wounded or missing. Relieved by 11th (Northern) Division on 25thJuly 1916, the 55th now moved South and took up a place in the front line opposite the village of Guillemont. It then remained in France and Flanders and took part in the Battle of Guillemont (4th-6th September).
The successful attack on Guillemont was made by XIV Corps, and was led by the 20th Division, with the 5th Division to their right. Their target was Leuze Wood, 1,500 yards beyond the village, on a ridge overlooking the village of Combles.
The southern part of the attack on 3rd September suffered the most heavily. There the 13th Brigade had been relying on the French for a final bombardment of their objective, Falfemont Farm, but the French became stuck in Combles Ravine, and were unable to make and progress. The leading waves of the first Battalion to attack were wiped out by German fire. To their left the 95th Brigade (5th Division) captured its first three objectives, and reached a line east of Guillemont.
The 20th Division attack on Guillemont began from a series of trenches very close to the German front line. The village itself had been destroyed by repeated artillery bombardments, but underneath it was a maze of German strongpoints. Despite this the 20th Division attack succeeded, captured its three objectives and reaching the Ginchy-Wedge Wood road, east of Guillemont. Elsewhere British attacks on Ginchy and further west around the front met with little or no success on 3rd September.
The advance east of Guillemont continued over the next three days. By the end of 6th September the British had reached their target line, around Leuze Wood, and were ready to turn north to deal with Ginchy. Everything would soon be in place for the next big attack, at Flers-Courcelette.
In was in the attacks on Guillemont, on 8th September 1916 that Reginald was killed. Reginald has no known grave, and is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on the Somme, Pier and Face 1 D, 8 B and 8 C.
Hodson John And Joseph1.jpg
9th Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 29638
John Hodson, born in 1891, was the son of Robert and Hannah Sophia, who had ten children, two of whom died. The family lived at 12, Vale-street, a house with five rooms. Robert was a bricklayer as was the eldest son Edward and the rest of the family worked as weavers. In 1911, Robert was 53 years old and Hannah Sophia 52 years and there was also was a grandson recorded as living with them called Robert Bottomly. John was a weaver at Longshaw Mill, well within walking distance of Vale-street.
After initialling enlisting into the East Kent Regiment early in 1916, John was quickly transferred to bolster the ranks of the 9th Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. John would fight with the 9th Battalion, which was in 74th Brigade, 25th Division, across the Somme:
The Battle of Albert:
7th and 75th Brigades with some supporting units received orders on 2nd July to move to Aveluy Wood and Martinsart respectively, and came under orders of 32nd Division. On 3rd July, 75th Brigade made a virtually unsupported and inevitably costly and unsuccessful attack in one of the awful, piecemeal, efforts to hold on to the minor gains made in the Thiepval area on 1st July. The rest of the Division relieved 32nd Division in the night of 3rd/4th July. More localised and equally ineffective attacks were made. On 5th July, 74th Brigade was detached for duty with 12th (Eastern) Division at La Boisselle, where it took part in an attack on Ovillers. Divisional H.Q. moved to Henencourt on 8th July and the following day, 25th Division took over the front held by 12th (Eastern) Division.
The Battle of Bazentin:
As the Somme offensive moved from its early phase (designated the Battle of Albert) to the next major push (the Battle of Bazentin), the 25th Division continued to carry out operations on a small scale in the Ovillers area. Casualties were heavy, with no gains of any significance being made. Relieved by 48th (South Midland) Division during the night 16th/17th July, the Division moved to Beauval.
The Battle of Pozieres:
From 23rd July to 10th August 1916, the Division held a sector of the line north of the River Ancre. Once again, just as in the Bazentin battle, the Division is recognised as having been in action during the Battle of Pozieres, without being in the area of most attention during the fighting. Relieved by units of 6th and Guards Divisions between 7th and 14th August, the Division moved to Bus les Artois for rest and training. Divisional HQ moved up to Hedauville on 18th August and the infantry moved into the trenches of the Leipzig Salient. A local attack by 7th Brigade on 21st August was carried out successfully, using for the first time a device known as a "push pipe mine" to destroy enemy defences before the Infantry went in. Further attacks were made on 23rd, 25th and 26th August. On 3rd September, a larger scale attack was made in support of the 4th Australian Division which was assaulting Mouquet Farm. The Division was relieved on 11th September by 11th (Northern) Division and moved by bus to Abbeville.
The Battle of the Ancre Heights:
On 26th September, 74th Brigade took over a sector of line immediately south of the River Ancre. The rest of the Division followed. After a series of small scale raids and operations, a major attack was made by the Division on 9th October - in appalling ground conditions - that captured the northern face of Stuff Redoubt. German counter attacks were beaten off, before another attack went in to capture "The Mounds" just north of Stuff Redoubt.
It was in this final action that Lance-Corporal John Hodson was killed, on 19th October 1916. Even worse for the family is that one of John’s brothers was killed just 3 days later, fighting in the Royal Field Artillery.
John has no known grave, but is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on the Somme, Pier and Face 11 A.
Holden Joseph.jpg
11th East Lancashire Regiment, 24209
Joseph Holden was born in Leigh in 1893. At the time of the 1901 census, the Holden family, consisting of father Edward (journeyman – butcher), mother Mary Jane, his sister Alice and younger brother, Henry, were living in Everton, Liverpool. Joseph’s father, Edward, was born in Ribchester, and his mother in Blackburn, as was their first child, Alice.
Edward and Mary had 6 children altogether, but sadly, only the three named children survived. Ten years later, by the time of 1911 Census, the same family members were livingat 21 Palm-street in Blackburn. Edward’s occupation was described as that of Cornmill Labourer.
Joseph joined the 11th East Lancashire Regiment, the Accrington Pals, on February 1st 1916 and was sent to the front 9 weeks later. Along with over 500 others from his unit, Joseph would be killed on 1st July 1916 on the attack on Serre.
On 24th June, the British artillery opened a bombardment that was to continue until the morning of the attack. The bombardment was intended to destroy the German defences completely, but failed to penetrate through to many of the underground shelters and left much of the barbed wire intact.
In the early evening of 30th June, the 11th East Lancashires left their camp at Warnimont Wood for an arduous 7 mile trek to the trenches in front of Serre. At 2.40am on Saturday 1st July, the leading companies of the Battalion reached the front line trenches to find them already heavily shell-damaged. The build-up had not gone unnoticed and, as daylight broke, the forward lines were again pounded by enemy shellfire.
The objective of the Pals battalions of 94th Brigade was to capture the hilltop fortress of Serre and form a defensive flank facing north-east and north. The attack was to be led by the 11th East Lancashire’s on the right and the 12th York & Lancaster’s (Sheffield City Battalion) on the left. The 13th and 14th York & Lancaster’s (1st and 2nd Barnsley Pals) were to support the two leading battalions. Against them, Serre was held by the 169th (8th Baden) Infantry Regiment.
A comrade saw Joseph lying wounded near to the German lines, and he was posted as wounded and missing from 1st July 1916. His parents were then notified of his death at their home in Primrose Bank, Blackburn.
Joseph’s younger brother, Henry, was serving with the RAF, also in France at the time of Joseph’s death.
Joseph is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Pier and Face 6 C, and an announcement and photograph were published in the Blackburn Times, 21st October 1916. It would appear that Joseph was associated with St. Albans Church, Blackburn.
Hook W H.jpg
1st East Lancashire Regiment, 36571
The son of William and Emma Hook, William Henry Hook was born in 1881 in Blackburn. William was one of six siblings, and the family lived at 44 Roney-street. William, like most Blackburn men, was a weaver, as was his mother, although his father was a carter. He worked at Bank Top Mill, whilst his brother Robert was a cabinet maker.
Enlisting in November 1916, William was sent to the front line only a month later, serving with 1st Battalion East Lancashire Regiment. He would only see action for one month before he was listed as “missing in action”. It would be another twelve months of agonising waitbefore his family received confirmation of his death.
William was listed as killed in action on 30th January 1917. During this period, the 1st East Lancashire’s were in the midst of chasing the Germans as they retreated several miles to much stronger defensive lines, known as the Hindenburg line. The retreat came about following the Somme campaign came to a close, and the Germans had realised that the British may try to advance again. These winter days were treacherous, with uneven, sodden ground, and little respite from shelling and sniping.
William has no known grave, but is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on the Somme, Pier and Face 6 C.

7th King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, 18639

George Howard, born in 1893 in Blackburn, was son of Edwin and Martha Howard. George lived with his sisters Martha and Edith at 12 Joseph-street.
By 1911, George had worked hard to earn a position as a Chemist’s apprentice at the Gas works on Wensley-street. During this time, George was associated with St Barnabas Church on Johnstone-street.
George enlisted in the 7th Battalion King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment in September 1914. After over nine months of training, George finally arrived in France on 17th July 1915. The Battalion would see small scale actions in 1915, but all preparations were being made for the Somme offensive in 1916.
At the opening phases of the Somme, George’s Battalion captured the vital hamlet of La Boiselle. George would go on to fight the following:
The attacks on High Wood – at the Battle of Flers-Courcelette 15th – 22nd Sept 1916, a renewal of the offensive finally broke through the area that had proved so difficult since 14th July. Using a small number of tanks for the first time in history the British Army finally captured High Wood and pressed on through Flers and up the Bapaume Road to Courcelette.
The Battle of Pozieres Ridge from 23rd July to 10th August 1916, the Division held a sector of the line north of the River Ancre. Left alone since the failure of 1st July, the slopes of the area on either side of the River Ancre were attacked once again, in foggy and wintry conditions, with Beaumont Hamel finally falling into British hands. A local attack by 7th Brigade on 21st August was carried out successfully, using for the first time a device known as a "push pipe mine" to destroy enemy defences before the infantry were deployed. Further attacks were made on 23rd, 25th and 26th August. On 3rd September, a larger scale attack was made in support of the 4th Australian Division which was assaulting Mouquet Farm.
The Battle of the Ancre Heights - The River Ancre gave its name to two of the final phases of the 1916 Battles of the Somme, designated as the Battle of the Ancre Heights and the Battle of the Ancre (both in November 1916). The latter on the 13th to 19th of November made gains to the north of the river and included the taking of Beaumont Hamel.
The battle was originally planned to go ahead on 15th October but was repeatedly postponed due to bad weather. The original aim was to push the Germans back five miles but by the time the offensive went ahead the aims were reduced to capture the Beacourt and push the Germans back two-miles. Due to snow, sleet and ultimately mud the tanks were prevented from moving as effectively as required and communication was made difficult, British forces were taken prisoner after being cut off in Frankfurt Trench and other forces were met by heavy machine gun fire that they couldn’t push through.
It was in this last battle on 15th November 1916, that George was killed. George has no known grave, but is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on the Somme, Pier and Face 5 D and 12 B.

Private John Howarth

11th Border Regiment, 21429

There is little known about John Howarth’s life prior to his enlistment into the 11th Border Regiment. This Battalion was sent to France in November 1915, and would fight on the Somme extensively in 1916. It remained on the Western Front for the remainder of the war and took part in the following engagements:
The Battle of Albert.  In this opening phase the British assault broke into and gradually moved beyond the first of the German defensive complexes of the Somme. Success on the first day in the area between Montauban and Mametz led to a redirection of effort to that area for the initial attack had been defeated with huge losses north of Mametz. There was a stiff fight for Troms Wood and costly, hastily planned and piecemeal attacks eventually took La Boiselle, Contalmaison and Mametz Wood.                                                          
The Battle of Bazentin - Launched by the British Fourth Army at dawn on 14th July 1916, marked the start of the second phase of the Battle of the Somme. Dismissed beforehand by a commander as "an attack organized for amateurs by amateurs", it turned out to be "hugely successful" for the British, in contrast to the disaster of the first day on the Somme However, like the first day, the British failed to exploit their advantage in the wake of the victory and as German resistance gained force, a period of bloody attrition commenced. They now ran into stiffening enemy defence at Guillemont, Delville Wood and Longueval, High Wood and Pozieres. Attack and counter attack ground relentlessly on as the British edged forward.
The Battle of the Ancre Heights - The River Ancre gave its name to two of the final phases of the 1916 Battles of the Somme, designated as the Battle of the Ancre Heights and the Battle of the Ancre (both in November 1916). The latter on the 13th to 19th of November made gains to the north of the river and included the taking of Beaumont Hamel.
John Howarth was killed on 18th November 1916 at the Battle of the Ancre Heights. His death was verified by his widow after the war, and his commemorated at Holy Trinity, Little Harwood and on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on the Somme, Pier and Face 6 A and 7 C.
Hull JA.jpg
7th King’s Own Shropshire Light Infantry, 13639
Jesse Hull, born in Blackburn in 1896 was the son of James and Sarah Ann Hull. He had four brothers, William, John, Walter and Harold, and a sister, Elsie.
Before war broke out, Jesse was employed at Eli Heyworth’s—a prominent Blackburn textile manufacturer on Pringle Street. Jesse was also associated with St. Matthews Church.
Enlisting as war broke out, Jesse joined the 7th Battalion King’s Own Shropshire Light Infantry.
The 7th Regiment of the King’s (Shropshire Light Infantry) was formed in Shrewsbury in September 1914 and came under the command of the 76th Brigade 25th Division. The Regiment moved to Cockford on the Salisbury Plain, then to billets in Bournemouth. By May 1915 they had moved to Romsey, and then in June, to Aldershot. They landed in Boulogne 28th September 1915 and by 15th October the Brigade moved to the 3rd Division and on the 19th October they were transferred to the 8th Brigade in the same Division.
They were at the first attack on Bellewaarde, the actions at Hooge and the second attack on Bellewaarde in 1915.
In 1916, the Battalion took part in The Battle of Albert, 1st-3rd July 1916 where it took La Boiselle, Contalmaison and Mametz Wood. From the 3rd to the 13th of July the 4th Army carried out 46 “actions” in preparation for the next push, resulting in 25000 casualties.
This was followed by the Battle of Bazentin, (or the Bazentin Ridge) in which the Division helped to capture Longueval. Heavy artillery preceded a well-planned and novel night attack on the 14th July which was to enable the British troops to move into “No Mans” land close to the German barbed wire ready to rush into their trenches when the barrage lifted. In the centre of the attack, events did not go well for the 3rd Division; the German wire was uncut and the defenders were alerted.
Typical of the Division’s misfortunes was the 7th Battalion King’s Shropshires which lost 8 officers and 200 other ranks.
The 7th suffered more casualties than any other with 1048 killed in action and earned more battle honours. Edging through the second German defensive complex they ran into stiffening enemy defence at Guillemont, Delville Wood and Longueval, High Wood and Pozieres. Attack and counter-attack ground relentlessly on as the British crept forward. The 3rd Division captured Longueval.  The Division held a sector of the line north of the River Ancre, and again, just as in the Bazentin battle, the Division is recognised as having been in action during the Battle of Pozieres, 23rd July to 10th August 1916 - a two-week struggle for the French village and the ridge on which it stands. Though British Divisions were involved in most phases of the fighting, Pozières is primarily remembered as an Australian battle. The fighting ended with the Allied forces in possession of the plateau north and east of the village, in a position to menace the German bastion of Thiepval from the rear.
As the fighting continued around Pozieres; Jesse Hull was killed. Jesse has no known grave, but is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on the Somme, Pier and Face 12 A and 12 D.
Isherwood William Albert.jpg 1st Lancashire Fusiliers, 5206
William Albert was the sixth son of a family of eight (five girls and three boys). His father, William, was a cotton spinner. It would appear that William Albert was living as a boarder at Bowness-on-Windemere, at the time of the 1911 Census, whilst serving his hairdressing apprenticeship in the employment of Mr William Astley, who was also listed as a boarder and employer of the same address. He had previously been employed as a hairdresser employed by Mr Hacking of Accrington.
William Albert enlisted into the Lancashire Fusiliers early in September 1914 and entered the “Theatre of War”, 4th August 1915. He was present at the famous Lancashire landing at Gallipoli in Turkey, where he was wounded. He was sent to Egypt to recover, and from there, was drafted to France.
Another brother, Fred Isherwood, five years younger than William Albert was lost on HMS Hampshire whilst serving as a “boy”. The ship went down 5th June 1916 with Lord Kitchener on board whose body was never recovered. Fred was just 17 years of age. A sister was reported as serving as a nurse in a military hospital.
It was on 1st July 1916, as the Battalion formed up to fight in the Battle of Albert, that William was killed. He was 24 years old.
An announcement confirming that William Albert had been killed in action was published in “The Blackburn Times”, 28th April 1917, nine months after he was previously posted as “missing”.
William Albert is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France, Pier and Face 3 C and 3 D.

 

Letter K
Kelly James | Kenyon Richard

 
2nd East Lancashire Regiment, 10529
James Kelly, of 14 Oldham-street, Blackburn, was born in 1893. He was the son of Peter and Mary Ann Kelly, one of six children, nearly all of whom would end up working in a Cotton Mill.
James decided that life as a cotton weaver was not for him and he joined the Army, in 1911. He enlisted into the 2nd Battalion East Lancashire Regiment, and was with them in Wijnberg, South Africa in 1914 when war was declared.
The Battalion received orders to return to Europe.  James arrived in France by the end of 1914. He would fight with the 2nd Battalion through the next two years, fighting at the Battles of Neuve Chappelle, Loos and Aubers Ridge.
After months of fighting on the Somme, the Battalion was taking the strain of work towards Le Transloy. Apart from the constant bickering between trenches, the work in this area was very strenuous. Battalions spent sixteen consecutive days in each tour of duty in trenches, of which eight days were spent in front-line trenches and the remainder either in support or reserve trenches. The whole system was continually shelled, and large working parties were required daily from the companies in support and reserve.
The last tour in these trenches was more than usually strenuous: it lasted for twenty-four days, and was marked by a considerable increase of hostile trench-mortar and artillery fire, the result of abnormal raiding activity on other parts of the line.
The Battalion moved from Fouquereuil on October 14th, and travelled by train to Pont Remy. From this pointthe Battalion went in buses to Meaulte (2 miles south of Albert) and thence to Montauban, where the 8th Division was assembled as part of the XIVth Corps.
On the night of the 18th/19th the 8th Division relieved the 6th Division, with all three brigades on the line, Les Bceufs-Guedecourt. This relief was preparatory to an attack to be made by the XIV Corps, in conjunction with a French Corps on its right, with the object of establishing a line from which the German position known as the Transloy ridges could be attacked from the south-west.
On 23rd October, as part of this operation, James Kelly was killed. Here is the official war diary for that day:
23rd A dull misty morning - the C.O. saw all Coy. Commdrs.at 6 a,m, and arranged final details, "A" and “D” to carry out the attack assault “B” in support and “C” in reserve.
C.O. went round the front line at 8 a.m. Zero hour fixed for
11.30 a.m.
 11.34 Capt. Graham attached to 24th Infty. Bde.as liaison officer arrived at Battn. Head Qtrs to say that zero hour had been postponed until 2.30 p.m. Luckily the coys. in the front line had heard something from an Artillery F.O.O, and the two Coy, Commdrs concerned - "A and "D" - Capt. EB.H. Delmege and Lieut.W,Y, Paton respectively - were in consultation as to whether they should attack, when 2/Lieut W.E.B Lowe arrived with a message to them from Battn. Head.Qrs.
A disaster to the Battn.was narrowly arrested.
At 11,46 a.m. our heavies commenced to drop very short - one 8” shell falling in Battn. Head qrs. and others along RAINBOW TRENCH doing much damage to our trenches and
burying four Battn. Lewis Gunners, and three gunners of the Bde, Machine Gun Coy.
In spite of repeated appeals, shells continued to drop short until 2.10 p.m.
Battn.HQ.was forced to evacuate the only dug-out in the trench and move about, to avoid being blown up.
At 2.30 p.m., the assault was delivered under cover of our artillery barrage, 'fixed." and
creeping". The men advanced with the greatest gallantry and were at once in the German
trenches. No precise news of what occurred, reached battn. HQ. before 4.15 p,m. when it became clear from the somewhat conflicting reports that the attack had succeeded in carrying the enemy trenches with the exception of the point at junction of SUNRAY and CLOUDY trenches, which turned out to be not all isolated enemy post, but part of their main front line, which was not shown in the air photo of 21.10.16. but had evidently been
dug between that date and 23rd Oct. Between 5 and 6 p,m, the enemy barrage was intense specially along the RAINBOW Trench line. HQ.had again to evacuate the dug-out as it was frequently struck and the single entrance faced towards the enemy – it consisted only of 8 steps. Orders were given to consolidate the trenches captured, MILD Trench, and place blocks in STORMY Trench and trench leading to the point referred to above.
"A" and “D” Coys.were withdrawn to SHINE Trench from where they had attacked and "C" & "D" sent up to garrison MILD Trench.  The1/Worc. also sent up one coy. to act as a reserve which was also placed in SHINE trench.
Rain came on about 7 p.m. which rendered the work very difficult, the night was particularly dark which also hindered matters and the communications, always bad, had been rendered much worse by the enemy's heavy shelling. Rations and water failed to reach us. The collection and evacuation of the wounded was very difficult.
Casualties during the action, 7 officers killed, 5 wounded - (2 at duty), Other ranks killed
30. Wounded 125 Missing believed killed.
Private James Kelly fell, along with 154 other ranks that day. He has no known grave, but he is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on the Somme, Pier and Face 6 C.
Kenyon, Richard.jpg
7th Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 13769
Richard Kenyon, born 1889 in Blackburn, was the son of Margaret and Richard Thomas Kenyon. According to the 1911 census both his parents were cotton weavers, although this was not what Richard Kenyon would move on to, unlike so many of his contemporaries. Richard was originally employed as a “drawer-in” at a mill in Dewhurst Street but at some point during 1913 he moved to Manchester in order to work as a boatman. At 5 feet 11 ½ inches Richard was considered tall at the time.
When war came, Richard enlisted into the 7th Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, “The Preston Pals”. He served with them at the Battle of Loos in 1915, although after this he was evacuated to hospital for two weeks suffering from impetigo.
By July 1916, the Battalion has gained some battle experience, but was still waiting to be called upon for the Battle of the Somme.
A good many days in the middle of the month of July were spent by the Battalion in camp in Henencourt Wood near Albert, but on the 19th they received orders to be ready to move to bivouacs near Fricourt ; that evening the Brigade marched off.
"7 p.m. our Lewis guns," so the War Diary tells us, "brought down a German aeroplane just in front of our front line. It burst into flames and both men were burnt to death."
At this time the central British position was not by any means a favourable one, since it formed a long salient bending from High Wood through Delville Wood to Guillemont, and it was everywhere exposed to direct observation from the German position.
Since the 15th July several attempts had been made to drive the enemy from High Wood, mainly by the 33rd Division, and in one of these a brigade of the 19th Division, the 56th, had taken part: the Battalion was not, however, engaged. None of these attempts had met with the wished-for success, and now, on the morning of the 23rd July, the Pals would go into battle.
"B" and "C" Companies of the Battalion moved forward to the attack at 12.20 on the morning of the 23rd and reached their objective, having suffered very heavy casualties, and "C"—now only forty-five strong—then advanced up a road on the left, but was held up by machine gun fire on passing over the crest of the hill. "A" Company was then ordered to prepare to renew the attack, but at this moment, Lieutenant Porter, the commander of " C " Company, came back and reported that his company had incurred heavy losses, that his men had advanced to within two yards of the German trench and could get no further by reason of the opposing machine-gun fire. "A" Company's attack orders were now cancelled and its commander was directed to consolidate the front line and endeavour to hold it against any counter-attack.
A report now came in from 2nd Lieutenant Tovani that Captain Thompson and 2nd Lieutenant H. Hoyle of his company had been killed, and that the company had been held up by German machine-gun fire only a few yards short of the enemy front line; and 2nd Lieutenant Tovani then withdrew the small remnant of the company—some fifty men only—to the front line. Companies of the East Lancashire and Cameron Highlanders now came up to strengthen the position. A Field Company R.E. was also sent up and helped to consolidate the captured first objective, to wire the front and help to dig communication trenches back from the right towards Crucifix Corner.
At 8.5o p.m. the Battalion was relieved and went back to dug-outs in Mametz Wood, having during the last four days had eleven officers and 290 other ranks killed, wounded and missing.
Private Richard Kenyon was one of the 290 other ranks killed that day. He has no known grave, but is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on the Somme, Pier and Face 11 A.

 
 

Letter L

 Lang George | Lang James Randolph | Livesey Harry | Livesey Ralph
Longworth Fred | Lowther Arthur | Lowther William | Lund Thomas Edward
Lyons John

 
18th Lancashire Fusiliers, 16585/24860
George Henry Lang was the son of Robert and Jane Ellen – they had had twelve children but eight had died, his three surviving brothers were Herbert, Seth and Thomas Elliott. The family, like so many in Blackburn worked in the cotton industry. George was married in 1908 to Jane Ellen Bleasdale but lived at home with his parents and brothers at 13, Salisbury-street. His wife Jane Ellen and their son Leslie George aged one and a half, lived with her brother and sisters at 540, Whalley New-road.
George had originally joined the Border regiment, number 16865, but had had an accident and on recovery been transferred to the Fusiliers. He went out to the front in 1917 and was killed on 15th April. In March 1917, the German armies on the Somme carried out a strategic withdrawal known as Operation Alberich. They destroyed everything on the ground that they left: flattening villages, poisoning wells, cutting down trees, blowing craters on roads and crossroads, booby-trapping ruins and dugouts. The withdrawal was to an immensely powerful and shorter line, positioned to take every tactical advantage of ground.
It was as the British advanced to this line that George was killed. George is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, Pier and Face 3 C and 3 D.
Lang Joseph.jpg
2nd/5th Lancashire Fusiliers, 203746
James Randolph Lang was born in 1887 and he was the son of William and Alice Lang. James had a brother and sister, William and Margaret. The family lived at 6, Hardman-street which is in the parish of St. Luke’s.  According to the 1891 census all the family were born in Blackburn, apart from Alice, who came from Hoghton.
The family worked in the cotton industry. After Alice died in 1899, the family were separated.  James’ records show that he had become a game, fish and poultry dealer living at 82, Newbold St. Rochdale when he enlisted, but he had formerly resided with his sister Mrs. Blackburn, and her husband Robert, at 308, Livesey Branch- road in Blackburn.
James enlisted into the 2nd/5th Lancashire Fusiliers. After initial training, he was sent to France, where the Fusiliers joined the Highland Division. In early May 1915, the Highland Division was hurried to the defence of Ypres. The enemy had attacked on 22nd April 1915, using poison gas for the first time. All available reserves were deployed to stop the Germans taking advantage of the initial surprise. The Division remained in action until moved to the area of Estaires on the River Lys, on 19th May.
After fighting in the Battle of the Somme in July 1916, the Fusiliers went on to fight in Ypres in 1917.
The Battle of Menin Road Ridge [After two less eventful tours in the Ypres area, the Division took part in this attack on 20th September 1917. This was a successful assault in the area of Pheasant Trench, but strong resistance at the fortified Malta, Rose and Delta Houses caused many casualties. The Division was relieved again on 25th September.
The capture of Bourlon Wood. The Division attacked in the area of Cantaing and Flesquieres on 20th November 1917. The first day's assault was an overwhelming success, new tactics having proved decisive. The reserve units, deployed to continue the assault next day, moved into action at 10am, halting on the Premy Chapel - Graincourt road for the arrival of the tanks, now depleted after the main assault. But the tanks were late in arriving, and the infantry attacked without their assistance, being halted by a storm of machine gun fire. After suffering heavy losses the Division made several more fruitless attacks in the direction of Fontaine-Notre-Dame.
It was reported that James, aged 30 years, was killed outright probably in the action around Cantaing and Flesquieres on 20th November 1917.
James is remembered at St. Andrews, (was on Livesey Branch Rd.) and also on the Thiepval Memorial, Pier and Face 3 C and 3 D.
Livesey Harry.jpg
11th East Lancashire Regiment
Harry was the only son of Robert and Corrinna, who also had 2 daughters, Amy & Daisy who were 2 years and 4 years junior to Harry. His father, Robert, was a Justice of the Peace, and Harry was obviously born into a very wealthy and privileged family. He was educated privately at Rossall School, Fleetwood and then on the Continent. He travelled extensively throughout Europe and twice around the world on company business in his capacity of Director of Henry Livesey, Greenbank Ironworks.
Joined up immediately at the outbreak of war, aged 32 and was gazetted to the Accrington battalion of the East Lancashire Regiment with the rank of Lieutenant on 17th September 1914, and was promoted to Captain as early as 20th October 1914. He served in Egypt before moving to the Front in January 1916.
For the attack on Serre, on the opening day of the Somme offensive, Harry led the second wave of the battalion, comprising of 2 platoons each of W and X Companies. In the early hours of Saturday, 1st July 1916, the four platoons deployed in Copse Trench, some 50-70 yds behind the front line. At 7.22am, Harry, walking stick in one hand, revolver in the other, led his men into No Man's Land where they lay down on the ground 50 yds behind the first wave. At 7.30am, as the British artillery bombardment lifted from the German front line, Harry and his men clambered to their feet and followed the first wave forward. Machine gun and artillery fire quickly wrought havoc throughout the advancing lines of men. Capt. Arnold Tough, leading the first wave, was killed within minutes leaving Harry to lead the shattered remnants of the first two waves. Along with a handful of men, Harry found a way through the wire entanglements and into the German front line. Exactly what happened in the following minutes is largely unknown.
Harry’s orderly, Private Clarence Glover, described how the group was faced by five Germans coming round a corner, the first of whom threw a bomb which grazed Harry’s face bur he returned fire with his revolver, killing all five of the enemy. The group held on desperately, bombing the Germans back until their bombs were exhausted. The last he saw of Harry was when, while attempting to return to the British lines, the pair made for a shell hole as another shell exploded nearby. Private Glover was one of the few of Harry’s men who managed to escape with his life. He was reported in a local newspaper as saying that Captain Livesey had killed five of the enemy with his revolver. Despite this, Captain Livesey received no gallantry award.
A commonly held belief is that the entire battalion died in no man's land, yet as many as 100 men, led by Captain Harry Livesey, broke through the barbed wire and into the enemy front line. Hardly any of those men returned to tell their story.
Another letter came to light, describing the Pals' advance, from Harry’s 2nd in command, Lieutenant Gorst who wrote: "We did our job and did it well (the regiment fought simply magnificently), but every officer who went into the attack is in hospital or in his grave. Captain Harry Livesey, who commanded my Company, will I believe be recommended for the VC. A very gallant officer, he was hit in the arm getting over the parapet, hit in the chest half way across, hit in the head on the German wire, and he got into the German trench, cleared a part of it and held it till he was hit in the face by a rifle-grenade, and died."
His bravery in which he led his few remaining troops into enemy trenches, in spite of being seriously wounded himself, has to be commended. A chivalrous and well beloved man, by his many friends and by the men who served under his command. His heroic actions should have received recognition.
An announcement of Harry’s death, a photograph and a resume of his career, was made in the Blackburn Times, 13th July 1916, his family having been informed of the sad news the previous Saturday
His name is commemorated in Blackburn Cathedral, with an inscription on a metal plaque. He is also commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Pier and Face 6 C.
Livesey Ralph.jpg
13th East Yorkshire Regiment, 28742
Ralph was the son of William B. and Hannah. In 1911 he was living at home, 46, Oxford-street aged 17 with his brother Thomas aged 27, a fruit hawker and his sister Lucy aged 21, a weaver.
His father, aged 56, was an engineer working with iron and steel and from Ralph’s obituary Ralph is described as a foundry worker for Willan & Mills, Rosehill Foundry, Blackburn.
Ralph enlisted in Blackburn to the 13th East Yorkshire Regiment, which had formed in Hull on 11 August 1914 by Lord Nunburnholme and the East Riding TF Association. Commonly known as the T'Others!
Ralph was sent to France on New Year's Day 1917. There is a record of Newby marrying a Ralph Livesey in September 1916 and Caroline Ann Newby is shown as resident  at 26, Woolwich-street in 1919.
After the Battle of Ancre (13th–18th November 1916), British attacks on the Somme front were stopped by the weather. During the rest of 1916 and early January 1917, military operations by both sides were mostly restricted to survival in the rain, snow, fog, mud fields, waterlogged trenches and shell-holes. As preparations for the offensive at Arras continued, the British attempted to keep German attention on the Somme front. The Fifth Army was instructed by Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig to prepare systematic attacks to capture portions of the German defences. Short advances could progressively uncover the remaining German positions in the Ancre valley, threaten the German hold on the village of Serre to the north and expose German positions beyond to ground observation. Artillery-fire could be directed with greater accuracy by ground observers and make overlooked German defences untenable.
Ralph was posted as missing in March 1917 and his wife, living at 26, Woolwich-street anxiously awaited news, as a comrade had stated he had seen Ralph taken prisoner.
There was no official confirmation of this and Ralph was deemed to have been killed in action on the 8th March 1917 having served just three months in France. Ralph is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial Pier and Face 2 C and at St. Matthews Church and was a member also of St. Matthews Conservative Club.


Private Fred Longworth

Longworth Fred.jpg
1st King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, 21765
Fred Longworth was born in 1897, son of Solomon and Mary Ann, who were both weavers at the time of the 1901 Census, and were Licensees of the Lamb & Lion Hotel, Grimshaw Park at the time of Fred’s death in 1916. They also had a daughter, Polly, but Fred was their only son.
Fred was in the mill as a weaver at 14 years of age and left his looms to enlist in November 1915. He had only been in France 11 weeks, when he was killed at just 19 years of age.
The 1st Battalion of the King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment was in Dover serving with the 12th Brigade, 4th Division when war broke out in August 1914. The 4th Division was held back from the original British Expeditionary Force by a last minute decision to defend England against a possible German landing. The fate of the BEF in France and the lack of any move by the Enemy to cross the channel, reversed this decision and they proceeded to France, landing at Boulogne on the 23rd of August 1914, arriving in time to provide infantry reinforcements at the Battle of Le Cateau, the Divisional Artillery, Engineers, Field Ambulances and mounted troops being still en-route at this time. They were in action at the the Battle of the Marne, the Battle of the Aisne and at the Battle of Messines in 1914. In 1915 they fought in the Second Battle of Ypres and moved south to The Somme. Between the 5th of November 1915 and 3rd February 1916, the 12th Brigade was attached to the 36th (Ulster) Division, providing instruction to the newly arrived Division. The 1st Kings Own were in action during the Battles of the Somme in 1916.
An announcement and photograph were published in Blackburn Times 29th July 1916. Fred is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Picardy, France pier and Face  5 D and 12 B.
Lowther Arthur.jpg1st East Lancashire Regiment, 7334
Arthur Lowther was the son of Charles Henry and Sarah Hannah Lowther. Born in 1888, Arthur would grow up with 9 other siblings – George, William, Fred, Robert, Charles, Ellen, James, Nancy and Henry.
By 1911, Arthur was a Collier, like his father, and married Bridget Bulger. But being a Collier wasn’t for him. In 1912, Arthur joined the Army, enlisting into the 1st Battalion East Lancashire Regiment, no. 7334.
As war broke out, Arthur was on the reserve list, having just finished 2 years’ service. He was immediately recalled, and would join the Battalion in the first wave of replacements after their devastation at Mons, arriving in France on 18th December 1914. In less than a week, he was wounded.
The war would become a family affair. His father Charles rejoined the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, having formerly been a reservist. George had also been a reservist, and joined the 8th Border Regiment. William had joined the Accrington Pals. Robert was also a reservist, and joined the 6th East Lancashire’s at Gallipoli. Charles also joined the East Lancashire Regiment.
In late June 1916, word was passed that the major offensive was coming, on the Somme. The 1st East Lancashire’s were to support the main attack on Beaumont Hamel.
On the morning of July 1st the bombardment of the enemy trenches became intense, but German machine-guns continued to fire from Beaumont-Hamel throughout the bombardment.
At 7.26a.m., the leading platoons of the assaulting companies moved out to a line taped-out in "no-man's-land," so as to be in line with the 1st Lancashire Fusiliers, of the 29th Division, who were to attack Beaumont-Hamel.
At 7.32a.m. "D" Company and Battalion Headquarters followed the attacking companies and established themselves in shell-holes.
A signaller accompanied the leading platoon of "A" Company, carrying a telephone and wire with orders to open communication from German front line, where Battalion Headquarters were to be established.
The personnel of the Headquarters followed up the wire and found the signaller in a large shell-hole just outside the German wire. Of course the wire was cut before it could be used, but the Headquarters remained in the shell-hole until 6p.m.
Immediately the guns lifted from the German front-line trenches, heavy machine-gun fire was opened from the German front line. Simultaneously the German artillery barrage came down some 200-230 yards in front of the front line and on all assembly trenches.
In spite of this terrific fire, the battalion advanced as steadily as if on manoeuvres until practically the whole battalion became casualties. Actually a few of the leading troops entered and passed the German front-line, but on the front of the right and centre companies the wire was found intact and no way through it could be found. Many men were killed on the wire while attempting to force a way through; among them was Sergeant Redmayne who was shot through the head just as he got out of the trench in front of Colonel Green. Many sought cover in the shell-holes close to the wire which they had vainly attempted to pass.
The survivors of the battalion occupied shell-holes in "no-man's-land" until they were able to retire to our trenches at dusk. All wounded capable of crawling were sent back first, followed by a rear-guard of unwounded men.
About 7 p.m. the battalion was relieved by the 1st Royal Warwickshire Regiment of the 10th Brigade which, with the 12th Brigade, was relieving the 11th Brigade. On relief the Brigade went into billet at Mailly-Maillet.
The strength of the battalion on July 1st was twenty-two officers and seven hundred other ranks.
In this onslaught, Arthur Lowther was killed. With bitter irony, his brother William was also killed, not 500 yards away, at Serre with the Accrington Pals. Along with his brother William, he has no known grave, but is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on the Somme Pier and Face 6 C. Their brother Robert was also killed, at Gallipoli in 1915. He too has no known grave, but is remembered on the Helles Memorial.
Lowther William.jpg
11th East Lancashire Regiment, 22125
William Lowther was the son of Charles Henry and Sarah Hannah Lowther. Born in 1882, William would grow up with 9 other siblings – George, Arthur, Fred, Robert, Charles, Ellen, James, Nancy and Henry.
By 1911, William was a Coal Miner at Lower Darwen Colliery, and had married Clara Smith in 1906. But being a Collier wasn’t for him.
As war broke out, William was on the reserve list, having just finished 2 years’ service. He was recalled, and would join the 11th Battalion East Lancashire Regiment, the Accrington Pals.
The war would become a family affair. His father Charles rejoined the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, having formerly been a reservist. George had also been a reservist, and joined the 8th Border Regiment. Arthur had joined the 1st East Lancashire Regiment. Robert was also a reservist, and joined the 6th East Lancashire’s at Gallipoli. Charles also joined the East Lancashire Regiment.
In June 1916 the 11th Battalion—to which were attached details of the 94th Machine-gun Company and digging parties from the Pioneer Battalion (12th K.O.Y.L.I.)— left Warnimont Wood for the assembly trenches on the evening of June 30th, the last time it was seen as the original battalion, as almost every officer and man had enrolled during the formation of the unit.
The day was hot and dusty, but although the march was not like those which exist in the imaginations of war correspondents it was a march of well trained men, and of resolute minds and bodies, and, as at no other time, of one unit, welded together by one commanding officer over a period of eighteen months.
The assembly in trenches was considerably delayed by the congestion of other units, and it was further delayed by the fact that the trenches had been badly damaged by the German retaliation to the preliminary bombardment. However, about 2a.m., July 1st, the battalion was disposed as follows: the first wave, two platoons of "W" Company and two of "X" Company under Captain H. Livesey, occupied some of the bays of the front trench and the traffic trench between Matthew and Mark Copses ; the second wave, the two remaining platoons of "W" and "X" Companies under Captain A. Tough, in Copse trench ; the third wave, two platoons of "Y" Company and two of "Z" Company under Lieutenant G. G. Williams, occupied Campion trench ; and the fourth wave, the two remaining platoons of "Y" and "Z" Companies under Captain H. Riley, occupied Mark trench.
At 5a.m. the artillery opened a heavy bombardment of the enemy trenches, which lasted until 7.30a.m. and drew considerable retaliation. At 7.20a.m. trench mortars in forward saps opened intense fire on the German front line, under cover of which the first wave advanced in extended order as far as the British barrage permitted. Five minutes later the second wave advanced and lay down 50 yards behind the first.
At this time the German front line was seen to be heavily manned, about a man a yard. In spite of the barrage these men opened heavy machine-gun and rifle fire on the first two waves, causing many casualties.
At the same time the German artillery fire was also intense. No-man's land, the British front trench and 50 yards behind it, were deluged with H.E. shells and a shrapnel barrage swept the ground up to 500 yards behind the front line, causing many casualties in the advancing third and fourth waves, which, however, moved steadily forward.
At 7.30a.m. the artillery barrage lifted from the German front line, and the remnants of the first two waves, followed at some distance by the third and fourth waves—already much reduced—advanced to the attack. Soon after 8a.m. two companies of the 13th York and Lancaster were ordered to reinforce the battalion, but they suffered very heavy casualties in moving forward and were unable to get further than the British front-line trench.
Observation of the attacking troops was much hampered by mist and by a smoke barrage on the German third line. However, small parties of men on both flanks of the battalion front were seen to enter the German front line, and later they were seen between the first and second lines, and about
8a.m. they were seen to enter the third line.
About 8.20a.m. the Artillery observing officer attached to the 94th Brigade reported that British troops were passing through Serre. The Intelligence Officer of the 92nd Brigade also reported that he had seen about a hundred men of the nth East Lancashire just west of Serre.
At 8.30a.m. fighting was still going on in the German first line and continued for some time until the enemy shelled both their first and second lines. About 10.15a.m., when the shelling stopped, German bombing parties were seen fighting their way up to their second and first lines where they remained for the rest of the day. Some of the men were seen standing on the fire-step shooting at any of the wounded lying in No-man's-land who showed signs of life.
From 10.15a.m. onwards there was little change in the situation, and about noon Lieut.-Colonel Rickman set to work to put his front line into a state of defence with what men he had with him, i.e. 1 officer, 55 other ranks, most of them wounded, and two Lewis guns.
During the afternoon the enemy shelled the British position intermittently until the evening, when the shelling died away. Orders were then received for the 93rd and 94th Brigades—respectively 800 and 600 strong—to man the front line. The 92nd Brigade, which had not been employed, remained in reserve.
At 1 a.m., July 2nd, the remnant of the battalion was relieved and withdrawn to Rolland trench, where it was reinforced by 4 officers and 60 other ranks.
In this onslaught, William Lowther was killed. With bitter irony, his brother Arthur was also killed, not 500 yards away, at Beaumont Hamel with the 1st Battalion. Along with his brother Arthur, he has no known grave, but is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on the Somme, Addenda Panel. Their brother Robert was also killed, at Gallipoli in 1915, and he too has no known grave, being remembered on the Helles Memorial


Private Thomas Edward Lund

THOMASEDWARDLUND.jpg
8th EastLancashire Regiment, 5971
Thomas Edward Lund was born in 1877, in Stanley-street, Blackburn. Thomas was part of 3rd Battalion East Lancashire Regiment, spending 7 years in the Regiment from 1898 before leaving to become a labourer and re-join his family at 154 Bottomgate.
He re-enlisted at the outbreak of war in the 2nd Battalion East Lancashire Regiment and a diary of his adventures during the first 10 months of the war was eagerly read when published in two successive issues of ‘’The Blackburn Times’’. He had been in France for about 9 months when he was wounded.
After his return to England, he recovered from his wounds and was sent back to France, but this time to join the 8th Battalion. Given his age and experience, it is likely he was transferred to bolster the ranks with experienced men.
In the early hours of 15th July 1916, Lieutenant-Colonel Mackay OC 8th East Lancashire received the specific orders that 112th Brigade would attack at 9.20am, after an hour’s bombardment of the village of Pozieres, the key to the German 2nd line of defence.
"A" and "B" companies in the front line "C" and "D" companies in support. Owing to artillery barrage and machine gun fire the battalion was unable to achieve its objective but was gained by other units of the brigade and consolidated existing trenches to east and south east of Pozieres.
At 5:30pm a further bombardment of Pozieres was carried out and the battalion with remainder of brigade attempt another assault on Pozieres at 6-8pm, this assault was again held up by machine guns and the wire not being cut in the villages surrounding the village.
 The battalion lead the brigade in the assault on the village - the men's first experience of going 'over the top'. They were to lose over 350 casualties including almost 100 killed outright. The battalion would never be the same again
 The battalion handed over the trenches to 10th Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment at 2:30am and proceeded to trenches in close support. 56 other ranks were killed 276, wounded and 33 missing.
 Private Thomas Edward Lund was killed in this action. He never married. He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial Pier and Face 6 C.
Lyons John.jpg
7th King’s Own Scottish Borderers, 13598
John Lyons was born in 1891 to John, an overlooker, and Mary Jane Lyons, grocer’s shop owner, and lived at 9 Lark Hill along with his brothers Austin and James, and his sister Ellen.
John married Mary Wilson in 1912, and worked with his father as a weaver in the local mill. In his free time he was a keen playing member of the St. Chad’s football team.
John was a private when he enlist​ed into the King’s Own Scottish Borderers, but was promoted to Corporal sometime during his service. He was gassed at the Battle of Loos in the autumn of 1915.
John was killed in action on the 18th August 1916 at the Battle for Pozieres. The Battle of Pozières 23rd July – 3rd September 1916 was a two-week struggle for the village of Pozieres and the ridge on which it stands, during the middle stages of the 1916 Battle of the Somme. Though Bri​tish Divisions were involved in most phases of the fighting, Pozières is primarily remembered as an Australian battle. The fighting ended with the Allied forces in possession of the plateau north and east of the village, in a position to menace the German bastion of Thiepval from the rear. The cost had been enormous for both sides and in the words of Australian official historian Charles Bean, the Pozières ridge "is more densely sown with Australian sacrifice than any other place on earth."
John is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on the Somme, Pier and Face 4 A and 4 D.