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Reburial of Private William McAleer and 19 unknown British soldiers of the First World War at Loos British Cemetery

Reburial of Private William McAleer and 19 unknown British soldiers of the First World War at Loos British Cemetery

On 14 March 2014, there will be a re-burial service for Private William McAleer and 19 unknown British soldiers of the First World War at Loos British Cemetery. 

These servicemen will be laid to rest at 10am in Plot 20, Row G, Graves 20 – 26 of the cemetery and the service will be presided over by representatives of the MoD.  The ceremony is open to the public.

For more information, please contact:

Service Personnel and Veterans Agency

Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre

Post Death Administration – Commemorations & Licensing

Room 35, Innsworth House

Imjin Barracks

Gloucester, GL3 1HW

 

Editor's note (with thanks to David Tattersfield)

It is thought the soldiers - certainly Pte McAleer - will have perished in the Battle of Loos. William has, up to now, been commemorated on the Loos Memorial.

William was a member of 7th Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers which, in turn was part of the 15th (Scottish) Division which had only landed in France on 9 July 1915. William had hardly been in France for any time before he was killed on 26 September 1915.

The battalion was (on the day William was killed) attacking the infamous Hill 70 at Loos.

This extract is also relevant, courtesy of The Long Long Trail:

25 September

3.00pm: 8/East Yorkshires and 10/Yorkshire of 62nd Brigade, 21st Division, are ordered forward towards Loos, to reinforce the units of 15th Division and if necessary retake Hill 70. After coming under shrapnel fire as they marched in column of fours - which destroyed their transport - these battalions lost direction and ran into intensive machine gun fire from the Southern end of Chalk Pit Copse, sustaining very heavy casualties. Other reserves of 21st Division - expected by Division to have been available at 10.30am - finally arrived at 7.30pm, and were clearly exhausted. They were ordered to reinforce the line between Hill 70 and Puits 14 bis. Around 8.30pm, the remnants of the first waves that had attacked in the morning were finally relieved on the slopes on Hill 70. Nightfall therefore saw both Divisions in this sector in scratch positions between the old German first and second lines, consolidating their position. The enemy was in possession once again of the dominant height of Hill 70. A German attack in the night against the 7/Royal Scots Fusiliers, on the Eastern side of the Loos Crassier, was repulsed.

26 September

5.00am: Orders are received by 15th (Scottish) Division. Reinforced by 21st Division, they are to recapture Hill 70 with an attack at 9.00am. It was proving virtually impossible to move artillery forward to support this attack, and ammunition supplies were dwindling - fresh ones being held up in traffic. The attack would be supported by artillery firing from their original positions, and the second German line would barely be touched. A bombardment of two rounds per gun per minute was ordered. In confusion, some units did not receive an order to withdraw from the most advanced positions, and British shells fell on their own infantry in places. Many infantry units did not receive orders to attack until 7.00am, and in at least one case, 8.00am.

5.30am: Another heavy German attack against the 7/Royal Scots Fusiliers, on the Eastern side of the Loos Crassier, was repulsed with the assistance of the 11th Motor Machine-Gun Battery.

Image: Dud Corner Cemetery where Pte McAleer is currently commemorated (courtesy David Tattersfield)

 

 Image: Loos British Cemetery where William will be re-buried (courtesy CWGC)

 

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 15 January 2014 17:48 )

 

WW1 Centenary Medal award by the Conseil General de la Somme

WW1 Centenary Medal award by the Conseil General de la Somme

Celebrated authors and leading battlefield guide experts Major and Mrs Holt are to be awarded the WW1 Centenary Medal from the Conseil General de le Somme.

The award, which is for their contribution to 'Remembrance Tourism' and dissemination of knowledge of the First World War, will be one of only six medals to be awarded. They will also be the first and the only Britons to receive it. The award will be presented in a ceremony taking place in Amiens on 22 January 2014.

Tonie and Valmai are well known authors in the field of military history and literature. Their knowledge of the Great War is extensive, having spent over thirty-five years researching and leading tours to the battlefields, and writing books about them. They have located, described and recorded some 1,000 memorials to our fighting services in mainland Europe and through their books have made the battlefields accessible to the general public.

In 1978 they pioneered the modern battlefield tour and founded the highly successful Major & Mrs Holt's Battlefield Tour Company. They later took over the running of the Royal British Legion Pilgrimage programme.

Their Battlefield Guides to the Somme, Ypres, Gallipoli, Normandy, Market-Garden, the Great War Western Front - North and South  - are among the best-selling books to those areas, each known to local specialists as 'The Bible'. Their other works include: Poets of the Great War; My Boy Jack, the biography of Rudyard Kipling's son, John; and In Search of a Better Ole, a biography of First World War Cartoonist Bruce Bairnsfather.

Article and image supplied by Pen and Sword Books

Great War Commemorative Exhibitions

Great War Commemorative Exhibitions

I am currently researching, among other subjects, women who wrote poetry during the First World War for a series of exhibitions aimed at informing members of the general public about the First World War through the medium of poetry written by women who were alive then.  I was asked to undertake this research and produce an exhibition at the Wilfred Owen Story in Birkenhead on the Wirral Peninsula for November 2012.  I began by looking for a female poet from the Wirral - Wilfred Owen was educated in Birkenhead, where his family lived for some years - and discovered that May Sinclair was born in Rock Ferry.  Rock Ferry is a town near Birkenhead. I added two more poets from the North West then looked for poets from other countries involved in the War.

The exhibition was so successful that it was retained throughout 2013 and I have continued with my research. This is not an academic study but is aimed at members of the general public who may not know much about poetry or the First World War.

I have also added a section entitled "Inspirational Women of World War One" and another entitled 'Fascinating Facts of the Great War' for I keep finding interesting facts that I would like to share.

I am doing this in loving memory of my Grandfather, Lewis Jackson RA, who joined the Royal Field Artillery as a boy soldier in 1905.  By 1914, he was a Sergeant and his Regiment was among the first to go to France in August 1914, which means that Grandfather was an Old Contemptible.   After service in Belgium, Palestine and India, Lewis Jackson was selected to accompany General Dunsterville on the Dunsterforce.   He survived WW1 and served again in WW2.

Details of my, self-funded, project are on www.femalewarpoets.blogspot.co.uk  and www.inspirationalwomenofww1.blogspot.co.uk  Exhibitions are free and can be 'tailored' to suit venues - for instance, the Fleetwood Exhibition featured, among other things, a female poet born in Fleetwood, information about Wilfred Owen's time in the area and information about the role of the trawlers in WW1.   

There is a companion book to accompany the exhibitions - Volume 1 Female Poets of the First World War - details of which are on www.poshupnorth.com An e-book version without photographs will be available shortly.

I would like to hear from anyone who has a poet, inspirational woman or fascinating fact to suggest, for I am hoping to include people from all of the countries involved in the Conflict.  

Lucy London

 

Article and image contributed by Lucy London

The WFA responds to the debate about how the Great War should be commemorated

The WFA responds to the debate about how the Great War should be commemorated

WFA Trustee Richard Hughes is interviewed on Sky News and contributes the WFA's perspective to the debate about Michael Gove's comments on the teaching and remembrance of the Great War:

 

Prof Gary Sheffield, WFA Vice President, discusses on the BBC's World News how he believes the Great War should be remembered over the Centenary period and beyond.

 

Last Updated ( Monday, 06 January 2014 21:44 )

Filmed and Not Forgotten - a project from the Yorkshire Film Archive

Filmed and Not Forgotten - a project from the Yorkshire Film Archive

"Filmed and Not Forgotten" is a project from the Yorkshire Film Archive to preserve, research and provide public access to a rare and important collection of films showing the people and places of Yorkshire during the Great War. Thanks to an award from the Heritage Lottery Fund, we have been undertaking vital preservation work on these fragile historical documents and, crucially, digitising the footage in order to make it accessible for future generations.

We're now conducting research into these films in order to identify individual soldiers and civilians, with the aim of bringing their personal stories to life as part of an online exhibition due to launch in the Summer of 2014, as well as presenting our findings in a series of screenings and public events from August to October. As part of that research, we're encouraging community involvement in helping to identify some of these individuals, and hope that WFA members may be interested in participating in the project.

Perhaps you have a grandfather who served in the York and Lancaster Regiment, or a great aunt that turned out to celebrate the end of the war in Elland? We're always interested in hearing the personal stories behind the men and women in these films, as well as any contextual information that might aid our research. To that end, we've created a research site at www.filmedandnotforgotten.com where you can add any information, insights or photographs that might help us discover more about these individuals - their backgrounds, their lives during the war, and - all too rarely - their futures.

You can also keep up to date with news and events through the Filmed and Not Forgotten blog, and browse the Gallery to view a selection of still images. To get in touch, please email the Project Officer, Jonty Carr, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or use the Contact form on the website.

These films possess an immense degree of relevance both regionally and nationally, and whether marching across Lendal Bridge in York or running around Beverley Racecourse, the individuals captured on film were real people caught in the midst of something great and unprecedented; each one of their faces has its own story to tell. Through the medium of these moving documents we hope to bring those personal stories to life in a visually direct and compelling manner, adding local relevance to a conflict that affected an entire generation and has had an immeasurably profound impact on the modern world. This project gives us a unique opportunity to conduct research into these personalities and many more like them - to ensure that they truly remain the "Filmed and Not Forgotten."

Jonty Carr

Project Officer

Filmed and Not Forgotten

Yorkshire Film Archive

01904 876472

 

 

Last Updated ( Sunday, 05 January 2014 18:24 )


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