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
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:
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.
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)