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Remembered Today:

Pte. C. Whalley, King's Own

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Northern Soul

Cuthbert Whalley's CWGC entry contains the minimum of detail. However.............

He was 20 years old when killed and had joined the local King's Own Territorials (4th K.O.) along with one of his brothers on the outbreak of war (his two other brothers joined the Westmorland and Cumberland Yeomanry). Prior to enlisting he worked in the Cost and Accounts Department of Vickers Ltd. at their shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness (then in Lancashire). He lived at home with his parents at Moss Side, Rampside, near Barrow, and was a devout Wesleyan, being very active in the Temperance Movement.

After training and railway guard duty in the south (mainly around Slough) the Bn. arrived in France in May, 1915, forming part of 51st Highland Div. He served with the 4th Bn. during all their major engagements including Festubert (1915), Guillemont and Delville Wood (1916). In late 1916 the Bn. was moved to Ypres (now part of 55th West Lancs. Div.) and he was wounded on December 22nd by a shrapnel ball when participating in a trench raid on Cameroon Trench in the St. Julien sector. During the withdrawal he rescued one of his fellow Lewis Gun team mates who was badly wounded, carrying him back to the British lines.* For this he was recommended for a decoration but never received one.

His wound was a 'Blighty' one and after recovering he was posted to the 2/4th Bn at Oswestry where he was employed as a Lewis Gun instructor. He was offered promotion to Sergeant (Instructor) but instead volunteered to return to France. Upon reaching France he was posted to the 8th Bn. rather than returning to the 4th Bn. (as were a few). He had only been back in France a few days when the 8th Bn. were pressed into the Battle of Arras and he was killed in the assault on Guemappe - possibly on the 11th May rather than the 12th (the Bn. was relieved during the night of the 11th/12th).

* Jim Little, who died of his wounds, and is buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery.

Not a brilliant photo - but better than nothing.


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