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Remembered Today:


kingsman64
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As an avid student of the great war, a passionate medal collector and a Liverpool lad it is a great day when all three things combine and I become the temporary custodian of a new treasure. I have been knocked for six today as my latest find came with a small scrap of paper hastily torn from a field notebook a message sent back across no mans land in the heat of battle. In less than 40 words it encapsulates for me the horrors faced every day by the men who fought died and survived the Great War.

As I Just received this today so it is a research project about to commence, but I have read these few words over and over again and almost 99 years to the day the emotion it stirs is........well. Just seven able bodied men left out of A B C D company of the 1/8th Irish Battalion KLR, one can only imagine the carnage between their final position in a front line German trench and their jumping off point.

As a proud son of Liverpool and a sponge for local military history, I am already aware of the horrendous casualties suffered by the 8th Irish Battalion and its attack on La Guingue 15/16/17 June 1915. There where 230 plus casualties dozens missing and this simple message asking the Officer Commanding if the seven surviors of the battalion who made it into the 1st line of the German defences can have permission to retire and bring their dead back with them.

I need to dig my diary transcripts out but I am sure that despite a proceeding artillery barrage (short) the advancing Liverpool Irish were decimated by heavy machine guns and trench mortar batteries that had been in deep dugouts on the right flank. Once again I am humbled by the sheer courage of these young men I look at my own son this evening a 23 year old UOTC Lieutenant and shudder.

Please see below 1st pics of the14-15 Trio to Captain George Henry Chamberlain 8th Irish Battalion King's Liverpool Regiment.

The handwritten runners message dated 16/6/1915 reads.

To O.C.

I am in the first German trench with 7 men + some dead + some wounded
Please say if we may come out. We shall want help for the wounded.
G H Chamberlain Lieut. Sent by Private Fallon 8:45 p.m. 16/5/15

DSC_0502_zpsp9orj554.jpg

George Henry Chamberalain was a stockbroker in the Liverpool City Stock Exchange as was his father George senior he was born in Birkdale in 1896 lots more to do on this.

The group came with a copy of the famous Liverpool Irish day after the trench raid picture! As does nearly every Liverpool Irish group but who knows maybe george is one of the revolver carrying blacked up officers?

I would be eternally grateful if anybody has come across any reference to Captain G H Chamberlain during their own research any additional information would be fantastic thank you.

QUIS SEPARABIT

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Hello Kingman64,

A wonderful piece of history, congratulations indeed, I am interested to see what your research brings forth.

khaki

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I have no listing's in my Newspaper indexes. I'll have a quick check in the Liverpool Worthies books

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It's very impressive.

I'm also impressed that in such a situation the writer managed to use correct English!

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Hi Kingsman64

There are two candidates for Pte Fallon, each have a 1915 star on there MIC,

John E Fallon 25854, MIC only and James Fallon Pte 1871, 305274 Mic and service record showing him to have served with 1/8th Kings Liverpool Regiment

Dave

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Dave

Many thanks didn't think for one minute I would even get close to identifying Pte.Fallon what a reunite that would be to put those two groups side by side!

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I have no listing's in my Newspaper indexes. I'll have a quick check in the Liverpool Worthies books

Hi Kathy

would be great if you could check him out thanks.

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Just discovered an eyewitness account of the action of the 16th:

It might well have seemed that the attack had failed, or at least that another brigade would be needed to put matters right; but a reserve battalion had not yet gone into action, and to this unit was given the hard task of putting the Germans out once more from the trench which they had re-occupied. There have been days when the Liverpool Irish have proved themselves to be pugnacious in riotous times at home, but now they were to efface all such memories by their splendid bearing at this critical hour. It was 4 P.M. upon June 16, when, with a true Celtic yell, the 8th King's Liverpool, led by Major Johnson, dashed over the parapet and stormed through a hellish sleet of shrapnel to the Hooge. German trenches. "It was pattering like hail upon a window-pane." Officers and men went down in heaps, but nothing could stop the glorious impetuosity of the charge, delivered in the full light of a summer afternoon. "It's sure death, but remember we are Irish!" yelled a sergeant as he bounded on to the sand-bags. Next instant he had been blown to pieces. Captain Finegan, leading the rush, was shot down, as were the greater number of the regimental officers. Finegan's body was found afterwards at the extreme point of the advance, with twelve of his men lying round him. The Germans were swept out of the front trenches once more, and the Irishmen held desperately on to it for a long time against all the shell-fire of the enemy. It was a great day for Liverpool, July 16, when two of their citizen regiments, the 8th in the south and the 10th in the north, helped to stem the tide of two separate battles. The 8th King's lost nearly 500 men, and gained a reputation which will not easily die. The survivors were too few, however, to permanently hold the shell-raked trench which they had gained. The 153rd Brigade (Campbell), consisting of Gordons and Black Watch, relieved them in the front line, and the exhausted and decimated battalion was drawn off. In the meantime the 152nd Brigade, upon the left, had been unable to make progress. Of the attackers of the Fifty-first Division some 1500 men had fallen, and there was no permanent gain of ground.

Just cant think of the words, however it does seem very likely Lieutenant G H Chamberlain was the only officer to have made it into the frontline enemy trench system.

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