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Remembered Today:

2 men, 1 shell...wrong place, wrong time ?


Ian N Megson
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Hello.

A relative of mine, Private Percy Oldroyd Megson (21390) was killed by a shell on the 9th September 1916.

He was in the 12th Labour Battalion, Duke of Wellingtons, West Riding Regiment and was based in a camp near Contour Wood, very close to where the Bronfay Farm Cemetery Is today. They had been working on railway lines, since they disembarked at Le Havre on the 2nd April 1916.

Very close to him was a man called Pte W Lancaster (21371). He was killed by the same shell as reported in the Battalions war diary for that time. These were the only men that had been killed in the previous 3 months.....

There army numbers were close, were they good friends ?

Can anyone shed any light on W Lancaster please? regarding his age or where he came from. He could be from the Dewsbury?Batley area of West Yorks, but without knowing his age, I'm not sure.

Thanking you in anticipation.

Ian Megson

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Walter Lancaster of 95 Park avenue Wibsey Bradford

Born enlisted and resided Bradford

father Sharp Lancaster insurance superintendent

regards Ray

Edit born 1891

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Ancestry has his (fire damaged) service papers. Attested on 29th November 1915 at Bradford, mobilised on 11th February 1916 and posted to the 12th on 15th March.

Mike

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Many thanks for that information, That is just what I need.

Much appreciated, you guys deserve a medal just for the knowledge. !

Just as a little aside, I only recently discovered that Percy O Megson was almost totally deaf. I was wondering if this was why he was in a labour battalion as opposed to being a front line soldier ?

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There is a good chance they joined up together and in the same draft - whether or not they liked each other we will probably never know

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Hello.

A relative of mine, Private Percy Oldroyd Megson (21390) was killed by a shell on the 9th September 1916.

Both Percy O Megson and Walter Lancaster are listed on CWGC and SDGW as having been killed on the 6th September 1916

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Percy received a £3 net war gratuity which tells us he served 12 months or less at the time of his death. This means (assuming no breaks in service) that he enlisted no earlier than October 1915.

Craig

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'The Leveller', by Robert Graves [not one of his best]:

Near Martinpuich that night of hell

Two men were struck by the same shell,

Together tumbling in one heap

Senseless and limp like slaughtered sheep.

One was a pale eighteen-year-old,

Blue-eyed and thin and not too bold,

Pressed for the war not ten years too soon,

The shame and pity of his platoon.

The other came from far-off lands

With bristling chin and whiskered hands,

He had known death and hell before

In Mexico and Ecuador.

Yet in his death this cut-throat wild

Groaned 'Mother! Mother!' like a child,

While the poor innocent in man's clothes

Died cursing God with brutal oaths.

Old Sergeant Smith, kindest of men,

Wrote out two copies and then

Of his accustomed funeral speech

To cheer the womanfolk of each:-

'He died a hero's death: and we

His comrades of 'A' Company

Deeply regret his death: we shall

All deeply miss so true a pal.'

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