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Remembered Today:

8th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers

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I’m at present researching a man named on Steyning war memorial plaque - He is R.S.M. 8/1901 John Pierce, 8th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers, who according to CWGC and ‘Soldiers Died,’ died of wounds on 30/9/16, and is buried at Pozieres British Cemetery. I have a copy of the Battalion war diary for the period, and am aware that they suffered enormous casualties on 25/26/27th September, and felt it likely that John Pierce died of wounds received on one of these days, but have now found a newspaper report that says:

“……Their eldest son, Sergeant-Major J. Pierce, Northumberland Fusiliers, met with his death about three weeks ago, as near as can be ascertained. He was buried by the explosion of a shell, and was dug out, but passed away while being taken to the dressing station….."

This would suggest that he was wounded and died on the same day, although by then [30th], the much depleted battalion had gone back to Acheux. As he was buried in Pozieres Cemetery, he didn’t travel far – is it a reasonable assumption that he was in fact injured in the attack on Zollern Redoubt, and subsequently died, and best to ignore [as I tend to do] the newspaper report? Or is it possible that he was on his way back with the battalion from Ovillers to Acheux on the 30th, and was still buried at Pozieres? Suggestions welcomed.

Regards - Sue

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