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Arthur Fazackerley was born on 19 September 1889 in Leyland, and baptised at Leyland, St Andrew’s, on 6 October.  His father was Richard Fazackerley (b. 1854 in Tarleton), a farmer.  His mother was Ellen Pilkington (b. 1859 in Blackburn).  Richard and Ellen were married in 1879 and they had 8 (surviving) children: Mary Ann (b. 1880), William (b. 1882), James (b. 1885), Ellen (b. 1886), John (b. 1887), then Arthur, Robert (b. 1894) and finally Thomas (b. 1895).  Ellen died in 1895.  The following year, Richard married again, to Catherine Jane Peacock (known as Jane) (b. 1867 in Liverpool).  Richard and Jane then had (at least) 4 children: Joseph (1897-1902), Henry (b. 1898), Alice (b. 1906) and Jane (b.  1908).  Richard died before the 1911 Census date.  So in 1911, Jane Fazackerley (Arthur’s step mother) was living at Pear Tree Cottage, Kellett Lane, Bamber Bridge along with her stepson Robert and her own children, Henry, Alice and Jane.  Arthur is not living with them, as I believe he was in the Army, but this would have been his home address.  In a further family complication, in 1913, Jane married again to a Henry Caunce.

So Arthur was either still in the Army or immediately called up from the Reserve when War was declared, and he landed in France with 1Bn L.N.LAN.R. on 12 August 1914 and by 23 August, the Bn had assembled about 8 miles from Mons.

Over the next 13 days they were forced to retreat a distance of about 140 miles ‘as the crow flies’ though the men marched nearer to 200 miles.  The German advance was eventually halted and in early September the order was received that the troops were to march towards the River Aisne.  On 13 September, the Bn crossed the Aisne at Bourg.  The following morning, they took the village of Vendresse before their advance was halted by a German counter-attack and they ran out of ammunition.  In this, the Battalion’s first action in the War, losses amounted to 14 officers and over 500 other ranks, killed, wounded or missing.  85 officers and men were later confirmed dead, Arthur Fazackerley was among them; he was 24 years old.

Rank:  Private
Service No:  10577
Date of Death:  14/09/1914
Age:  24 (CWGC says 25 but it was 5 days short of his 25th birthday).
Regiment/Service:  Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1st Bn.
Commemorated at LA FERTE-SOUS-JOUARRE MEMORIAL

So Jane Fazackerley lost her stepson Arthur in the second month of the War.  In a further cruel twist of fate, her son Henry Fazackerley (Arthur’s step-brother) was killed in the last year of the War.  He was 67489 PTE. H. FAZACKERLEY, of 1/5Bn, Devonshire Regiment.  He was born in 1898, enlisted in 1916 and joined 1/5Bn in the field at the beginning of June 1918, only to be killed on 20 July 1918, the opening day of the Battle of the Tardenois (part of the Battles of the Marne 1918).  He was 19 years old.

Bill Brierley

Bill Brierley

Before taking early retirement in 2007 and returning to his native Lancashire in 2009, Bill Brierley was head of the School of Languages and Area Studies at the University of Portsmouth.Bill has researched his own family history and has developed a further interest in World War 1 especially as it impacted on the villages of Lostock Hall and Bamber Bridge, where his family originates from.Bill has also displayed his work at Lostock Hall library and contributed to other displays at Leyland Library and South Ribble Museum.
Bill Brierley

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