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Francis Slater was born, and enlisted in the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment at Bolton. He was initially posted into the 10th (Service) Battalion, and sailed overseas with them on 31st July 1915.

At some point during the months that followed, Francis was transferred into the 7th (Service) Battalion.

On 20th July 1916 the 7th Battalion marched from Henencourt Wood to Bazentin-le-Petit (BLP). Here in BLP they held an extended line of over 1000 yards in length.

At 19:00hrs that night they managed to shoot down a German Aeroplane with a Lewis Gun, the plane bursting into flames just in-front of their line.

On the morning of 23rd July 1916 (the day he died), the Battalion were ordered to attack the switch-line with the intention of taking High Wood (there had been several failed attempts to take High Wood in the past week by other Divisions). Now it was the turn of the 19th Division (incl 7/LNL) and 1st Division.

At 12:20hrs, B and C Companies, began the advance – they secured their objective but sustained very heavy casualties by machine gun fire. The plan was to send A Company to renew the attack, but due to the report by C Company that the opposing machine gun fire was so severe, it was decided that A Company would instead hold the present line against any German counter attack.

It was during this advance that Private Francis Slater was killed; he is remembered on the Thiepval memorial.

The relatives of Francis received the 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and Victory medal in recognition of his service.

Rank: Private
Service No: 12508
Date of Death: 23/07/1916
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 7th Bn.
Memorial: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL, Pier and Face 11 A.

Paul McCormick
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2 Responses to 12508 PTE. F. SLATER. L.N.LAN.R

  1. adrian mcdonald says:

    thank you very much for your help in finaly knowing how and where my grand father was killed

  2. Gail Newsham says:

    My great uncle 12453 LCPL Joe Newsham was also killed in this offensive. I don’t know if he was in B or C company. Would there be anything in the War Diaries to document who was in which company to further pinpoint where they fell?

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