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Mark Southern enlisted in the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment at Bolton 02 Sep 1914. Mark was 23 years old, and a Tackler by trade. He was posted into D Company of the 6th Battalion and sailed to Gallipoli on 29 Jun 1915. On 29 Aug 1915 he arrived back in the UK, this coincided with a promotion to Lance Corporal.

Between 29 Nov – 08 Dec 1915, Mark was granted a furlough of leave. The address he supplied was 30 Thorne Street, Off Blackburn Road, Bolton. This is the home he shared with his wife Emily Taylor Southern (nee Settle). Emily and Mark had married just three weeks before he was sent to Gallipoli.

On 21 Dec 1915, Mark was sent to France, another short tour saw him home again on 19 Mar 1916.  The following ten months were spent with the 1st Battalion on home duties, before a posting into the 1/12th Battalion (Pioneers).

Mark was sent to Salonika with the Pioneers, now part of 60th Division, and was there from 14 Jan to 19 Jun 1917, he made promotion to Corporal in the May. Remaining with the 1/12th Battalion, he arrived in Egypt the following day, where he remained until Jan 1919 (1 year 257 days).

In May 1917 Mark applied to be transferred to the Royal Engineers, he wrote the following;

I, 266530 Cpl M Southern of 1/12th L.N.LAN certify willing to transfer to my unit, reverting to original rate of pay, if for any reason my services are no longer required in the Railway Troops, R.E.

On 20 Nov 1917, Mark transferred to the Royal Engineers, to the Railway Construction Troops Depot (R.C.T.D). He was given the service number W.R 288607, later 253480.

Upon transferring to the Engineers he was mistakenly made a Sapper. This was rectified when a memo was sent out to his hierarchy in Egypt on 06 Aug 1918 saying;

..it is evident that this man should have been transferred to R.E as a Corporal..

On 21 Nov 1917 Mark gained military qualifications as a plate layer. He was retested on 25 May 1918;

Southern retested on the Military Railways at Kantara and proves himself a proficient platelayer.

Signed O.C  R.O.D

Three months after returning from Egypt, on 26 Apr 1919 Mark was discharged from the Army. His address at this time was 47 Horace Street, Bolton.

Mark was awarded a 1914/15 star (missing), British War Medal and Victory Medal.

Paul McCormick
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One Response to 15303 CPL. M. SOUTHERN. L.N.LAN.R

  1. Jim Brookshaw says:

    Just wondering if you have any info on my grandfather John Gilgun number 20922 private loyal north Lancashire regiment 6th battalion who died in Mesopotamia 28 April 1916 I only found out 10 years ago that he was my grandfather as he produced my father out of wedlock to an Elizabeth Sloan consequently she gave my father for adoption to the Brookshaw family in Melbourne Australia and I believe she then returned to England.As of now I have not been able to trace her whereabouts.I would appreciate any info on John just to put some meat on the bones so to speak,
    Jim Brookshaw

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