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Lucien Farrar, the youngest of five children was born in the village of Silverdale near Carnforth on the 23rd April 1896 to William and Eleanor Margaret Farrar (nee Collier). William and Eleanor married in the market town of Leyburn in North Yorkshire in the September quarter of 1888. Their first child John William was born the following year in Witton, North Yorkshire and then shortly after his birth the family relocated to Silverdale. Lucien`s sister Annie arrived in 1890 followed by George in 1892 and then Sarah Ellen in 1894.

In 1901 Lucien and his family lived at 1 Westview Cottage in Silverdale where his father was a cattle stockman on one of the local farms. By 1911 Lucien had moved over to Yorkshire and was living and working as a servant on Stephen and Mary Ann Willan`s farm in Bentham, Yorkshire. His mother, father and sister Annie were still living in Silverdale and one of his brothers, George, had emigrated to Australia in 1910.

At some point after the outbreak of war he enlisted and was given the service number 19005. Unfortunately his service papers have been destroyed so precise information is unavailable. However, he embarked for France with a batch of reinforcements on the 3rd June 1915 and after spending a period of time at the Base Depot he was posted to the 1/4th Battalion LNL, possibly joining them in the aftermath of the action at Festubert on the 15/16th June 1915.

In November 1917 the 1/4th Battalion was in the Guillemont sector and had gone into the trenches to the east of Lempire on the 18th of the month after relieving the 1/5th King`s Liverpool Regiment. “C” and “D” Companies, under Lieutenants Lonsdale and Shippobottom, occupying the front line, while “B”, Captain Buckmaster, and “A”, Captain Houghton, were respectively in support and reserve.

Extract from Battalion War Diary

“At 5.30am the enemy opened up a heavy trench mortar bombardment along our front line, which was followed at 6.15am by a raiding party numbering about 200, who forced an entry into our lines at three places. Two parties entered our lines at Guillemont and bombed our front line and down the communication trench leading to DUNCAN POST. A large proportion of the front line garrison were either killed, buried or wounded by the preliminary bombardment, and when the enemy advanced down the communication trench the Company Commander of “C” Coy organised his Headquarters details into a firing line and held up the advance of the enemy. The enemy were finally driven out of our lines by a counter-attack made by two platoons sent up from “A” Coy in KEN LANE.

The counter-attack party had to make its way around the flank of a heavy barrage the enemy was placing on DUNCAN and DOLEFUL posts, and as soon as this was cleared they extended into line and advanced across the open. The enemy did not offer much resistance, but his main body retreated at once, taking with them all our men he possibly could, both wounded and unwounded, and only a small number remained who were ejected with the bayonet.

The raiders who went to CAT POST did not enter our trenches but bombed them from the parapet, doing some damage and causing a few casualties. They then returned to their own lines.

The casualties were; Officers; 2/Lt J.O. Firth killed, 2/Lt Shippobottom wounded and died of wounds later in hospital and 2/Lt R. Hornby slightly wounded. Other ranks; 11 killed, 21 wounded and 48 missing.

It was later confirmed that Lucien Farrar had been wounded and was one of the men taken as a prisoner by the enemy.

The Red Cross Prisoner of War records confirm that Lucien was being held at the Reserve Lazarette (prison hospital) at Mulheim Ruhr. Sadly, Lucien did not survive, his date of death recorded as being 13th January 1918. His original burial place would have been nearer to the prisoner of war camp. However, in 1922 a decision was made to bring all the graves of men who died in Germany into four permanent cemeteries at Kassel, Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne. In 1923 Lucien`s grave was transferred into Cologne Southern Cemetery and his family had the following words engraved at the foot of his headstone;



After the war Lucien`s family would have received his 1915 Star, British War and Victory Medals together with his Memorial Plaque and Scroll in recognition of his sacrifice.

Lucien`s name also appears on the War Memorial Cross in his home village of Silverdale, pictured below;

silverdale-war-memorial silverdale-war-memorial-panel

Rank: Private
Service No: 19005
Date of Death: 13/01/1918
Age: 21
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, B Coy, 1st/4th Bn.

Janet Davis
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