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Hugh Seed was born on the 18th July 1896 in Longridge to Thomas and Mary Seed (nee Hughes). Hugh`s father, a cotton weaver, was born in the nearby village of Thornley with Wheatley and his mother Mary Hughes was born in Wales. Prior to their marriage in the Church of St. Lawrence in Longridge on the 1st September 1894 Mary Hughes had been `in service` as a domestic in Fulwood, Preston.

Hugh and his family lived at 3 Hollin Hall in the Dilworth area of Longridge for a number of years and by 1911 he had four sisters and one brother; Ellen Parkinson (1894), Alice (1902), Lizzie Catherine (1904), Margaret Lily (1906) and William (1910). Hugh did have two other siblings; Albert (1898) and Jane (1901) but sadly they both died in the October quarter of 1901.

Up until the time of his enlistment Hugh had been working locally as a weaver but unfortunately his service record is not available so the exact date of his enlistment into the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment is uncertain. However, his service number of 1658 suggests that it was probably in August/September 1914.  His original number would later be changed to 200344 when the new style numbers came into force in January 1917. After several months of training Hugh sailed to France with the 1/4th Battalion on the 4th May 1915 and was a member of “A” Company and at some point during his service he attained the rank of Corporal.

Sadly, Hugh was one of many men posted as missing on the 8th August 1916 after action during the Battle of the Somme.

Battalion account of the actions 8th August 1916

“After a night in bivouacs, preparations were made to go over the ground prior to an attack on GUILLEMONT on the 8th. The Battalion returned to the line that night and assembled in trenches east and west of the road which ran south from the east corner of TRONES WOOD, C Company being detailed to consolidate the right of the enemy line and D Company on the left of the west side of som. A and B Companies acted in conjunction with the 1/4th Royal Lancasters and the 1/8th Liverpool Regiments respectively.

The attack was not a success. The right was held up from the start by the switch line which had been reported by our patrol on the 6th, such report either being overlooked or ignored, and the men had to fall back to the original line, though the 1/8th Liverpools went through the village on the left and D Company of our Battalion commenced to consolidate, but were driven off by the enemy coming behind them and cutting them off from the Liverpools.

Considerable confusion was caused owing to the mist and the employment by the enemy of smoke bombs, the four platoons in reserve not being called upon for this reason, though all their Officers were killed and they suffered many other casualties. The operation was a costly one. Nine other ranks were killed, 97 wounded and 107 reported missing”.

The news that their son had been posted missing prompted Hugh`s family to post a photograph in the Preston Guardian which was accompanied by a request for any news of his whereabouts.200344 Corporal Hugh Seed200344 Corporal Hugh Seed 1

Hugh`s family would have to wait for several months before the Military Authorities would finally confirm that Hugh had perished on the 8th August 1916 on the Somme.

The body of Corporal Hugh Seed was never recovered from the battlefield where he fell and so his name was later recorded on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on the Somme. His family would later receive the 1915 Star, British War and Victory Medals that their son was entitled to.

Two years to the date of Hugh`s death his family published a notice in the Lancashire Evening Post;

8 August 1918 – “In loving memory of our dear son, Corporal Hugh Seed, L.N.L. Regt. who was reported killed in action August 8th 1916 aged 20 years.

                                “Too dearly loved in life to be forgotten in death”

Deeply mourned by Father, Mother, Sisters and Brothers, 106 Mersey Street, Longridge.

Hugh`s name is also remembered on the Roll of Honour inside St. Lawrence`s Church in Longridge.

St. Lawrence`s Church in Longridge panel

Rank: Corporal
Service No: 200344
Date of Death: 08/08/1916
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1st/4th Bn.

Janet Davis
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