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Mark Boughey was born on the 14th October 1891 in the village of Barrowford in East Lancashire and he was the youngest of six children born to Samuel and Amelia Boughey (nee Roberts). Samuel Boughey married Amelia Roberts in Barrowford in 1881, Samuel, a market gardener was born in Market Drayton in Shropshire and Amelia was originally from Denbigh in Wales. The couples` other five children were also born in Barrowford; Louisa (1881), Ethel (1882), Nellie (1885), James (1887-1892) and Janet (1889-1899).
Sadly, in 1895 at the age of 34 Mark`s mother Amelia passed away and the following year his father married Mary Roberts, a younger sister of his first wife. The couple went on to have two children together; William (1896-1898) and Annie May (1898). In 1901 Mark was living at 3 Lee Street in Barrowford with his father, stepmother, sisters Ethel and Nellie and half-sister Annie May. Mark`s father was working as a gardener and his sisters Ethel and Nellie were both employed in a cotton mill as weavers.
Ten years later Mark and his family were still resident at the same address in Lee Street but only Mark and his younger half-sister Annie remained at home with their parents. Samuel Boughey was now a florist and fruiterer while Mark had secured a job working for Messrs. Holden Brothers as a cotton weaver in the Holmefield Mill in Barrowford.
Unfortunately Mark`s service papers have been destroyed so the only information on his enlistment comes from the local newspapers which state that he enlisted on the 11th February 1916. He originally joined the 10th (Reserve) Battalion of the East Lancashire Regiment with the service number 24368. Mark embarked for France on the 15th July 1916 and at some point he transferred to the 9th Battle of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, joining the grenade section and his service number became 20598.
Sadly, Mark had only been in France for about three months when he was killed in action on the 21st October 1916. Extracts from the Battalion War Diary explain the action on the day Private Mark Boughey died;
20th October 1916 – Hessian Trench
The Company detailed to stay in Hessian Trench was relieved and went back into the support trenches. The evening of the 20th the Battalion again moved up to Hessian Trench, one company being in the Assembly Trench. 2nd Lieutenant Henry Lewis being wounded during the relief, he remained on duty in the trenches until the following day. 2nd Lieutenant James Patterson Oliver wounded and evacuated to hospital.
21st October 1916 – Hessian Trench
At 12 – 6pm the artillery barrage opened. The Battalion got out of Hessian Trench in three lines and crossed `no-man`s land` immediately behind the barrage, very few casualties occurring until we reached the enemy`s wire, when a considerable amount of trouble was caused from an enemy machine-gun and snipers.
This machine-gun was outside a dugout in the sunken road and was put out of action by 2nd Lieutenant Gwynne Mervin Jones and three bombers, the machine-gun being captured. Many prisoners were taken chiefly from the sunken road dugouts, not many of the enemy being in the front line. About 200 prisoners were taken, including one Officer who said he was a Battalion Commander.
2nd Lieutenants George Charles Tiley and John Ernest Marshall were killed in action.
As soon as they had taken the trench the men did remarkably good work consolidating, and an out post line was immediately organised and put out by 2nd Lieutenant Gwynne Mervin Jones.
2nd Lieutenants Henry Dobbyn and William Laban Kirkham (R.W.K. Reg.) wounded by shell and admitted to hospital.
Casualties on 21st October; Officers; 2 killed, 3 wounded. Other ranks; 20 killed, 57 wounded, 17 missing.
The local paper the Burnley News reported on Mark`s death on the 8th November 1916.
“News has come to hand that Pte. Mark Boughey, of 3 Lee St. Barrowford, Loyal North Lancashires Grenade Section, son of the late Sam Boughey, florist and well known in Nelson and District, has been killed in action. Pte. Mark Boughey enlisted on the 11th February 1916, and after training went to France on the 15th July 1916. He was 25 years of age. He was a weaver at Messrs. Holden Bros. Holmefield Mills, Barrowford and attended the Reedyford Wesleyan church and school”.
The Preston Guardian also published an article on Mark including the fact that he was a cousin to the late Second Lieutenant Holden of Barrowford. (Second Lieutenant Ernest Airlie Holden “C” Coy, 8th Battalion LNL, son of Samuel and Elizabeth Holden of Barrowford. Killed in action 17/10/16 and buried in Contay British Cemetery, Contay).
On the 3rd November 1916 the Colne and Nelson Times published another article about Mark which included extracts from two letters, one from Mark to his mother and the other dated 25th October 1916 written by Lance Corporal Reid and addressed to Miss Nora Greenwood in Barrowford.
The final newspaper article indicates that Mark was buried on the battlefield where he fell and that his grave was marked with a cross. It seems that over a period of time Mark`s grave was lost and so he is now remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on the Somme.
After the war his family would have received Mark`s British War and Victory Medals in recognition of his service and sacrifice for his country.
(*Note: all the photographs of Mark show him wearing his East Lancashire Regt. cap badge).
Photograph and additional newspaper information reproduced with the kind permission of Noeline Crighton (nee Eastwood), granddaughter of Louise Boughey and Sally Ann Gale (nee Whitehead) 1st cousin x 2 removed.
Service No: 29598
Date of Death: 21/10/1916
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 9th Bn.
Memorial: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL
Janet Davis has been researching her family history for many years and through this she discovered many relatives who served in WW1. This interest then led Janet to do many walking the battlefield tours with her husband. In April 2013 she discovered this website and volunteered to help. Janet believes that there are lots of stories still to be told, most of them very sad but at the same time they are a fascinating insight into the men, their families, what they did and where they came from.
(This post has been visited 262 times in the last 90 days)
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- “I firmly believe I will pull through,” he proudly stated “The Germans can break my head, but they can never break my heart”
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