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Claude Lyons was born in 1899. In 1911, his father, John was a crain driver on a canal; his mother was called Mary. He had five brothers and three sisters. The family were all born and living in Salford.

Claude was killed on 9th April 1918 whilst serving with the 1/4th (Territorial) Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment.  This was a particularly bloody day for the Battalion, the cwgc recording at least 55 soldiers killed that day alone, with many more that had been wounded died in the days that followed.

This action on 9th April was on the Festubert-Givenchy line, where early in the morning the Germans were found to be heavily bombarding the whole divisional front. Unfortunately this weakened the Portuguese troops that were on the left of the Division causing them to retire, which completely exposed the 55th’s flank.

The German infantry now attacked, and owing to the thick fog that morning, they were allowed to get so close to the British that they could not be engaged until they were within 20 – 30 yards. The Germans succeeded in their objective and breeched the 164th Brigades front, and managed to overrun their headquarters, and several other key areas

Eventually a counter-attack was organised which forced the Germans back, capturing many prisoners and machine guns in the process. By the end of the day the Brigade had won back every inch of the ground they had temporarily lost.

Unfortunately no service papers survive for Claude.

Rank: Private
Service No: 29060
Date of Death: 09/04/1918
Age: 19
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1st/4th Bn.
Memorial: LOOS MEMORIAL,  Panel 89 to 91.

Paul McCormick
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