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h.fergusonHenry Ferguson was born in 1880 in Farnworth Lancashire and worked as a collier at the Outwood Pits near Radcliffe.

Henry was aged 34 years when he enlisted in the Territorial Force in Farnworth. He was initially posted into the 1/5th (Territorial) Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment.

Henry had a wife of 10 years (Alice Maud) and their 3 children; Nora (10), Lillian May (5) and Alice (6 months). They lived in Darley Street, Farnworth (since demolished).

Henry was posted into the 1st (Regular) Battalion, and sailed to France in November 1914, to join them in the field. He was killed 6 weeks later.

Private Ferguson was killed on 22nd December 1914 in an action to recapture trenches lost by the Indian Corps that morning at Givenchy. Approx 1.5 km N.E of Festubert.

Henry was initially posted as missing after the action, along with 2 other soldiers from his home town of Farnworth – David Lord (3337 1st LNL)  and John Kennedy (4013 1st LNL).  Another Farnworth man was taken prisoner – Nathaniel Lomax (3335 1st LNL).

A letter was received by Private Ferguson’s wife in 1915 from Captain Vidal R.A.M.C, who was a prisoner of war at Wittenburg Prisoner of War camp, advising that “Private J.W Lee, LNL Regiment, states that he saw your husband killed at La Bassee on December 22nd.

Private Ferguson is remembered at Le Touret Memorial near Festubert.

Rank: Private
Service No: 4317
Date of Death: 22/12/1914
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1st Bn.

It is known that Capt.Vidal had also advised Mrs Lord that her husband, Private David Lord, had been killed in the same action.

John Kennedy was later listed as K.I.A 22/12/14.

Private Nathaniel Lomax later died in Wittenberg POW Camp 16/4/15 during the well documented typhoid epidemic.

Note: Thank you to Mark Haynes, the great grandson of Henry Ferguson for supplying this article and photograph.

Paul McCormick
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