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buddHenry William Budd was born to William and Alice Budd in Liverpool in 1882.

In January 1904 Henry joined the 1st Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment with the number 7767. On 19th January 1905 he was appointed as Lance Corporal, but reverted back to Private six months later. In January 1906 he picked up his first good conduct badge.

On 9th June 1908 Henry married August Mary Wilcocks in Liscard. They had four children pre-war; Ada Sarah Marie (b. 17/03/09), Henry Gerard (b. 02/12/10), Edward Joseph (b. 24/02/12), Arthur Francis (b. 25/04/13).

Henry sailed to France with the 1st Battalion on 12th August 1914.

The following article was published in the WALLASEY AND WIRRAL CHRONICLE on 9th October 1915.

The Great Advance
Seacombe Soldiers’s Thrilling Story
With the Loyal North Lancs

An interesting letter detailing events in the great advance has been received by Mrs Budd, wife of Corporal A. Budd Loyal North Lancashire. Our representative, calling on Mrs Budd at 3 Milton Road, Seacombe, was enabled to see the letter (written on September 30th), from which the following extracts have been made:-

“I am quite all right, but have had the worst time of my life. Thank God! I am safe once more. I shall tell you a little of my experiences on September 25th, the day of the advance. I was told off to carry bombs. There were eighteen more beside myself and one officer – twenty all told. The order came to advance. My regiment went forward, but had to retire owing to gas, many men dying from its effects.

Then came our time to go forward, not knowing then about the retirement. The officer told us to put on our smoke helmets. Shortly after I fell exhausted : I got a whiff of the gas. I gave up all hopes, so then I took off my helmet, and I seemed to survive. I saw my officer, a fine young fellow going forward, so I picked up my case of bombs and followed. When we got within twenty yards of the Germans front line we found it still occupied by them. We thought that our regiment had killed them all and gone ahead. We could not see many yards in front owing to the dense smoke. Shells, bullets, and bombs were bursting everywhere. The officer gave us orders to extend about two yards apart and lie down. The officer got hit through the leg. His servant carried the flag, and showed where the bombs were to be had when they ran short. He got up to hoist it, and was killed – shot through the head. There was another lance-corporal near the flag, so I shouted for him to hoist it, but he would not do so, I being a good many yards away.

HOISTING SIGNAL FLAG
In the meantime the man next to me was shot through the wrist, so I bandaged him up. Then I went to the flag and tried to hoist it, but found the poles were square at the bottom instead of being pointed, so I had to make holes in the ground with my bayonet, several shots passing through the flag while doing so. While I was doing this a man lying down got an explosive bullet through the wrist and his hand fell off. I made sure the men alongside him would bandage him, but they did not do so, and I saw him dead later on through loss of blood. Then I took command, although the other corporal being my senior. I told them to go back for more: there was only eight of the twenty alive to return on the way back. The other corporal met the officer in a shell hole. Having dressed him, he said to him ‘We have hoisted the flag, sir.’ The officer said, ‘Good. I shall not forget you.’ (Not so bad was it?)

KILLED BY EXPLOSIVE BULLET
In the smoke and confusion we lost one another, so I did not know which direction to take to go back for more. Four of us got into a shell hole until the smoke cleared off. One man, being a bit restless, would persist in standing, and I told him several times to be careful. We were all sitting down for a little time; then he rose again, and no sooner he did than he got an explosive bullet through his lungs. He shouted ‘Budd’ – the last word he spoke. Then he pointed to where he kept his bandage. The blood squirted from his mouth and nose, and I knew there was no hope. We took off his coat, and got him shelter down there. We found a hole about the size of a half-crown. We stuck on the bandage, but he died a few minutes later.

AT TERRIBLE COST
At last the smoke cleared. Our boys had pushed forward then very successfully, but at a terrible cost. My regiment were 1,100 going into battle, and about 200 came out. At last I found my way back, and found the corporal and two men – that made six out of twenty. Later on another fellow got wounded, and another missing – so now there are four left.
I am writing this letter from a village we have just taken from the Germans, and they are shelling all the time. Last night I was in a yard, and (cannot make out the next 2 lines due to tear in newspaper)… bricks, plaster and shell fell in every direction, but I was untouched. It must have been about six yards from me. It killed one man outright, and wounded another man. I went to see the effects this morning, and a horse was just on its last. The man had his face in pieces lying on the road.

SOME DIRTY WORK
I am writing this letter from the village by the high bridge which we could see for miles. We have driven the Germans about two miles beyond that, so there has been some dirty work going on. We took trench after trench – thousands were cut off and had to surrender. The 9th May was bad, but was nothing compared to this.
The 2nd Brigade could only make a battalion. I think they will see us off out of it after this. If they keep us much longer there will be none of us left. When I sent the last letter to you we had just returned from the trenches, but had to go back again to hold this village. This is a terrible hole. It is shelled every minute, and I will be glad to get out of it. No doubt you will wonder how it is I have so much time to write, but we dare not go out, the roads are being shelled continuously; so I am in a cellar on my own. I have been here now twenty-four hours, and the sooner we get relieved the better. I am just hanging on till relief comes.”

Between 31st December 1916 and 8th January 1917 Henry was noted as being absent without leave. He was punished with 21 days detention and lost seven days pay. A fifth child, George V Budd arrived in August 1917 so it is safe to assume he was at home on leave during this period and had failed to return to France on time.

On 2nd April 1919 Henry was transferred to the Army Reserves. He was now 36 years old and living at 2 Milton Road, Seacombe, Liverpool.

Henry was awarded a temporary military pension of 4/10 due to a gunshot wound sustained to his right foot which caused him an assessed 10% disability. He was finally discharged in July 1921.

In recognition of his War Services, Private Henry William Budd was awarded the 1914 Star, the British War Medal and Victory medal.

Please note: We are aware that there is a slight discrepancy between the newspaper article and the soldier in question. Henry wasn’t a Corporal, the initial given is A. (not H. Budd) and the address given is 3 Milton Road, not 2.

Thank you to Jacqueline Beirne for sharing the article about her grandfather.

Paul McCormick
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Paul McCormick

Paul McCormick is the creator and administrator for the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment website. Since 2010 he has been researching the soldiers that served during the First World War and sharing their stories on his website. You can contact Paul through the website 'Contact Me' page or on Twitter and Facebook.
Paul McCormick
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