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poppyOn this day one hundred years ago one man of the 1st Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment died from heart failure. In addition to this, an officer and a man became the first combat casualties of the 1/5th (Territorial) Battalion in France.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them.

1st Battalion

4090 Private Robert BEARDWOOD

Robert Beardwood was born in Wheelton, Lancashire in 1874.

He married Margaret Ann in Chorley in August 1910 and at the time of the 1911 Census they were living at 80 Standish Street, Chorley. John was working as a labourer and Margaret, a.k.a Maggy, was employed as a card room hand. Robert had previously served 13 years with the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment and was at this time 38 years old.

Robert re-enlisted into the Special Reserve on 7th September 1914 which was one month after their first and only child was born, a daughter they named Rose Ellen.

At the time of his re-enlistment Robert was 40 years 4 months old and  gave his occupation as being a miner.

He was given the number 4090 and sailed to France to join the 1st Battalion on 4th January 1915. Four days later, whilst still at Le Havre, he was awarded 28 days field punishment No. 1 (reason not stated).

On 3rd March 1915, now in the field, he was awarded another 28 days field punishment No. 1 however during this period, on 14th March, he died of ‘heart failure’.

His wife received a telegram informing her of Robert’s death and soon after she moved to 8 Pendle Street, Sabden near Whalley.

There was a court of enquiry after his death, however the circumstances surrounding the reason for his heart failure appears to have not been established. Margaret was later given a widow’s pension.

Rank: Private
Service No: 4090
Date of Death: 14/03/1915
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1st Bn.

1/5th Battalion

Capt A.V. MakantCaptain Angus Virtue Makant 

Angus was born in Bolton, Lancashire in 1889, the second son of John William Makant JP a prominent Lancashire Industrialist who became the High Sheriff of Lancashire in 1913 and was also Chairman of Bolton Wanderers FC.

A.V. Makant was educated at Harrow and Clare College, Cambridge BA(Cantab). He excelled at sports during his education and played for the Harrow cricket XI twice against Eton at Lords and also had the distinction of playing at Lords in 1907 in the great match when Maurice Bird made a couple of 100’s. He was also captain of the Harrow football eleven. Taking an interest in his fathers’ business, he became attached to both Bolton Cricket Club and Bolton Wanderers FC where he played a couple of times as a defender in the reserve team at Burnden Park.

Being gazetted 2nd Lt into the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment on 29th January 1910 . He took an active part in the social welfare of his men, and during training in England was editor of ‘The Bolton Boys’ a little monthly publication for the battalion to ease the monotony. He was to see active service in France.

Promoted Captain from 23rd December 1914, he was second in command of ‘C’ Company, 1/5th Battalion. It was whilst serving in the trenches at Armentieres, France at 3.30am Sunday 14th March 1915 aged 25yrs when he was killed by a German sniper. His brother Robert Keith Makant M.C. also 1/5th Battalion was present at his death.

The Battalion has lost an excellent officer by the death of Angus V. Makant. He was loved and respected by all ranks. (Commanding Officer, 1/5th Battalion)

Straight, loyal and sympathetic, a natural leader, caring little for what others thought of him, he did more for the School and his house than he was perhaps aware of himself. It is not therefore surprising to learn of the affection felt for him by the men in his father’s works in Lancashire, which he entered on leaving Cambridge about five years ago, or again that in his Regiment he was looked up to by his men, who, whenever in any trouble, came to him for advice. (The Harrovian).

He was buried nearby at Cite Bonjean Military Cemetery Armentieres, his name also appears on the 5th battalion monument in Queens Park, Bolton.

Rank: Captain
Date of Death: 14/03/1915
Age: 26
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 5th Bn.

3068 Private John FLETCHER

John was the son of Thomas and Jane Fletcher of 179, Darwen Road, Bromley Cross, Bolton. He sailed to France with the initial deployment of the 1/5th Battalion on 12th February 1915 and was killed in action on 14th March. No further information known.

Rank: Private
Service No: 3068
Date of Death: 14/03/1915
Age: 26
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, D Coy. 1st/5th Bn.

Total Casualties to date (inclusive)

cross 571

1st Battalion: 497 – Worst day: 22/12/1914 (89)
2nd Battalion: 54 – Worst day: 04/11/1914 (49)

1/4th Battalion: 3
1/5th Battalion: 5
2/5th Battalion: 2

New Armies
7th Battalion: 1
10th Battalion: 1

Reserves and Home Service
Depot: 5
3rd Battalion: 2
Unknown: 1

Paul McCormick
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