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poppyOn this day one hundred years ago 89 soldiers of the 1st Battalion, The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment were killed  in France. The total number of casualties on this date was 89 killed and 320 wounded or missing.

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.


21st – 22nd December 1914 – Givenchy.
On 21st December at 07:00 hrs the 1st Battalion, with 2nd Brigade moved by motorbuses to Zelobes (1/2 mile west of Vieille Chapelle). From Zelobes they marched to Le Touret, arriving about 12:45PM.

Orders were received that the battalion, along with the Northamptons, should make a night attack in order to regain some trenches that had been taken by the Germans on the night of 19th – 20th December near an orchard by LA QUINQUE RUE. It was noted in the War Diary that the information of the enemy’s disposition was somewhat vague.

The battalion left Le Touret at 15:30PM followed by the Northamptons and were led by a guide (an officer of 2nd Gurkhas) to a spot from which it was decided the attack should commence. The men carried 170 rounds of ammunition each.

By 18:45PM the two battalions were deployed ready to advance. A and D Coys in the front line, supported by C and B Coys at 100 yards distance. The Loyal North Lancashires took the right of the line and the Northamptons the left. The whole frontage covered about 300 yards.

At 19:00PM the order to advance was given by Major Powell and the whole line moved forward with fixed bayonets, the companies now being closed up and in two ranks.

After crossing two lines of trenches occupied by the 58th Infantry, with heavy rifle fire they charged and occupied the front line of the enemy’s trenches. After a short halt the attack was continued and another trench about 100 yards further on was captured. The battalion advanced further and was reorganised on a road by the orchard. During the advance 2nd Lieut Ellis was seriously wounded and about 20 men killed and wounded.

A line was occupied, and a reconnaissance conducted about 20 yards to the rear of the orchard. Tools were sent up to the newly held trench an hour or so later. It is written that the night was very wet and cold and the men only had minimum rations.

The line was held throughout the night, but they did suffer some casualties from bombs that were thrown from a German trench running obliquely to their right flank. At 07:00 AM on the 22nd December a Company was withdrawn from the Northamptons line due to the trenches being over-crowded.

Shortly after day break a very strong German attack developed from the direction of LA QUINQUE RUE and by 10:00AM the line became untenable chiefly owing to the enfilade fire (flanking fire) from the right flank which was very exposed.

After suffering very heavy losses and putting up a very stubborn defence, the retirement of the line commenced from the left and about 300 men succeeded in reaching the Rue de Bois.

The Battalion was collected and reformed on Rue de L’Epinette, the Machine Gun detachment cooperating with the Northamptons went up in support and a line was held by them roughly on the line when the attack had started on the night before. At about 15:00PM the battalion was withdrawn and went into billets at La Couture.


6475 Company Serjeant Major HARRY BAILEY (“A” Coy)
10812 Lance Corporal JAMES TWEEDALE
4173 Lance Corporal MATTHEW CAREY
8789 Corporal WILLIAM ANDERSON BAILEY
1622 Corporal WILLIAM GARTH
1333 Corporal JOHN WILLIAM WALMSLEY
4135 Corporal JOHN TEASDALE
8347 Serjeant DAVID WILLIAM BARRELL
5718 Serjeant WILLIAM CALVERLEY
5790 Serjeant JOHN HENRY GREEN
6621 Serjeant HENRY HADLEY
7248 Serjeant WILLIAM IDDON
1362 Serjeant JOHN MULLEN
3469 Serjeant WILLIAM SUTCLIFFE
3922 Private SAMUEL ALLEN
3876 Private PATRICK ASLEFORD
4034 Private EDWARD AYREY
11230 Private JAMES BARNWELL
4408 Private GEORGE BATESON
4494 Private WALTER BATTERSBY
11225 Private GEORGE BLUNDELL
3894 Private GEORGE BROWN
2917 Private JOHN CHAMLEY (“A” Coy)
6666 Private WILLIAM CHARNOCK
2991 Private JOHN CLARKE
11221 Private WILLIAM CLARKSON
3330 Private JOHN HENRY COFFEY
2465 Private WILLIAM PATRICK COOKE
3870 Private JAMES COWLEY
4275 Private JOHN DARLINGTON
8372 Private SAMUEL DAVIES
8097 Private ROBERT DAVIS
2453 Private DAVID DWYER
3267 Private WILLIAM DWYER (“D” Coy)
2674 Private JOHN FARRELL
4317 Private HENRY FERGUSON
3487 Private GEORGE WHALLEY FIELDING
10838 Private EDGAR FOULDS
4172 Private HENRY VINCENT GILBERT
3112 Private THOMAS HENRY HAMPSON
10582 Private JOHN HANN (“C” Coy)
4012 Private THOMAS HANRATTY
2972 Private GEORGE BEACHCROFT HARVEY
2497 Private JAMES HARWOOD
3960 Private FRANK WALTER HILL
1139 Private HINDLEY
3934 Private JOHN HOLLAND
10866 Private WILLIAM HUDSON
3105 Private CHARLES HAROLD HUGHES
3051 Private WILLIAM HUGHES
3577 Private THOMAS JACKSON
3010 Private JOHN WILLIAM JOHNSON
4115 Private JESSE KENDALL
4013 Private JOHN KENNEDY
2968 Private PATRICK KENNY
4143 Private EDWARD KIRKMAN
10757 Private ROBERT LAWSON
3337 Private DAVID LORD
3363 Private MATTHEW LORD
1134 Private JAMES MAYERS
11059 Private THOMAS HERBERT MONKS
10330 Private LAWRENCE PATRICK MURPHY
2220 Private JOSEPH TURNER McCUBBIN
3904 Private MICHAEL JOHN McDERMOTT
3288 Private GEORGE McEWEN
10904 Private HENRY McNEICE
10695 Private SAMUEL McSHANE
3745 Private WALTER NELSON
2550 Private JOSEPH O’TOOLE
2395 Private SIDNEY PROCTOR
2297 Private FRANK QUIRK
1717 Private JOHN RIGBY
4085 Private ROBERT FRANK RIGGS
10963 Private JAMES BYRNE SATCHELL
2138 Private WILLIAM SLATER
2335 Private JAMES SMITH
2133 Private WILLIAM SMITH
2355 Private CHARLES THOMPSON
2345 Private WILLIAM TRAYNOR
2351 Private JOHN TRELFORD
4251 Private WALTER TRIGGER
6888 Private JAMES WALSH
1866 Private PERCY WALSH
3287 Private MICHAEL WARD
2653 Private JOHN WATSON
2666 Private ROBERT WHITEHEAD
10703 Private ANDREW WHITTLE
3049 Private JOSEPH WILLIAMS
4086 Private WILLIAM WYLIE


Total Casualties to date (inclusive)

cross 496

Regulars
1st Battalion: 434 – Worst day: 22/12/1914 (89)
2nd Battalion: 50 – Worst day: 04/11/1914 (49)

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

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

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


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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.
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5 Responses to On this day: 22nd December 1914

  1. Daniel Birtwistle says:

    My great uncle James Barnwell 112230 Private of the Loyal North Lancs Regiment died in the battle mentioned at Le Touret on 22 Dec 1914. I visited Le Touret Military Cemetery in October 2014 and laid a flower in his memory. I also visited Cambrai, Louveral where Septimus,of 12th Lancers and brother of James died in 1917. The North-West Evening mail reported my visits with a 2 page article. Two other Barnwell brothers, John Henry and Alfred also fought but were prisoners of war and they returned home safely.

  2. christopher allen says:

    We remembered them on this day.

  3. Sharon Bunter says:

    My great grandfather John Attwell #3271 was injured on 21 Dec 1914:”Disability: Lympanic Membrane Perforation, on 21 Dec 1914 at Armentieres

    One day when in the trenches a bomb exploded quite near to him. He states he was rendered totally deaf for 3 weeks and was treated in France.”

  4. Annette Barber says:

    My grandfather Sidney Francis Davies enlisted in one of the Pals Battaliions in 1917. He was at Ypres and his unit helped to keep a sugar factory in operation. He received a gunshot wound to his left leg which resulted in permanent disability.
    I still have his Soldiers Bible with ” S Davies 2nd Batt Loyal Reg” stamped inside it. He received an army pension and regular hospital appointments until his death in 1974 when The British Legion arranged for The Last Post to be played at his funeral.

  5. Peter May says:

    My Grandfather, Corporal Billy May, 1st Battalion, was captured during the Battle of Givenchy. The story he told was that they charged, the bombing was furious, he dove into a bomb crater as a shell went off near by, only to be met by 6 german soldiers already in the crater, outnumbered he had no choice but to surrender. He was sent to the Wittenberg POW camp and then to Alten Graben for the remainder of the war.

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