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poppyOn this day one hundred years ago two officers and fourteen men of The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment died in France when a shell fell in the middle of a convened orderly room at Beuvry. Another man, previously with the 1st Battalion, took his own life in the UK.

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 Bn. War Diary: 26th January 1915

At BEUVRY. A quiet night for us but heavy and continuous firing in the direction of GIVENCHY. The companies were re-allotted to billets in the village on account of the fact that the Germans had shelled it the day before.

At 9.30hrs, orderly room was being held in ‘D’ Companies billets in a paved yard surrounded by buildings. It was a particularly large orderly room on account of yesterday’s being interrupted by our sudden move from BETHUNE.

A high explosive shell falling almost perpendicularly struck the yard in the midst of us and detonated with great violence. The havoc was awful.

2/Lt G. E. Bunderkin was killed. Lieut J. G. Halstead wounded (in legs and arm). 2/Lieut M E CALLARD very seriously wounded in both legs.

Sergt. Major T. Hodgson, Sergt. Veacock, Sergt. Haggerty, Coy Sergt. Major Marsh, Coy Sergt. Major Melia and seven other ranks were killed on the spot. There were eighteen wounded, one of whom Coy Sergt. Major Custis died of wounds the same day.

This is a terrible disaster and a very severe blow to the Battalion. We all regret the death of 2/Lt. Bunderkin was a most reliable officer and Sergt. Major Hodgeson particularly.

At BEUVRY. A quiet night for us but heavy and continuous firing in the direction of GIVENCHY. The companies were re-allotted to billets in the village on account of the fact that the Germans had shelled it the day before.

At 9.30hrs, orderly room was being held in ‘D’ Companies billets in a paved yard surrounded by buildings. It was a particularly large orderly room on account of yesterday’s being interrupted by our sudden move from BETHUNE.

A high explosive shell falling almost perpendicularly struck the yard in the midst of us and detonated with great violence. The havoc was awful.

2/Lt G. E. Bunderkin was killed. Lieut J. G. Halstead wounded (in legs and arm). 2/Lieut M E Callard very seriously wounded in both legs.

Sergt. Major T. Hodgson, Sergt. Veacock, Sergt. Haggerty, Coy Sergt. Major Marsh, Coy Sergt. Major Melia and seven other ranks were killed on the spot. There were eighteen wounded, one of whom Coy Sergt. Major Custis died of wounds the same day.

This is a terrible disaster and a very severe blow to the Battalion. We all regret the death of 2/Lt. Bunderkin was a most reliable officer and Sergt. Major Hodgeson particularly


Second Lieutenant MALCOLM ERNEST CALLARD

callard-e-Malcolm Callard was the son of Ernest & Isabella Callard (nee Rumbelow) of Brownings Manor, Blackboys, Uckfield, Surrey. He married Margery L’Estrange Coomber on 30th September 1914 and they lived together at 50 Kensington Palace Mansions.

Malcolm sailed to France to join the 1st Battalion in the field on 7th December 1914 and the War Diary records that he arrived at Hazebrouck on the 16th.

On 26th January 1915 when the shell fell in the middle of the orderly room he was seriously wounded in both legs. He died of these wounds later that day.

Malcolm’s brother Stanley Edwin Callard, who was serving as a Second Lieutenant in the East Yorkshire Regiment, would be killed in action a few months later, 23rd April 1915.

Rank: Second Lieutenant
Date of Death: 26/01/1915* (DOW)
Age: 30
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1st Bn.
Cemetery: BETHUNE TOWN CEMETERY

*The CWGC website incorrectly shows his date of death as 25th January 1915.


There were some very experienced men killed in the orderly room shelling, three of whom had previously been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for acts of Gallantry in the field.

Second Lieutenant GEOFFREY ERIC BURDEKIN (Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) attached LNL)
2835 Acting Serjeant THOMAS AINSWORTH
1481 Corporal WALTER BROWN
2338 Corporal JOHN CRAIG
8284 Company Serjeant Major SAMUEL JOHN CUSTIS
2526 Private FRANK CUSTY
7235 Lance Corporal EDWIN EDWARDS D.C.M
2936 Corporal DENNIS FLANNERY
17592 Private WILLIAM GIBSON
8654 Serjeant JAMES JOSEPH HAGGERTY
4554 Regimental Serjeant Major THOMAS JOHN HODGSON D.C.M
1330 Company Serjeant Major FREDERICK WILLIAM MARSH D.C.M
533 Company Serjeant Major JOHN MELIA
8892 Serjeant JOHN ERIC VEACOCK
10672 Private FREDERICK WHITTAKER


 7270 Private Frederick MAYOR.

Frederick was born and enlisted in Preston. He landed with the 1st Battalion in France on 12th August 1914 and was present at Mons. He was back in the UK by January 1915 and died by his own hand at Blackburn on the 26th.

Rank: Private
Service No: 7270
Date of Death: 26/01/1915
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, Depot
Cemetery: SAMLESBURY (ST. LEONARD THE LESS) CHURCHYARD


Total Casualties to date (inclusive)

cross 533

Regulars
1st Battalion: 467 – Worst day: 22/12/1914 (89)
2nd Battalion: 52 – 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: 4
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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