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poppyOn this day one hundred years ago two Serjeants from the 1st  Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment were killed in action in France when a shell fell on the trenches near RUE DE BOIS.

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 War Diary: 26th March 1915

A bright sunny day. All quiet until about 5.30pm when the enemy shelled our trenches and killed two serjeants and wounded one man. The men have worked hard on the breastworks. Officers from the 9th Liverpool Regt. have been sent up to our trenches for a tour of instruction. Captain Greenhill took over command of ‘D’ Coy, and Captain Hill of ‘B’ Coy.

Serjeant Laurence FITZPATRICK was born at Wigan in 1884. He was a big man for the day standing at just over 6ft, weighing 196 lbs, with a 41 – 44″ chest.

Laurence had joined the Special Reserve in May 1911 having become ‘time expired’ after 10 years service in the 3rd Battalion (no. 7579) where he had already reached the rank of Serjeant. He was at this time 28 years old and was working as a metal man in a coal mine. Lawrence had been imprisoned for 30 days in June/July 1910 for ‘willful damage’ yet was classed as having a good character.

It is interesting that his next of kin was recorded as being Cpl Thomas Fitzpatrick, of the 1st Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers based in Chakrata, India.

Laurence married Agnes Gibson in October 1914 at Houghton-le-Spring in the North East.

He was mobilized on 8th August 1914 and landed in France on 16th March 1915 to join the 1st Battalion in the field. He was killed in action just 10 days later. Agnes later remarried and moved to Kinneil Bo’ness in Scotland. Laurence’s war medals were returned to sender.

Rank: Serjeant
Service No: 1687
Date of Death: 26/03/1915
Age: 26
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1st Bn.

Serjeant Michael WALSH was born and resided in Chorley. He landed in France to join the 1st Battalion on 4th January 1915.

Rank: Acting Serjeant
Service No: 10770
Date of Death: 26/03/1915
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1st Bn.

Total Casualties to date (inclusive)

cross 580

1st Battalion: 503 – Worst day: 22/12/1914 (89)
2nd Battalion: 55 – 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: 6
3rd Battalion: 3
Unknown: 1

Paul McCormick
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