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poppyOn this day one hundred years ago a soldier of the 1st Battalion, The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment died of wounds (DOW)  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.

Preston born Francis Joseph Yates had previously served in the South Lancashire Regiment (number 3258) but had become time expired. When War broke out he was 42 years 5 months old and joined the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment as a Special Reserve on 16th September 1914. At the time of his enlistment he was living with his wife Eleanor (nee Battersby) at 4 Fleetwood Street, Preston – she was heavily pregnant with their ninth child.

Francis sailed to France to reinforce the 1st Battalion on 29th November 1914, and less than four weeks later, on 22nd December 1914 he was shot in the right of the pelvis at Givenchy and taken Prisoner of War.

Francis died from his wound six days later, 28th December 1914, at Aix la Chapelle (Aachen) and was ‘buried by Germans’.

The following article appeared in a local newspaper shortly after his death;

A further name is to be added to Preston’s roll of honour in Private Francis Joseph Yates, of the 3rd Batt. Loyal North Lancashire Regt., who died on December 28th, whilst a prisoner of war, from wounds received in action.

Private Yates was called up in August as a reservist, having seen eight years’ service in India.  Prior to the war he was working as a labourer at Preston Dock.  Yates was a native of Preston, his home being at 4, Fleetwood-street.  He leaves a wife and nine children, the eldest of whom is a girl, 14 years of age, and the youngest, a baby six weeks old.  Deceased belonged to St. Walburge’s Church.

Rank: Private
Service No: 3941
Date of Death: 28/12/1914
Age: 42
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1st Bn.


Photo courtesy of Phil Child

Total Casualties to date (inclusive)

cross 497

1st Battalion: 435 – Worst day: 22/12/1914 (89)
2nd Battalion: 50 – Worst day: 04/11/1914 (49)

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

Paul McCormick
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