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Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Sacrifice in the Trenches: WWI Ancestors

This blog post is a tribute to two relatives who died in the Great War long before I was born. They made the ultimate sacrifice for King and Country.

Two of my great-uncles, Herbert and Harry (Henry) Dickman from Pendlebury, were killed in France in 1916.

Herbert Dickman (service number 15647) born c.1899, served as a private in the 8th battalion of the Royal Fusiliers, and his date of death is given by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website as 7 March 1916, aged twenty-five. He was a POW, and died of his wounds.

His brother Harry Dickman (service number 15080), who was two years younger, was a private in the 16th battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers (2nd Salford Pals); his date of death is given as 30 July 1916, during the battle of the Somme. I believe that the battalion was at Haillicourt around that time. Both soldiers are commemorated on the Loos memorial.

Brothers Harry and Herbert worked at Agecroft Colliery before the Great War, and their names can be seen on its war memorial, along with the names of many others from the pit who died in the ‘war to end all wars’. 
If you have a Lancashire ancestor who served in the armed forces, some sources for military history are included in my new book Tracing Your Lancashire Ancestors, which has just been released.
Update May 2014: If you have an ancestor who served in WW1, you may like to visit the Lives of the First World War website.

Images: Agecroft Colliery War Memorial. © Sue Wilkes.
Private Harry Dickman, from an undated, unattributed news cutting in the author’s collection.

Postcards in the author’s collection, date circa 1919:
Lens (near Loos) before and after the war, Boulevard des Ecoles.
Lens before and after the war, Pit No.5.
Ypres Cloth Hall before the Great War.


Alison Runham said...

Rather late leaving this comment Sue but did you see the Hugh Dennis episode of Who Do You Think You Are? Both his grandfathers were in WW1 but had profoundly different experiences. which in turn coloured the rest of their lives. Definitely worth a watch if you missed it :)

Sue Wilkes said...

Yes, I did see that episode, thanks, Alison, it was fascinating!