Monday, 11 November 2013

We will remember them

The Soldier
If I should die, think only this of me:
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England's, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven. 
Rupert Brooke
Some corner of a foreign field (Villerett)

Particularly remembering  Dad's Uncle - J.A. Ryder (MM), Manchester Regiment, killed near St Quentin, March 1918. No known grave.
A name on a wall in Northern France
From Manchester Regiment field diaries
"21 March Bombardment of front support line ... opening by enemy at 4.35am by HE gas shells. Thick mist prevailed all morning. Boys unable to  assume Battle positions. All communications ground .... out. 
11am Casualties up to now light 2nd Lt G. Carmichael Killed. Enemy reported in view on RED LINE. 

11.15am Enemy reported to have ....RED line between left and right Coys (A & C) hand to hand fighting took place, but swing in mist enemy was able to surround both Coys. Bn NQs formed defensive line on COTE WOOD (N.Line) 

The remains of Btn relieved the line running N through CARPEZA COPSE & got into .... with right and left joining our one remaining coy. This coy was re... to to forwards & re... line 500 W of FRERVAQUE FARM to HESBECOURT - MAGICOURT Road. Btn HQ CARPEZA COPSE.
.... of Btn now found to be 12 officers & 150 ORs. on night of 21/3/18. 2 squadrens of dismounted cavalry joined  as reinforcements.
This line was held until morning of 22/3/18, unit surrounded on three sides owing to heavy mist which delined at dusk 21/3/18. 

C.A. Anderton Capt"

Remembering, too, my Mum's uncle, Thomas Harding - reported Killed in Action during WWI. Cannot trace his military records to confirm when or where he fought and died.