25 Wednesday, August 14, 2019 www.lep.co.uk LANCASHIRE POST 25 Wednesday, August 14, 2019 RETRO lep.co.uk | facebook.com/lancashireeveningpost | @leponline teenager sent to war ter almost 90 years and is bacjk in print thanks to the detective work of relative Gaye Magnall as she explains here 1/4th Loyal North Lancashiresoldiers photographed behind the Western Frontbefore heading off to take part in the Battle of the Somme in the summer of 1916 would alter the name completely. That would also happen with the dates of death – most have been changed. In a letter to Thomas Hope Floyd (also a former soldier and author) Tilsley makes the point that in some published works a little more care could have been taken in the spelling of place names, etc., so clearly his changes in chronology were not just mistakes. In the Floyd correspondence there is reference to the ‘binge’ and ‘march’ of June 15 - 16,1917, which are also spoken of in the Regimental Book although what isn’t mentioned is that not only were the men marching in the broiling sun with a full backpack but most will have been suffering from their indulgences of the night before! Tilsley’s pen does a fine job in describing his fellow soldier’s personalities. At the opening of the book the reader is given a mental image of ‘Get fell in’ that in life is authenticated by a photograph of CSM James Elĳah Farnworth and a footnote in the Regimental War History ‘A man of arresting personality, steeped in Army tradition, and the possessor of a biting tongue’. ‘Stivvy’ – Vincent Stephenson a solid, salt of the earth type, is backed by the recollections from his widow Ann and recounted to me by her nieces. Some of the men such as James Hartley MM are only mentioned fleetingly; he survived the war and so didn’t leave a paper trail. Unfortunately although he was awarded the Military Medal, as both his names are common I have been unable to trace him. I think anyone who found that their relative had served in the trenches on the Somme and at Ypres would find a good account of their time and conditions in Tilsley’s Other Ranks. I would like to think that over 100 years on, Tilsley’s homage to the men he served with will be read by their descendents and others for many years to come. If anyone can give additional information to the ‘Men behind the characters’ please contact: otherranks[email protected] See next week’s Retro for an exclusive extract from the book. Other Ranks by W.V.Tilsley is published by Uniform an imprint of Unicorn Publishing Group at £14.99 l Aftermath ofthe Battle of the Somme
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