Lancashire Evening Post : 2019-08-14

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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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