Earlestown War Memorial
The Great War Roll of Honour
On the 16th of June 1915, the 1st/4th South Lancashire Regiment
took part in their first major action of the Great War, officially called
the “First Attack on
Bellewaarde” but often referred to as Hooge. The regimental casualties
from the action were 1 officer (Lieut. E. L. Frost) and 29 other ranks killed,
and 9 officers and 237 other ranks wounded. Among the 1st/4th dead were Pte.
Samuel Pierce, Pte. Arthur Alldred, and Pte. Gilbert Harding, while Pte. William
Charnley, of the 10th
King’s (Liverpool Regiment), was also killed. Pte. Clement Elliott
died of his wounds on 2nd July.
Private Samuel Pierce was married with two young children. He was born in Holywell, Flint, but at the time of his death, his father lived at Stanley Street in Earlestown. Previous to joining up, Samuel had worked at the Viaduct Works, but had also worked as a striker at the Vulcan. He is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial at Ieper, Belgium.
Private Percy Pierce, Samuel’s brother, was also in France, and wrote a letter home, which was published in the “Newton and Earlestown Guardian” on 25th June 1915, and is reproduced below. By coincidence, the previous week, the same newspaper published a letter from Samuel himself.
Just a few lines to let you know that I have the painful duty to let you know that our Sam was killed in action this morning. I am very glad to tell you that he died without any pain. He had a very peaceful smile on his face, and he is buried on the ground where the battle of Waterloo was fought ….. (censored) ….. Now, dear dad, I don’t want you to take this too much to heart, for we are only one family out of about 8,000 that is fixed in the same position. We got the order to capture four lines of trenches, and when we were charging the last line he got hit in the neck with what they call a “Wizz Bang”. Dear dad, you might keep it from Mamma for a short time, and tell her that he has been wounded, and when she is strong enough, break it to her gently. Dear dad, you don’t know what a blow it has been for me, for he did more for me out here than anybody, and I thought the world of him, and to think that I should lose him now. Would to God that it was all over. We were under artillery fire for over 24 hours, and that we have come out alive is a miracle. I have no more to say this time, my heart is too full.
Your loving son, Percy.