THE LINACRE MISSION CHUMS

Linacre Chum - Percy Poyser (front left)
Hospital Ship 'Drina'

Graphics by Ronnie Cusworth 2004
 
' IN FLANDERS FIELDS '


In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.


by Lt. Col. John McCrae
Canadian Army Medical Corps
 
Poppy Field - Trèvoux, France

Graphic by Ronnie Cusworth 2004


T
HEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVERMORE
One Hundred & Seven Linacre Mission & Wesleyan Sunday School Chums Fell during The Great War 1914 -1918
Remembered here are Twelve of those Chums
 
Graphics by Ronnie Cusworth 2004
W.G.A. Smith
1599 Pte William G.A. Smith, 87th Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps
Killed in Action on the night of 21st August 1915, while bearing a stretcher. He was hit in the neck, and died a few hours later. A letter from his Major states that he died a glorious death, and his comrade said that his end was peace.
   We greatly regret that one whom so many of us thought of with loving memories, and whose young live was full of bright promise, should have been called away. We shall ever be proud of Will Smith. Our prayer is that God may comfort and bless the sorrowing, mother, sisters and brothers, and that Cyril Smith, who is now in France, may be preserved from all evil.”


 
Graphics by Ronnie Cusworth 2004
Every Scout knows the meaning of this sign. We put it to the name of our old Scoutmaster, W.G.A. Smith, who is the first member of the 41st Liverpool Troop to have lost his life on the field of battle. Will Smith was busily engaged, not as a combatant, but as a stretcher bearer, carrying out his work of mercy when the sudden call summoned him into the presence of the King. Since he was a child he was a member of the Sunday School. When he reached the Young Men's Class he volunteered as a teacher afterwards being elected a co-secretary and appointed Scoutmaster. He won affection of all who worked with him. We shall not be able to visit his grave, but we shall always hold his memory dear.”
William M. Parkinson, Scout Master 41st Liverpool Troop, Linacre Mission

 
Graphics by Ronnie Cusworth 2004

Will Smith & Pte J. Smith were attached to the 87th (1st West Lancashire) Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps. The 1st West Lancashire Field Ambulance was a pre-war Territorial Force unit.
I am an utter stranger to you, but I am writing to inform you of the death of my greatest chum, Will Smith, who was killed whilst doing his duty on the night of August 21st.
   He and I had been working together the whole of the day, and were coming back from the wagon rendezvous to our own aid post, when he was struck in the neck by a bullet. He fell immediately and never spoke again. I believe he was unconscious. With the aid of another chap who was close by he was dressed and carried to the aid post, but passed away shortly afterwards. I feel his loss very keenly, but what a blow it must be for his own people at home. God grant them strength to bear up against it. Will indeed was a bright soul. One couldn't be in the dumps when he was near. He often used to talk to me about the people of Linacre, and especially of the time when he was Scoutmaster. He never forgot the good times at Linacre. Your 'Record' was eagerly looked forward to by him, and indeed all our boys took a great interest in it. I should deem it a great kindness if you would continue to send it out addressed to me. Will was quietly laid to rest close to where he fell, the C/O conducting the service, and a cross was erected over his grave.
1602 Pte J. Smith, C Section, 87th Field Ambulance, 29th Division
Will Smith lived at 126 Hornby Boulevard and was aged 24 when killed - He is buried in Green Hill Cemetery, Gallipoli, Turkey

Graphics by Ronnie Cusworth 2004
6156 Coy Sgt Major William Richard Harrison, 5th Battalion, Wiltshire Regiment
Killed in Action at the Dardanelles on August 10th 1915, leaving a widow and six little children. He was a regular member of the old Tannery Bible Class, which he joined more than 15 years ago. We deeply sympathise with Mrs Harrison, and pray that she may be greatly supported in her grief by the never-failing promises of a loving God.”

MEDALS AWARDED
1914-15 Star - British War Medal - Victory Medal
1914-15 Star     British War Medal     Victory Medal
William Richard Harrison lived at 17 Rydal Street and has no known grave - He is commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey

Ten Chums
Who Returned Home
Ten Chums Who Remained In Foreign Lands
Graphics by Ronnie Cusworth 2004
G. Holdsworth
19783 Pte Reginald George BEYNON, 1st Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers
By this you see we've not been in the trenches yet. We only stopped one night at the base, and had a day and night in the train. The train stopped at meal times, and it was comical to see the fellows cooking and eating food on the railway lines. We have been to the trenches at night carrying stuff from the transports. It has been hard work. The most exciting time was to see the shelling, by the enemy, of an observation balloon. We have sometimes been startled by the loud reports from our artillery behind us when on night work, so you see we are getting to be old soldiers. Kindly convey my best wishes to all workers in the Mission.”
Killed in Action France & Flanders 3rd September 1916
Graphics by Ronnie Cusworth 2004
D. Roberts
19742 Pte Thomas Hatton GREENHALGH, 2nd Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers
We have no much time to ourselves, it is all work out here, but I reckon it is our duty if we are going to win this awful war. What time I have to spare is spent in the Y.M.C.A. and Boys' Brigade huts, in which I am going to a service when I have finished this letter. There are many temptations here but I thank God my will is strong enough to reject them. I pray God will be with you in the work at Linacre, and trust that the Soldiers' Home will prosper all the time. Wishing you all good health and good luck.
Killed in Action France & Flanders 25th September 1915
Graphics by Ronnie Cusworth 2004
Sam Walkley
12097 Pte Francis HUGHES, 13th Battalion King's (Liverpool) Regiment
Am pleased to see that all my schoolmates are going on well. We are all well, and doing a deal of work trenching. Last week was very wet, so you can imagine the state we were in, but we keep on smiling, and never give in although it is very trying at times, especially when the Germans take it in their heads to give us a good shelling. Kind regards to all my school chums.
Died of Wounds France & Flanders 4th July 1918
Graphics by Ronnie Cusworth 2004
Percy Poyser
8942 Pte John JOHNSON, 4th Battalion, King's (Liverpool) Regiment
I am glad to say that I am keeping well. My brother is out here, but not near the firing line. he is down at the base and I get letters from him every week. he says he will be coming up this way in a few days, so I will ask him to keep with me. We shall think of the old Mission where we went to school together, and ask God to bring us both back to it. God be with you all till we meet again”
Died of Wounds France & Flanders 20th May 1917
Graphics by Ronnie Cusworth 2004
J.R. Smith
357783 Pte Ernest LORD, 10th Battalion King's (Liverpool) Regiment
Glad to say that we are having a bit easier time than when we first came out here, and we have many things to be thankful to Almighty God for. I am to-day on guard. We are in a little French village surrounded by harvest fields, and it seems hard to believe that only a mile away are death and desruction being dealt out. My daily prayer is for a speedy (and if it be His will, a victorious) conclusion to it all.
Died of Wounds France & Flanders 4th September 1917
Graphics by Ronnie Cusworth 2004
Henry Pattinson
2370 Pte Thomas Henry LOVELADY, 7th Battalion King's (Liverpool) Regiment
Pleased to receive 'Record.' It is always a pleasure to read it. Glad to say I am in the best of health and spirits. Remember me to the L.M.M.”
Died of Wounds France & Flanders 21st June 1916
Graphics by Ronnie Cusworth 2004
W.T. Osborne
1830 Pte Griffith MORRIS, 7th Battalion King's (Liverpool) Regiment
I see a few of my old chum's names in the 'Record.' I am keeping well and hope always for the best. A. Morgan is fairly getting on since he joined the Army. I am with a few Wesleyans out here, so we do not feel lonely. With best love to Mr W E. Jones and the School.
Killed in Action France & Flanders 10th August 1916
Graphics by Ronnie Cusworth 2004
W. Shannon
1399 Rifleman Frederick PLEWS, 9th Battalion, King's Royal Rifle Corps
I am stationed 'somewhere in Belguim' and as regards the country I cannot say that I am much struck by its beauty. I would prefer to stay in Linacre than go to any place in Belguim. I have been out here just a month, and I long ago expected to come across a representative of Linacre, but have not yet done so, worse luck. I am just about getting used to the sensation of having shells flying all about. Kindly remember me to all my friends at Linacre. I don't think I shall be much longer that seven years (what?) before I am back again with you all. I never felt better in my life. Trusting you are all in the pink of condition.
Killed in Action France & Flanders 27th June 1916
Graphics by Ronnie Cusworth 2004
Oliver Frost
13464 Pte Thomas STOOPS, 12th Battalion, King's (Liverpool) Regiment
I am keeping in the best of health, and the weather here is champion. I cannot tell you where we are stationed, but we are not far from the firing line. Remember me to all at the mission.
Died of Wounds France & Flanders 17th September 1916
Graphics by Ronnie Cusworth 2004
W. Dinwoodie
8493 Driver F. Winterbourne, 112 Heavy Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery
“Hoping these few lines will find all the Mission workers in the best of health, as they leave me in the pink. I have been out here close on twelve months now, and have had seven slight wounds, but I thank God I am alright now. I wish you to pray for me that I may come back safe to my dear wife and child. Wishing the Sunday School every success. God be with us till we meet again.
Killed in Action France & Flanders
With grateful thanks to Mary Cotton, Archivist for Linacre Mission for the background information enabling me to write this memorial

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