BURSCOUGH man Robert Ashton was killed in action on August 6 1914, aged 21. The son of Thomas and Anne Ashton, Robert was the first West Lancashire man to die in the war.
He was killed while serving on board the HMS Amphion. The Germans used a ‘steamer’ disguised under the Danish flag of neutrality during the attack.
Lathom man Frederick Chidgey was killed in action on November 2 1918, aged 19. John and Margaret Chidgey’s son was buried at Orrs British cemetery.
Private Chidgey, who fought in the 19th Lancashire Fusiliers, did not know that he took part in one of the truly epic actions of the war.
He crossed the Sambre Canal against well dug in enemy. Ffour Victoria Crosses were awarded to the Fusiliers and Engineers who constructed a floating bridge.
Private Edward Pye 18th Lancashire Hussars Bn Kings ( Liverpool) Regt was declared dead or wounded on November 8 1918.
Edward was born in Burscough and lived in Ormskirk.
He was one of 16 men killed when his battalion fought its last action at Marbaix to the east of Le Cateau on November 8. They met fierce resistance.
A day earlier Private Richard Robinson of the 4th Kings (Liverpool) Regt died while a prisoner of war at Halle in Germany. Richard was born in Burscough and later lived in Ormskirk.
Several leading historians have argued that the men who died during November 1918 lost their lives in vain. I disagree. Although the armistice came on November 11, the men fighting in the trenches in the days did not know it was coming.
I think that some historians rely too much on hindsight.