Remembrance

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    My great uncle, Francis John Maskell was born in 1898, growing up, going to school and working as a farm labourer in the small village of West Ilsley in Berkshire, England.
    In June 1916, he left the village for the first time in his life, travelling to the nearby town of Wantage to enlist in the army, joining the Royal Berkshire Regiment. After basic training, he served in France with both the 2nd & 6th Battalions.

    At the end of January 1917, the 6th Battalion had 2 men killed and 13 wounded when an enemy shell landed on their dug-out entrance while they were exchanging positions with the 1st Bedfords near Martinsart on the Somme. Uncle Frank was one of the 13 wounded and he died of his wounds on 6th February 1917, aged just 19.

    In March 2008 I visited the Commonwealth War Graves Commission 'Blighty Valley Cemetery' at Authuile Wood with my father and brother. The cemetery is typical of the very many small cemeteries on the Somme and now contains 1,027 burials and commemorations, with 536 of the burials being unidentified.

    After the war it was calculated that during the Battle of the Somme 419,654 British and 204,253 French were killed, wounded, or taken prisoner; and of the 623,907 total casualties, 146,431 were either killed or missing. What a tragic waste; they were all heroes!
    www.cwgc.org/search/cemetery_details.aspx?cemetery=18500&...

    1. raggi di sole 54 months ago | reply

      Great photo and accompanying text - these things should never be forgotten.

    2. excellentzebu1050 54 months ago | reply

      Very special story ! Indeed these things should never
      be forgotten !!!!
      That is a fact !!! well done steve

    3. Fletty Flicks 54 months ago | reply

      Thank you for posting and sharing this with us - yes a tragic waste!

    4. Grandpops Woodlice 54 months ago | reply

      On a lot smaller scale it is still going on , I live just out side of Wootton Bassett, where a steady stream of dead come back in from the wars :o(
      Sure makes you think !!! Well done you..

    5. Jus'fi 54 months ago | reply

      What a very special and personal story .... today he will be remembered by all!

    6. kcc5 54 months ago | reply

      A great reminder of something we should never ever forget

    7. atrebatus 54 months ago | reply

      I'm glad you were able to visit with your Dad and brother. Very moving tale.

    8. Lisa Lawley 31 months ago | reply

      It's tragic to see the scale of those lost in battle so that we could be free. I fear that unless attitudes change, little will protect the future of human existence.

    9. Katie-Rose 30 months ago | reply

      How lucky you are to know all this information and have been able to visit the cemetary.
      I too lost a Great Uncle in WW1 but don't know anything about him.

    10. Fiona kent-Ledger 30 months ago | reply

      thankyou for sharing - So nice that you got the chance to go there and tribute to him.

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