We will remember them.

We will remember them.

Loretto Junior School pupil, Josh Roberston and his father have recently returned from a pilgrimage to visit Lorettonian graves in Belgium. Below is an account of their visit.

9th November 2017

A visit to Dozingham Military Cemetery to attended the following graves:
CAPTAIN ROBERT RAIMES JACKSON, M.C., R.F.A., was born in January 1893 and was at Loretto 1908 to 1912. Prefect. XV. Captain XI. Sergeant, O.T.C. Later he played for the Liverpool and Lancashire County XV's. He was commissioned in the 4th (Reserve) Battalion The King's Liverpool Regiment at the outbreak of war, but was early wounded in the foot and permanently injured, so transferred later to the R.F.A. Captain Jackson was wounded in the first, second and third years of the war, and won the Military Cross. He had only just recovered from the third wound and resumed duty when he was hit by a piece of shell on October 31st 1917, whilst in command of his Battery, and died on November 1st 1917.

CAPTAIN JOHN PRIOR JAMIESON, 3rd (attached 1st) Battalion, The King's Own Royal Lancashire Regiment, was born in September 1890 and was at Loretto 1905–1908. After leaving School he joined the Special Reserve and was gazetted to the 3rd King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment in 1910. He went to Flanders in August 1914 with the 1st Battalion of his Regiment (4th Division British Expeditionary Force) and was wounded on the Aisne, rejoining the Battalion on recovery. During the 3rd Battle of Ypres, a big Allied attack was made between the Ypres-Roulers railway and Houthulst Forest on the October 12th 1917. Captain Jamieson, who took part in it, was wounded near Poelcappelle and died of his wounds on October 13th 1917.

Yesterday is history. 
Tomorrow a mystery. 
Today is a gift, that is why it is called
‘The present’.

Today a visit Ploegsteert Memorial and to commemorate Captain Henderson.

CAPTAIN WILLIAM ALEXANDER HENDERSON, 1st Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, was born in December 1876, was at Loretto 1891–94 and afterwards went to St Andrew's University, and later to Oriel College, Oxford. He was a keen cricketer and an exceptionally fine golfer. At Muirfield, he defeated Jerome Travers, the American Amateur Champion, in the Championship Meeting of 1909. Gazetted to the 1st Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in February 1900, he served with them in South Africa. He was killed during a night attack on a German trench in Ploegsteert Wood on November 10th 1914. His body was not recovered until December 26th 1914, during the unofficial Christmas truce.

Afterwards there was a visit Godezonne Farm Cemetery where Josh delivered a presentation in respect of 2nd Lieutenant Charles Edward Hedderwick. He thereafter planted a Loretto cross and played his pipes.

2nd LIEUTENANT CHARLES STUART HEDDERWICK, 2nd Battalion The Royal Scots, was born in November 1889 and was at Loretto 1904–1908. He went to France with Headquarters 4th Army Corps as a motorcyclist in October 1914. In November he was given a temporary commission in the 2nd Royal Scots, 3rd Division British Expeditionary Force. At about 11.15 p.m. on February 28th 1915, a bright, moon-lit night, Lieutenant Hedderwick's platoon were being relieved in the trenches. The Germans were only 100 yards away and several of his men were wounded as they left the trench. He did not march off with his platoon but stayed to assist the wounded, lying exposed to fire. Whilst thus engaged he was shot through the head and killed instantly.

In the afternoon, Josh and his father visited Hooge Cemetery where they commemorated 2nd LIEUTENANT FRANCIS ALEXANDER COCHRAN, 1st Battalion, The Gordon Highlanders. He was born in August 1895 and was at Loretto from 1909 to 1914. He was in the XV and the Shooting VIII and a Sergeant in the O.T.C. At the outbreak of war he entered the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, and was gazetted to the Gordon Highlanders early in 1915.

He joined the 1st Battalion of his Regiment (3rd Div. British Expeditionary Force) at Ypres in June 1915. Lieutenant Cochran was Battalion Bombing Officer and, on September 25th 1915, was leading his bombers to the attack, near Hooge. During the fight he was wounded in the right arm, but continued to throw bombs from his left until shot again, through the head, and killed.

Afterwards they toured the battlefield and were up to their knees in Flanders mud learning about the battle of Sanctuary Wood.

10th November 2017

Josh and his father visited Tyne Cot Cemetery and the grave of 2nd LIEUTENANT CHARLES WILFRID GUTHRIE, The Royal Scots.

He was born in January 1898 and was at Loretto from 1913 to 1916. House Prefect. Corporal, O.T.C. Before leaving Loretto, he passed his Matriculation at Balliol College, Oxford, and was, on leaving, awarded a Craigielands Scholarship. He obtained a commission in a Battalion of the Royal Scots and went to France in June 1917. On August 1st 1917, his Company was surrounded by the enemy and Lieutenant Guthrie was the last officer left with it He was wounded three times before he was finally shot through the head and killed.

The next visit was to Vapour Farm where Josh learned a little about the beginning of the Battle of Passchendaele and even found a piece of shrapnel in the mud!

Old Lorettonians remembered at the Menin Gate.

Josh laid a wreath on behalf of Loretto School at the Menin Gate.

There are eight Old Lorettonians on the panels at the gate, which commemorates those soldiers whose bodies were never recovered to be buried.

The fallen remembered are:

Private Oliver Fyson 
2nd Lieutenant Leonard Maurice Powell
2nd Lieutenant George Henry Gordon Birrell
Lieutenant Thomas Buchanan Renwick
Lieutenant Hugh John Sladen Shields
Captain John Percy Whelan
Captain Percy Lionel Moubray
Captain John Arthur Orr

It should be noted that the approximate number of names on memorials - like the Menin Gate and Tyne Cot - total approximately 120,000.

It should also be noted that within all the cemeteries on the Western Front there approximately 60,000 headstones which refer to ‘An Unknown Soldier of The Great War’ (bodies recovered but not identified).

This means that there are still in the region of 60,000 soldiers whose bodies were never recovered (almost full capacity at Murrayfield).

11th November 2017

Journey’s end.

The pilgrimage ended with the Remembrance Service St George’s Memorial Church, Ypres.

Within the church is a plaque dedicated to the 147 Old Lorettonians who were killed in the Great War.

Josh’s father played the lament and then went up to the Ramparts Cemetery where we remembered Rose Coombes - who was the chief historian with the Imperial War Museum and responsible for cataloguing all of the cemeteries on the Western Front.

Rose wrote a book Before Endeavours Fade which is the ultimate guide to WWI cemeteries.

Josh played a lament for Karen Shrimpton, Rose’s niece, and a wreath was laid.

‘They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old.

Age shall not weary them nor the years condemn

At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them’



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