Centenary service held in Sleaford for losses by Lincolnshire Regiment in Battle of Loos

The Sleaford branch of the Royal British Legion held a short, poignant service at the town’s cemetery today (Tuesday) to mark the centenary since the biggest loss of life in one battle for the Lincolnshire Regiment during the First World War.

Gathering at 12.45pm on October 13, a whistle was blown by branch chairman Clive Candlin at 1pm to commemorate the time when the boys went ‘over the top’ to attack the heavily fortified ‘Hohenzollern Redoubt’ in the German lines where sadly over 300 members of the Territorial Army section of the Regiment were killed and countless more injured.

The Royal British Legion branch standard is lowered in remembrance at the Sleaford Cemetery service for the Battle of Loos centenary. EMN-151013-172247001

The Royal British Legion branch standard is lowered in remembrance at the Sleaford Cemetery service for the Battle of Loos centenary. EMN-151013-172247001

Tragically, the preceding artillery barrage and gas attack proved ineffective and the soldiers were mown down in No Man’s Land by machine guns.

A number of relatives of those involved in the action, including one who was injured, attended the service. A wreath was laid by Mayor of Sleaford Coun Garry Titmus, himself a former member of HM Armed Forces.

Rev Philip Johnson, Vicar of Sleaford, listed the names of six servicemen from the battle whose graves are in the Eastgate cemetery.

They were: Cpl Robert Arthur Coy, 24, of Mareham Terrace, Pt Edward Vernon Cracknell, 20, of Eastgate, William Dickenson, Pt James Melbourne Pask, 20, of Holdingham, Cpl Charles Neal Stanyon, 26, of Leasingham Moor, and Pt Thomas Townsend, 20, of Handley Street.

Residents pay their respects during the centenary service for Sleaford soldiers who died in the Battle of Loos on October 13, 1915. EMN-151013-172259001

Residents pay their respects during the centenary service for Sleaford soldiers who died in the Battle of Loos on October 13, 1915. EMN-151013-172259001

There was a pause for silence and the words of the Ode of Remembrance were said by Mr Candlin.

Vicar of Sleaford Rev Phillip Johnson leads the centenary service for the Battle of Loos. EMN-151013-172236001

Vicar of Sleaford Rev Phillip Johnson leads the centenary service for the Battle of Loos. EMN-151013-172236001

A wreath laid by Mayor of Sleaford, Coun Garry Titmus for Sleaford soldiers who died during the Battle of Loos on its centenary. EMN-151013-172216001

A wreath laid by Mayor of Sleaford, Coun Garry Titmus for Sleaford soldiers who died during the Battle of Loos on its centenary. EMN-151013-172216001