Service for battle centenary

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The Sleaford branch of the Royal British Legion has arranged to hold a short service at the town’s cemetery 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 will be blown at 1pm to commemorate the time when the boys went ‘over the top’ in the Battle of Loos, explained branch chairman Clive Candlin.

Mr Candlin said: “I understand from Rev Philip Johnson, Vicar of Sleaford, that there are six servicemen from the battle who are buried in the Eastgate Cemetery, so it is possible their descendants may be amongst the local population.”

The main loss of life was on October 13, 1915, in a push on the last day of the battle, to attack the heavily fortified high ground known as the Hohenzollern Redoubt. Sadly the preceding artillery barrage and gas attack proved ineffective and the soldiers were mown down in No Man’s Land by machine guns. Many brothers, fathers and sons, uncles and cousins recruited from the same communities all died together and few have known graves.