King's Own Royal Regiment Museum

Lancaster

HOME
Museum & Collections
Sales
Donations
Events
Contact Us



REGIMENTAL HISTORY
17th Century
18th Century
19th Century
20th Century
First World War
Second World War
Actions & Movements
Battle Honours

FAMILY HISTORY
Resources
Further Reading

PHOTO GALLERY
ENQUIRIES
FURTHER READING
LINKS

© Images are copyright, Trustees of the King's Own Royal Regiment Museum.
 You must seek permission prior to publication of any of our images.

The First Casualties

Even before troops arrived on the Western Front, or other theatres of operations, the Regiment sustained fatalities.  Both the 4th and 5th Battalions were sent to guard the Great Western Railway in August 1914 and a number of Territorial Force soldiers died whilst there.

The very first fatality of the King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment in the First World War is Private James Hall.

Private James Hall, 5th Battalion, King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment.  Age 19 years, suicide at home at Pilling, Lancashire, 6th August 1914.  Full details of the tragic story.

4th Battalion, King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment:

The 4th Battalion were allocated a 30 mile section of the railway line from London Paddington to Twyford, with Headquarters established at Slough. 

From the 4th Battalion history "It was not to be expected that men fresh from the country, many of whom had never seen an express train before, could carry out these duties on a section of line such as the one for which the Battalion was responsible, without some casualties occurring. During the time the Battalion was employed on this duty several good men lost their lives in the service of their country, who would no doubt have preferably made the same sacrifice, had the opportunity been given them, against a more vulnerable fore than an express train."

The fatalities below are shown in date order:

Sergeant James Tindall, number 1005, 4th Battalion, King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, died 17th August 1914 , struck by train at London Paddington.  Age 22.
Born Liverpool; Enlisted Ulverston.  Buried in Ulverston Cemetery.

Lance Corporal Thomas Ward, number 1988, died 31st August 1914, 4th Battalion, King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, accidentally shot at Slough.
Born Penrith; enlisted Grange over Sands.  Buried in St. Cuthbert's Churchyard, Cliburn.

FATAL ACCIDENT TO LOCAL TERRITORIAL. Lance-Corporal Thomas Ward, of Grange, was shot by a sentry about 9:20 pm on Monday, at a railway bridge on the Great Western Railway, between Slough and Burnham Beeches. He was in charge of the guard at the bridge in question and was taking a look round before turning in. The sentry seeing someone coming, and not knowing who it was, challenged three times, but got no response, and then fired. The bullet passed through the stomach, just above the belt, and stuck the bridge behind, death resulting in a few minutes. It is not known whether deceased heard the sentry's challenge or not, but it is thought possible that he thought someone on the road below was being challenged. At the inquest Private Fred Benson of Broughton-in Cartmel (the sentry) described how he challenged the lance-corporal and he received no reply, and in consequence fired. A verdict of "Justifiable homicide" was returned. The deceased was a native of Temple Sowerby, and the interment* took place there on Thursday. The news of the tragedy was received in Grange with great regret, deceased being a well known and popular young man. He was in the employ of Dr. Lowther, of Fernleigh, as a gardener, and was known as a capable and enthusiastic horticulturist.
*Lance Corporal Thomas Ward, was not buried at Temple Sowerby, but at St. Cuthbert's Churchyard, Cliburn, Cumberland.

Private Harry Kendall, number 2280, 4th Battalion, King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, died 9th September 1914, accidentally at Slough. Age 18.
Born Millom; Enlisted Ulverston.  Buried in Holy Trinity Churchyard, Millom.

Sergeant Leonard Overall Byng Atkinson, number 476, 4th Battalion, King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, died 18th September 1914, accidentally at Slough.  Age 29.
Born Seacombe, Cheshire; enlisted Barrow in Furness.  Buried in Rake Lane Cemetery, Wallasey.

Private William Martindale, number 2161, 4th Battalion, King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, died 26th September 1914, accidentally at Slough.
Born Millom; Enlisted Millom.  Buried in Holy Trinity Churchyard, Millom.

Corporal Thomas Bett, number 1993, 4th Battalion, King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, died 17th October 1914, accidentally at Slough.
Born South Shields; Enlisted Barrow in Furness. Buried in Barrow in Furness Cemetery.

Private Charlie Keith, number 1856, 4th Battalion, King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, died 21st October 1914, accidentally at Slough.
Born Lindale; Enlisted Grange over Sands.  Buried in St. Paul Churchyard, Lindale.

Private John Robert Singleton, number 1577, 4th Battalion, King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, died 19th November 1914 on railway near Slough.  Age 20.
Born Belfast; Enlisted Barrow in Furness.  Buried in Barrow in Furness Cemetery.

North Lancashire Territorial Killed
The death of another Territorial, who was killed on the line at the end of a viaduct near Hanwell Station, on the Great Western Railway, was inquired into at a Paddington inquest on Saturday. The deceased was Private John Robert Singleton, aged 20, of the King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment (Territorials), and a native of Barrow in Furness. It was stated that he went on duty at nine o’clock on Thursday morning as sentry, and ten minutes later, after an express train to Reading had passed, another sentry saw him lying in the middle of the line. He was conveyed to Bishops Road Station in another train, but was dead on arrival. Captain Pearson said the work was very dangerous unless the men exercised very great care. To carry out his duties properly it might have been necessary for Singleton to cross the lines. The driver of the express train said Singleton was walking on the opposite line to that along which the train was travelling, and suddenly crossed the six foot way and stepped in front of the engine. Witness had been sounding his whistle for some distance – A verdict of “Accidental death” was returned.
Lancaster Guardian 28th November 1914

5th Battalion, King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment

Private Albert Gordon, number 1817, 5th Battalion, King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, died 29th August 1914, on railway near Uffington, struck by train.
Born Euston, London; Enlisted Lancaster. Buried in Uffington Churchyard, Vale of the White Horse.

Morecambe Territorial Killed
Arthur Gordon, a lance corporal in F Company, 5th Battalion, Royal Lancaster Regiment Territorials, and residing in Morecambe West End, was knocked down and killed by a train whilst guarding a bridge of the Great Western Railway near Farrington, Berkshire, on Saturday night.
Lancaster Guardian, 5th September 1914.

Private Ernest Halton, number 1416, 5th Battalion, King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, died 30th September 1914 on railway, struck by train.
Born Carnforth; Enlisted Garstang. Buried at Calder Vale, Lancashire.

Private James Walton, number 1091, 5th Battalion, King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, died 30th September 1914 on railway, struck by train.
Born Preston; Enlisted Garstang. Buried at Calder Vale, Lancashire.

Private John Huartson, number 1741, 5th Battalion, King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, died 30th September 1914 on railway, struck by train.
Born St. Thomas’ Lancaster; Enlisted Lancaster. Buried in Lancaster Cemetery.

Private Harold Snowden, number 1718, 5th Battalion, King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, died 19th October 1914, accidentally killed on railway.
Born Keighley; Enlisted Morecambe. Buried in St. John the Baptist Churchyard, Grove, Berkshire.

 

 

Only a proportion of our collections are on display at anyone time.  Certain items are on loan for display in other institutions.  An appointment is required to consult any of our collections which are held in store.

© 2014 Trustees of the King's Own Royal Regiment Museum