Canadian regiment joins campaign to buy memorial plaque for forgotten East Lancs soldiers

Saskatchewan’s 27th Light Horse Regiment, 1914

Saskatchewan’s 27th Light Horse Regiment, 1914

First published in News Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A BID to commemorate three forgotten East Lancashire soldiers from the First World War has been taken up across ‘the pond’.

Members of The Royal Regina Rifles in the Canadian province of Saskat-chewan have joined the campaign to raise £1,300 for a bronze plaque to be put up in Simonstone to remember the trio from the village.

Lance Corporal Robert Breckell died in September 15, 1916, after serving in the Saskatchewan Regiment of the Canadian army, a predecessor to The Royal Regina Rifles.

It is believed the former weaver emigrated shortly before war broke out in 1914, but it is not known where he is buried.

Ernest Thistlethwaite, 28, was serving in the 1429 Household Battalion when he died from his wounds on May 24, 1917, at Etaples, in Northern France.

And Gilbert Yates, described as a ‘turner’, was serving with the 2nd Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment, when he died on March 22, 1915, near Rouen.

The Canadian troops held a mess night in their dress uniforms on Friday and another fundraiser the next day to collect money for the plaque.

Simonstone Parish Council has also received a pledge for half of the money from the Household Cavalry Association for the North West and West Yorkshire.

The parish council’s chairman, David Peat, said: “The Canadian High Commission has been very helpful in getting us in contact with the regiment.

“They have been absolutely fantastic and they have already sent us a cheque for £370.

“The troops wore replica First World War regimental badges at the weekend which was great.

“We have had two thirds of the money already pledged but we want to get the local schools and businesses involved too.

“It’s vital that we commemorate the three soldiers and it’s important that we try and get the whole community involved.”

The names were discovered to be missing from the existing memorial at St Peter’s Church by local historians Brian Jeffrey and Richard Mathews.

Comments (1)

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1:14pm Tue 20 May 14

noddy57 says...

all these old or should l say young soldiers should never be forgotten, after all they gave their lives many never got a chance to live out their teenage years, a nice touch from the Canadians .
all these old or should l say young soldiers should never be forgotten, after all they gave their lives many never got a chance to live out their teenage years, a nice touch from the Canadians . noddy57
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