Every day on the British Army Ancestors Facebook page I take time to commemorate a British soldier. This post will look at three of the men I have remembered recently; from left to right: Samuel Meekosha, Lawrence Brotherton and Alfred Hackett.
22 year old 1147 Sgt Samuel Meekosha of the 1/6th West Yorkshire Regiment was photographed at Buckingham Palace, London on the 4th March 1916 where he had been summoned to receive his Victoria Cross. This from Wikipedia:
“On 19 November 1915 near the Yser, France, Corporal Meekosha was with a platoon of about 20 NCOs and men holding an isolated trench. During a very heavy bombardment six of the platoon were killed and seven wounded, while the rest were more or less buried. When there were no senior NCOs left in action Corporal Meekosha took command, sent for help and in spite of more big shells falling within 20 yards of him, continued to dig out the wounded and buried men in full view of and at close range from the enemy. He was assisted by Privates Johnson, Sayers and Wlkinson who were all awarded the DCM. Their courage saved at least four lives.”
The two women in this photo, colourised by Doug Banks, are probably his mother and sister, both named Mary. Samuel Meekosha was a reluctant hero who later, in 1942, changed his name to Ingam. He died in 1950 at the young age of 57.
This soldier with the movie star looks is 626453 Dvr Lawrence Brotherton of the Honourable Artillery Company who died in the military hospital at Chapeltown barracks, Leeds on the 16th September 1918 before he’d even set foot overseas. He was 34 years old. The Commonwealth War Graves commission adds the additional information that he was the “son of William and Mary U. Brotherton, of 34, Newcomen Terrace, Redcar; husband of Doris M. Brotherton, of “Braybrooke,” Normanton Rd., South Croydon. Born at Bishop Auckland.” He is buried at Coatham (Christ Church) Cemetery in Yorkshire.
4857 Sgt Alfred George Thomas Hackett was born in Nuneaton, Warwickshire in 1876 and joined the East Surrey Regiment in London on the 29th August 1894, subsequently serving overseas in Malta and South Africa. In this photograph, which was taken in Standerton, Transvaal, Alfred’s QSA medal ribbon can clearly be seen. He served 12 years in the army and was discharged, time-expired, on the 28th August 1906.