James joined the army age 16. He was wounded at Gallipoli in 1915 and served the remainder of the war on the Western Front. He volunteered to fight after the end of the Great War and was killed in action fighting with anti-Bolshevik forces in Russia. His brother was one of those saved when the Royal Edward sank.
Fred was born in Oswaldtwistle and the family moved to Burnley in 1902. He saw action in Gallipoli, then Mesopotamia. His family received his last letter from there 16th May, 1916. Fred accidentally drowned in the River Tigris a month later. The news of his death, in common with virtually all those from Burnley, was reported in the local press. As the deaths increased, in number the obituaries got shorter.
Sandy, as Alfred was known, was in the Territorials at the start of the war and he was to fight in the Gallipoli campaign. He said he was the last man to witness the death of Burnley VC winner Victor Smith (see previous post). He later served on the Western Front where the sketch was made and sent home as a Christmas greeting. Sandy was temporarily blinded by mustard gas but recovered to survive into his eighties. He once attributed Read more>>
The men were soon fighting in Gallipoli. Within a few weeks six were dead. One was to die in France in 1917. Alan Rodgers (back right) lived on Scott Park Road with his mother and father Robert (front, third from right). Robert wrote to his wife from Gallipoli, “Alan still missing. No news. Fear the worst. Am well.” Alan’s body was never found, and he is commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli.