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Remembering the fallen men of two villages

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One hundred years on since the last year of “the war to end all wars,” a researcher is to commemorate the lives of villagers who were among the fallen.

The backgrounds of men from Burniston and Cloughton who signed up for World War One will be shared at a meeting on Saturday February 1, with requests for their families to join in with any mementoes or tales.

Andy Volans, of Burniston, a semi-retired doctor who was the clinical lead in emergency medicine at Scarborough hospital, said Cloughton saw 85 villagers join up and 13 are recorded on the war memorial. In Burniston, 45 men served and four were recorded as not returning.

Of the Cloughton family of Collier, seven men enlisted. Two appear on the war memorial, Francis and John. Dr Volans said: “John disappears from the records when he was 24 years old. Francis has two different life stories from the records. I hope that some of the surviving family are still in the area and can attend the event and perhaps shed light on them.”

At the meeting taking place at the Red Lion in Cloughton from 7.30pm, Dr Volans will also share his research on 2nd Lt Adam Frazer Gordon, of Moorfield House, Burniston.

“He was with the 10th Btn North Lancashire Regiment. He was killed supporting Lt Proctor in a company-sized assault on German trenches at Bazentine le Grand on the Somme, on August 11 1916 during the Somme Offensive.”

There is also the tragic case of villager, William Hurd, a corporal, of Newlands Farm, Cloughton. He married Isabel Readman in December 1917 and went to serve with the 1st Btn East Yorkshire Regiment in August 1918 at the start of the German retreat from the Somme.

“The Germans held the advance with artillery and gas and caused three officers and 27 soldiers to be killed, either outright or from wounds,” said Dr Volans. “William died at a casualty Clearing Station two days after the assault.”

The event on February 17 will raise funds for soldiers’ charity ABF (formerly the Army Benevolent Fund), which supports soldiers, veterans and their families.

For the past four years, Dr Volans has taken part in a sponsored walk across the World War One battlefields, and will be taking part in October this year – following the route of the 100-day retreat by the Germans between August and November 1918.