The McCarthy brothers of Leyland Rd are my Mums Uncles, as is P Lavin (my Great Uncles) I have a copy of the Burnley Express with the article A family hard hit. My Grandmother called her first son James (who died in childhood) and her other son Thomas (who is now 87) after her two brothers who died. My mum can still remember her Uncle Mick of 11 Leyland Rd looking after her as a child whilst her mother worked in the factory at the top of Leyland Rd (my mum lived at 21)
KILLED IN A TRENCH.(Burnley Express 14 July 1915)
Death of a "Good Soldier"
On the eve of coming home for four days leave, Pte, James McCarthy, of the 1st East Lancashire Regiment of 51, Leyland Road, Burnley, has been killed in action somewhere on the Western front. The news was conveyed to his mother by Sergt. F.C. Scott, another Burnley man on Saturday morning. The sergeant wrote - "Dear Mrs. McCarthy, - I am sorry to inform you that your son, James (No. 6184 Pte. J. McCarthy), was killed yesterday morning, Tuesday, 6th July. You have no idea how sorry I am as he was such a good man for doing his duty and work, etc. I was holding a trench with - men, and there was a very heavy bombardment all day yesterday. Two shells dropped into the trench and killed eight men of my platoon. James was amongst them. Most of them were old hands and had done duty here since the start and they will be a great loss to me. But James will be a greater loss to you and also his poor wife. I called on his wife while I was on leave last February. Unfortunately, she was not at home, but I am living in hope to come out a visit if it is my luck to pull through all right.
I don't know the number of his wife's house so kindly break the news to her. You will hear from the War Office, but it may be a week or two. Please except my greatest sympathy to his wife. The remainder of the men in the Platoon wish to send their sympathy to you both. P.S -
When they were burying James this morning they found his wife's photo etc."
Pte. McCarthy who was 33 years of age, was a reservist, having been with the colours for seven years. He went through the South African War, and held the King and Queen's medals. His wife is left with three little children - a girl aged four, a boy aged three, and a little boy born after the father's departure to the western front and which the father never saw. The photo found on the dead soldier was that of his wife and three children. Before being called up Pte. McCarthy worked at Messrs. Cooper Bros. Foundry. Three of his brothers are in the Army, one of them Sergt. M. McCarthy, of the East Lancashire Regiment, having been wounded. The others Ptes. John and Thomas McCarthy, are in East Lancashire Battalions.
Only on Wednesday
last week Pte. McCarthy's wife received a letter from him saying he was
expecting to be home on leave in a few days, and promising to give her
a good time when he came.
UP ON BATTLEFIELD PHOTOGRAPHS BELONGING TO EAST LANCASHIRE MEN
Family That Has Been Hard Hit. -- Two Brothers Killed, Two Wounded, Cousin Missing. (Burnley Express and Advertiser, March 17, 1917 (page 9))
A family very hard hit by the war is that of the McCarthy's, one of whom as announced Wednesday's issue, has now been presumed dead, after being missing at the Dardanelles from August 9, 1915. It is a remarkable record of four brothers and a cousin. All were in the East Lancashire Regt. Two brothers have now been killed; one has lost his left eye but is still serving; whilst the cousin, Pte. Lavin, has been reported wounded and missing since July 1st last, and there are no hopes that he is alive, as nothing has been heard of him, either officially or otherwise since. The unmarried McCarthy brothers lived at 11, Leyland Road, and the cousin (the only cousin) resided with his widowed mother in Pitt Street. Two of the brothers, John and Thomas, and the cousin enlisted within three days of each other.
The eldest of the
McCarthy brothers is Sergt. Michael, who is forty years of age. He served
in the Boer War, and was a reservist when the present war began with the
3rd East Lancashire Regt. He was on going out attached to another battalion,
and has been wounded twice -- once at Neuve Chapelle and once at Salonika.
He has now been in hospital at Salonika for the past eight months. He
TALANA FARM CEMETERY - Location Information:
From Ieper the Cemetery is located on the Diksmuidseweg road (N369) in the direction of Boezinge. From the station in Ieper turn left into M.Fochlaan and go to the roundabout, turn right and go to the next roundabout. Here turn left and drive to the next roundabout. Turn right into Oude Veurnestraat. Take the second turning on the left, which is the Diksmuidseweg, and carry on under the motorway bridge. The cemetery will be found a further 600 meters on the left hand side of the road. N.B. Talana Farm Cemetery is the second cemetery on the left, the first being Bard Cottage Cemetery.
Talana Farm was one of a group of farm houses named by the army from episodes of the South African war. The cemetery was begun by French troops in April 1915, taken over by the 1st Rifle Brigade and 1st Somerset Light Infantry in June 1915, and was used by fighting units until March 1918. Buried in Plot II, Rows E and F are a number of men of the 1st East Lancashire Regiment who died in a small but successful attack on 6 July 1915. Plots III and IV contain many 49th (West Riding) Division graves and also those of the artillery units that took over the ground in August 1917. There are now 529 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in the cemetery. 14 of the burials are unidentified and there are special memorials to six casualties whose graves in the cemetery could not be located. It is probable that the cemetery contained other graves later destroyed by shell fire. The cemetery was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield.