Private Harry Ormerod
35021 16th Lancashire Fusiliers
Killed in Action 1st April 1917, aged 21
Lived at 2 Salus Street
Buried in Savy British Cemetery, France
Burnley Express 18th April 1917 - 21st April 1917
Commemorated on Elim Primitive Methodists Memorial

On the 1st April 1917 the 16th Lancashire Fusiliers (2nd Salford Pals) were involved in the Action of April Fool’s Day at Savy Wood. The Battalion was assembled at a shallow valley at Pommery, three miles to the west of Savy, they advanced at 1:00pm in full view of the Germans who were installed on the high ground south of Holnon, their objective was to take Savy Wood and to establish a strong point on the far side in the vicinity of the St Quentin-Peronne railway. As the men got under way the gale which was blowing lashed them with rain, sleet and snow. Within minutes, as they crested the rise beyond Pommery Chateau the whole Brigade came under shrapnel fire, this fire continued as they marched down towards Savy village. As the wave moved forward, behind a creeping barrage, they were a number of casualties from machine gun fire from the direction of Holnon Wood. As they approached Savy Wood another gun opened fire from the railway halt just beyond the gap between the two woods, they then made their way into the southern end of the wood at 3:30pm. It was found to be empty, inside the enemy had left obstacles which slowed the progress of the Battalion. By 4:00pm the Battalion had fought their way round and through Savy Wood. During the next three hours the men began to consolidate their advance. The casualties were 26 men killed in action, including 1 officer.


(Burnley Express 21/04/17)
Mr & Mrs Ormerod of Salus Street, Burnley, whose son was killed in action on April 1st, and whom particulars appeared in “Express” of Wednesday, have received several letters from friends at Sabden, who express condolences with the parents and widow at their loss, and speak in terms of praise of the excellence of the photo, and recalling the days of the young soldier’s child-hood. The deceased soldier’s widow, who resides at Padiham, has received letters from Captain Smith and the Chaplain, the Reverent W. H. Fawkes. The former says:- “Private Ormerod was at the time assisting in an attack on a wood (Savy Wood), and whilst advancing through it was struck in the neck by a bullet from a German machine-gun. I am glad to be able to say that his end was immediate and painless. He was a man well respected by us all, and I wish to offer you, on behalf of my fellow officers and your husband’s comrades, our very sincere sympathies on your sad loss.” The Chaplain writes:- “As Chaplain, it is my painful duty to let you know of the death of your husband, whose body I buried in a military cemetery near to where other of his comrades were also killed. Think not that his life is wasted because he has given it thus; on the contrary, he has probably never done a deed so noble, so full of real and lasting usefulness to mankind as that which so closely resembled the great sacrifice of Him who died to save humanity. May you find in Christ comfort, consolation and enlightenment which we all need so sorely in these days of distress and trial.”




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