Gleadless Valley, S14
Having recently watched a series on the American Civil War I was surprised at the number of Union and Southern soldiers that were killed and the terrible wounds suffered by thousands of the men, when the war ended in 1865 it was said that this war caused the biggest loss of life in American history, fast forward 48 years to the start of what was supposed to be the war to end all wars, if only that was true.
When I look around today and see the youth of today, their attitude, ways and actions, I can't help but compare them to the boys and men that answered the call to fight for King and country, boys as young as thirteen even joined up. This terrible war had more lethal weapons with a bigger kill ratio than the American Civil War, people forget that it was just not the British lads that lost their young lives, young men from across the Empire also answered the call but these volunteers are generally overlooked, but they also suffered as our lads did.
A Sheffield family gave seven sons to the war effort, George, Edmund, Alfred, Frank, Herbert, Wilfrid and Joseph, these brave lads were the sons of Edmund and Elizabeth Dawson of 84 Derby Street Heeley, to have one son serving in the Great War must have put a terrible burden on their parents at the time. Fearing every day the telegram he was missing in action or worse that he’d been killed. What must it had been like to have had seven son’s serving ?
Its said you have to live these events to know just how horrible this war was, you cant say “I can imagine it” because you cant. Thousands of soldiers are buried throughout France, Belgium and other countries in Europe, each one laid with his comrades but sadly not with their families.
The Loosemore family also had seven sons serving and it was Arnold who put his life in danger for his comrades and earned the Victoria Cross and the Distinguished Conduct Medal. Sadly on the 18th of October 1918 he was badly wounded in both legs by machine gun fire in an attack on a ridge near Villers-en-Cauchies. Such were the extent of the injuries he was eventually to have his left leg amputated, this resulted in his premature death on the 10th of April 1924 at the young age of 27, his father, George was a gardener at the General Cemetery, the family lived at No 1 Lescar Lane, just opposite the Lescar pub, the house is gone and is now a car park, the Sheffield General Cemetery Trust that care for this great cemetery are having a commemoration of the Great War on November 11, a Remembrance Sunday Tour, plus an exhibition in the Samuel Worth Chapel and our special installation, an Avenue of Remembrance, I hope the people of Sheffield attend this to show their respects to the boys, lads and men who gave their lives in this terrible war. I urge everyone to buy a Poppy and wear it with pride for our lost “Brave Lads”. A touching inscription on an English soldiers grave in France goes as follows,
Will Some Kind Hand
In A Foreign Land
Place A Flower
On my Son’s Grave