The Site will contain a series of articles on soldiers who have been researched and about whom information is available. These articles will be renewed regularly and other information will be provided which may be of interest and assistance to researchers.

The Site chooses to start the soldier’s story with a history of:

697420 Sergeant Richard Lynam

Mr Lynam was the author’s Grandfather and was born in Dublin in 1882. He was employed as a groom by Mr Cecil Brunner of Aigburth Drive, Liverpool, a nephew of the founder of the chemical company Brunner Mond which was a founder of Imperial Chemical Industries; and until recently still a part of ICI.

With his employer my grandfather enlisted with the Liverpool Territorial Royal Field Artillery.  The Territorial Force (T.F.) was formed in the great army reform of 1908 from the earlier volunteer force, and was fully equipped with all arms and services to serve in the United Kingdom; so as to allow the regular army to form an expeditionary force to go overseas in times of war.

At the time my Grandfather was mainly living at 20 Hollywood Rd, Aigburth, Liverpool as is shown on his Attestation Papers. He was married to Margaret Ellen Lynam and had children. It is likely that his employer and he had returned from his employer’s summer residence at Beeston, Cheshire. It was there he spent the summers in country pursuits and riding. Both my grandfather and Cecil Brunner were fine horsemen. This address has been crossed out on the attestation form.

The attestation papers also show that Richard was economical with the truth as he revised his age by three years so as to appear to be under 30.

He enlisted on 02.09.14. with the 3rd West Lancashire Brigade, 14th Lancashire Battery and was given regimental number 1244. His employer incidentally went as Captain to the 13th Lancashire Battery of the same Brigade. Further research in the national archives reveals that both these batteries were armed with the British 18 Pounder Field Gun. They soon volunteered for overseas service as did so many of the territorials.

Further research shows the Brigade remained in Britain continuing its training with the 1st West Lancashire Division until the 29th of September 1915. They embarked on the 30th of September and landed in France on the 1st of October. Richards army number at this time was 3399 as can be seen on his medal index card. The military history sheet shows his time in France was, for some reason, limited and he returned to the United Kingdom on the 9th of November 1915.

Here he remained through the first half of 1916. There was a promotion to acting bombardier on the 19th of April but he reverted to gunner at his own request. This was permitted in the T.F. and was also relatively common; as many men felt ill at ease giving orders to people who they had served and worked with and amongst whom many shared friendships and kinship.

All things come to an end and grandfather returned to the B.E.F. on11th of June 1916 being posted to the 50th Northern Brigade R.F.A. On the 30th of August he was posted to the 55th Divisional Ammunition Column. The 1st West Lancashire Division was renamed the 55th Division in May 1916 and the Ammunition Column supplied the division with all its ordnance needs.

The R.F.A. Brigades were also renamed, the 3rd West Lancashire Brigade now becoming the 277th Brigade, and the 14th becoming “C” Battery.

The Column’s War Diary was also researched and shows that on the 30th August a draft of 47 other ranks joined. This would have included Richard. At the time they were sited at Filliform Tree, they served at various locations Corbie, St Gratien, Albert, then by mid-October were at Poperinghe. In January 1917 the column lay at Herzeele but soon returned to Poperinghe. . On the 3rd of January 1917 Richard accepted a promotion to A/Bdr, then to Cpl at the end of March and Sgt on the 14th Of May 1917.

In August they moved to Vlamertinghe and were there for most of September. The end was not far away and on the 22nd of September he received a gun shot wound to the chest and arm and had his left arm amputated. He was evacuated on the 2nd of October to the United Kingdom where he recovered. At Christmas he was still in hospital as a photograph shows, but he was out of bed and sitting amongst other wounded enjoying the festivities. In February he was off on home leave. He was discharged as physically unfit on the 20th December 1918.

His service overseas in 1915 entitled him to the 14/15 Star, British War and Victory medals; and his wounding to the War Badge issued in silver to all sick and wounded servicemen. The badge enabled those discharged through injury or sickness during the war, and not noticeably disfigured, to walk the streets in mufti without being presented with the white feather or subjected to other annoyances.

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