In our preparations for the recent Morton Exhibition for the 100th anniversary of WW1 we compiled a book for each soldier that died from the 5 surrounding parishes.
The interesting thing about the Wyer Family is that so many cousins fought and died.
and Wyer Cousins who served in the Great War
Loosing a child or a Grandchild in today’s world is devastating and so
we can only imagine the grief that local brothers felt when they lost 7
Children between them in the Great War.
The newspaper cuttings tell us that villages are proud that their sons
have enlisted, but secretly we can assume that parents and relatives are
fearful for their loved ones, some of whom are still quite young.
Brothers William Wyer, Thomas Wyer, George Sandall and Edward Sandall
waved off their offspring not knowing when they would see them again.
Of the 9 cousins that enlisted from Kirkby Underwood, Hacconby and
Rippingale, only 2 would return and one of them quite badly injured.
Frederick Stanley Wyer would spend the rest of the war wearing his
Silver Badge showing that he had fought, done his bit but was now disabled and
unfit for war due to wounds he received.
He lost one brother (John Thomas Wyer) and six cousins in the fighting during
the “War to End All Wars”
Robert Wilson Wyer Died
on the Somme 3rd July 1916
William Wyer Died on the Somme 14th
Edmund Wyer Died on the Ypres Salient 4th
Harry Sandall Died
near Arras 14th May 1917
John William Sandall Died
near Arras 22nd March 1918
Walter Sandall Died near Beiruit 24th October 1918
John Thomas Wyer Died
near Ploegsteert 13th April 1918
Today we remember Sgt Arthur Bates of the 1st Battalion Lincolnshire regiment. A regular soldier before the Great War, he had seen action in South Africa and more recently in India before returning home and placed in depot reserve at Lincoln.
Rejoining his battalion when war was declared on the 4th August, Arthur and the 1st Battalion were mobilised to France and on the 24th August were involved in a rearguard action during the allied retreat.
Sgt Arthur Bates was killed in action whilst a brave few men of the Lincolnshire regiment held an orchard in Fromelles in front of the advancing German Army.
Arthur was the first Morton man to be killed in the Great War and as well as his grave in the communal cemetery in Fromelles, is remembered on both the Morton and Bourne war memorials.