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Abbots Bromley’s Lost Generation

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Michael J Harvey was born in 1886, Abbots Bromley to parents Henry and Frances Mary Harvey. Michael’s parents were farmers at Bromley Wood.We know from our records that on the 2nd of April 1894, Michael began to attend our village school, Richard Clarke School. When Michael was of working age he liked nothing more than doing fretwork and some of his pieces remain within the family. Michael received his call up papers and in early 1916 he would leave Bromley Wood and join the 23rd Battalion of the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers which was surprising as this Battalion was a ‘Pals Battalion’. Michael luckily escaped without injury in one major battle but sadly on the 12th of October 1916, he was killed in action at age 29. The war diary reads… “Weather still fine with strong winds blowing. Enemy fairly quiet. At 7.30pm the 20th Battalion holding the front to our right raided the German lines near our right front. They killed several Germans and brought back a great many identifications. The Germans retaliated on our front with trench mortars and artillery and caused several casualties. 2nd Lt King and one other rank killed, and eight wounded” The ‘other rank’ was a farmer’s son from Bromley Wood. Michael lies buried at the Ration Farm Military Cemetery, France.RIP Michael J Harvey.

Charles W Webb was born in 1894 to Frederick and Mary Webb of Bagot Street.According to the 1911 census, Charles age 17 was still living at home and his occupation was a gardener, probably working at the girl’s school. The date he enlisted is unknown but we know he travelled to Tipton to sign up. His first regiment was Royal Welsh Fusiliers, but at some point, he was transferred to the Machine Gun Corps. According to the War Diaries for the MGC on the 21st March 1918 at 4.30am a German barrage opened up and sadly Charles Webb lost his life. He is buried at Ribemont Communal Cemetery, France. His headstone reads ‘Peace Perfect Peace’ he was just 23 years old. RIP Charles W Webb

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