The Forgotten Soldier
In an overgrown corner of an old cemetery – partly hidden in the emerald-tinged undergrowth and clinging damp mosses – stands all that remains of a monument to one of the many local lads who went off to fight in World War One. Like millions of other young men who did their duty for King and Country between 1914 and 1918, finally being laid to rest in a family plot back in England’s ‘green and pleasant land’ was the last time they’d travel along the streets, lanes and byways of their birthplaces again.
The poignant, lichen-encrusted inscription reads as follows:
“Private Fred Curry of the 16th Batt. Manchester Reg. who was killed in action October 16th 1916, aged 23 years.
He Hath Paid The Supreme Sacrifice.”
The base plate holding up these chiselled words also has an inscription, but is virtually illegible due to the overgrown grass. However, with the fragments that can be read, such as “… and Mo-” and “-urry” it would appear that this unfortunate young man was returned to the bosom of his dearly-departed Mother: surely the most fitting place to find oneself when your Time has come to pass…?
*Shot on an Olympus E-P1 12mp micro 4/3 system digital camera using an Olympus Zuiko Auto-S f/1.4 50mm lens with camera settings at ISO-200, aperture at f/1.8, centre-weighted meter mode and an exposure time of 1/40 seconds*
I would anticipate Fred was wounded or killed in action at Flers
Private Curry won’t be forgotten now. Please can you tell us where the photo was taken?
Courtesy of Mack on the manchesters forum, Private 27468 Fred Curry, of 13 Fletcher St,Oldham was killed by shell fire on 15th October. He has no known resting place and apart from the memorial here, Fred is commemorated at Thiepval.
I do find this photo and your write up very touching!