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  • Christina Drummond

Private Richard Lewis Pickles, 1st Battalion, Royal Munster Fusiliers

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1916, Private Richard Lewis Pickles, 1st Battalion, Royal Munster Fusiliers, was killed in action. He had joined the army after the outbreak of the Great War, arriving in Coventry when his battalion came under orders of the 86th Brigade in 29th Division. In March of 1915 he sailed from Avonmouth for Gallipoli, via Alexandria and Mudros, landing at Cape Helles at the end of April.

For three weeks the battalion suffered heavy casualties, then they and 1st Royal Dublin Fusiliers formed one composite unit for twenty days and were called the 'Dubsters'. in the Battle of Scimitar Hill, the last great battle of that campaign, they lost 79 men and three officers on that day alone. On 1st January, 1916, they evacuated from Gallipoli to Egypt, having suffered 45% of the battalion’s total losses for the entire war, and numbered 24 officers and 287 men when disembarking.

In March Private Pickles sailed from Port Said to Marseilles for service in France, arriving in the midst of the fighting on the Western Front – less than a month after arriving he was severely wounded and could not be saved. He is buried in Mailly-Maillet Communal Cemetery in France. Richard, from Burnley, was 24 years old.

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