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  • Christina Drummond

Lieutenant John Batho, 54th Field Company, Corps of Royal Engineers

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1915, ​Lieutenant John Batho, 54th Field Company, Corps of Royal Engineers, died from wounds received three days earlier at Loos.

Educated at St. Paul's School, London, he attended the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich, and received his commission into the Corps of Royal Engineers in July of 1913. He was sent to the Western Front shortly after the outbreak of the Great War, and his subsequent actions caused him to be Mentioned in Despatches.

On the 27th of September, 1915, Lieutenant Batho was supervising work on the Bethune Front, a mere hundred yards from the German front line, when he was shot by a sniper. He was taken to the Casualty Clearing Station near the village of Chocques, which was behind the lines. Despite efforts to save his life, his wound was too serious and he died three days later.

Earlier in the year Lieutenant Colonel Davy had written to another senior officer about him and one of his colleagues: "I have two wonderful sapper subalterns. They have only got about 18 months' service each and are perfect heroes, both of them, and work night and day without sparing themselves, and know no fear: always cheery and always full of resource. I should like their people to know what splendid boys they have got, and how proud they ought to be of them."

After Lieutenant Batho’s death, one of his men, Sergeant McQuiston, wrote to his parents on behalf of the section: “We all loved him and would follow him anywhere, full of confidence when he was leading us. We shall never find one better, but we are living in hopes of getting one half as good." He is buried in the Chocques Military Cemetery, Pas-de-Calais, in France.

John, from London, was 22 years old.

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