Historian supports project to honour Battle Of Arras soldiers

LEST WE FORGET -- Lynne Weston with her book,'Soldiers Remembered 1914-1918'..
LEST WE FORGET -- Lynne Weston with her book,'Soldiers Remembered 1914-1918'..

A keen historian from Sutton is backing an appeal to help honour soldiers who fought in one of the most important battles of the First World War.

On a recent battlefields tour, Lynne Weston visited the Wellington Quarry Museum in the city of Arras, northern France. And she learned that the museum is planning an exhibition of photographs and family history to commemorate the centenary of the 1917 Battle Of Arras.

She has already traced two Huthwaite soldiers, John Cline and William Adlington, who were killed in the battle in their early 20s. “But I am sure there must be other men from this area who fought in Arras,” she says.

The battle was a British offensive aimed at breaking through German defences on the Western Front. But after five weeks of stalemate, there were nearly 160,000 British casualties.

The museum is named after a former underground quarry, which was part of a 12-mile network of fully-equipped tunnels that housed thousands of Great War servicemen beneath Arras. It can be contacted via www.explorearras.com.

Lynne undertakes a lot of work to ensure fallen soldiers are properly honoured, and wrote a book last year as part of a project for the United Reformed Church in Sutton.

In the 1916 Battle of the Somme, she lost two uncles, brothers Robert (21) and George Marsh (20), while her husband Dennis lost a great-uncle, Jesse Reeves (23). The trio were friends from Sutton.