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Harold Lidstone 1894-1917 - WW1

posted Mar 9, 2014, 12:59 AM by Duncan Lidstone   [ updated Mar 9, 2014, 12:22 PM ]
Brian Jones provided the following and suggested we post it on the website as part of the First World War Centenary. Ann is now going to look back through the records and we will post more here.

Harold Lidstone was awarded the Military Medal during World War One.

Harold was born 1894 Harbour Grace, Newfoundland and died 20 November 1917 Marcoing, France during the Battle of Cambrai.  He was the youngest son of Nathaniel Lidstone & Elizabeth Sheppard.

The following is a letter from Colonel Halfyard of the Royal Newfoundland Regimental Museum:

"The following is some information I managed to find on Rgt #163 Cpl Harold Lidstone:

The action in which he was involved was associated with the British offensive in 1917 known as the Third Battle of Ypres. This was a major offensive by the British and consisted of a number of separate battles related to the capture of Passchendaele Ridge. Included were the Battles of Langemarck, Messines, and Passchendaele.

In July and August 1917, the 1st Newfoundland Regiment participated in action along the Yser Canal, north of Ypres and assaults over the Steenbeek and Broenbeek Rivers as part of the Battle of Langemarck. A "Battle Honour" to recognize the Regiment's efforts at Langemarck is emblazoned on the Colours of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment.

From July 6 to 12, the Newfoundland Regiment was deployed along the Yser Canal in an area which had for so many months formed the British front line encircling the Ypres Salient. With the exception of the men in the fire trenches, most of the men in A, B, C, and D Companies were assigned to maintenance work on the treaches, including revetting wet trenches and building new ones. Throughout most of this toiling work, enemy shellfire continued to fall on the soldiers, and from 6 to 12 July, when they were relieved, the Newfoundland Regiment lost ten killed and twenty-three wounded.

A digression came for a small group of Newfoundlanders on the night of the relief. For two weeks prior to 12 July, some thirty members of the Regiment had been involved in special training in enemy harrassment. The group, known as "The Raiders" were detailed to make their first raid on enemy lines on the night of July 12/13. Shortly after mid-night they entered the German front-line in search of prisoners. That night drew a blank, because the particular trench was unoccupied. However, five nights later the raiders tried once again and this time they were successful. They cut their way through enemy barbed wire, entered his fire trench and captured a soldier of the 102nd Saxon Regiment, killing a reported five others. The raiders suffered no casulaties. That night's exploits brought recognition of the gallantry displayed by two St John's men, Rgt #42 Cpl Frank Best and Rgt #163 L/Cpl Harold Lidstone. Both were awarded the Military Medal for their heroic deeds during the raid. Cpl Best would die at the Broembeek River on 9 October 1917 and Cpl Lidstone, slightly over a month later would die on 20 Nov 1917 at Marcoing during the Battle of Cambrai."