Heswall Lance-Corporal Killed

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Much sympathy is being extended to Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Peters, of Brimstage road, Heswall, on the death of their only son, Lance-Corporal Sydney Peters, 23 years of age, who was very badly wounded on the 7th of June and died shortly afterwards in a casualty clearing station somewhere in France. Lance-Corporal Sydney Peters had been two years in France with the Cheshire Regiment.

 


 

Sydney Peters war born around 1895 to Samuel and Emma Peters, of Brimstage Rd., Heswall, Cheshire. He served in the First World War as a Lance-Corporal of the Cheshire Regiment’s 9th Battalion.

Lance-Corporal Sydney Peters is listed as having Died of Wounds on Thursday 7th June, 1917. At this time the 9th Battalion would have been engaged in the Battle of Messines, which took place from 7th-14th June, 1917, in Flanders, Belgium.

The Battle of Messines was an attempt to draw German reserves North, to the Flanders region in Belgium, to relieve pressure on the now demoralised French forces following the failed Nivelle Offensives of April and May earlier in the year. The main thrust of the attack was to capture German held defences on Messines Ridge, which offered a commanding view of British defences to the North.

19 mines were detonated beneath the German frontlines, signalling the start of the attack. The explosions were heard in London, 130 miles away, and instantly killed around 10,000 German soldiers. This was then followed by a creeping barrage and a combined attack by infantry, tanks, cavalry and aircraft. 

The Battle of Messines is regarded as one of the most successful operations of the First World War’s Western Front, and provided an optimistic outlook for British forces on the eve of the Third Battle of Ypres, which was to commence just under a month later, on 14th July, 1917.  

The 19th (Western) Division was heavily involved in the battle, with the 9th Cheshire Battalion taking a leading role in the opening days of the British attack. 

Sydney Peters most likely died in the Belgian municipality of Heuvelland, and at the time of his death was 23 years of age. He is buried in Croonaert Chapel Cemetery, south of Ypres in Belgium.

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