PRIVATE HERBERT RAMSDEN
YORK AND LANCASTER REGIMENT
18TH OCTOBER 1917 AGE 38
BURIED: POTIJZE CHATEAU LAWN CEMETERY, BELGIUM
William Ramsden, Herbert's elder brother, signed for this inscription. The parents were both still alive but perhaps their literacy was uncertain. The words come from the chorus of a popular song written in 1916 by an Australian singer, song writer called Alfred Morley.
Rest, soldier rest,
In thy grave on the hill-side,
Far from the ones you have left o'er the foam.
Rest till God's trumpet shall call you from slumber,
To meet once again in your heavenly home.
Despite the fact that it's a very Australian patriotic song:
Let all the world know Australia's story,
How her brave sons faced that curtain of shell,
"Boys fix your bayonets, charge! for Old England,"
Into the jaws of death, into that hell
And that it's concerned with the dead of Gallipoli:
Sweet be their rest on Gallipoli's hillside
Calm be their sleep in a soldier's last grave
The song must have circulated in Britain for the Ramsdens to know it.
Herbert Ramsden, 35 years and 10 months old, and 5' 4" tall as itemised on his attestation form, was a coal miner, born and bred in Yorkshire. In 1911 he was boarding with his sister-in-law, Jane, whose husband, Tom Ramsden, had been killed in a mining accident in 1910. Herbert joined up on 11 January 1915 and arrived in France on 1 May that year. He served with the 1st/4th Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment, part of the 49th West Riding Division, and was killed in an attack near Potijze Chateau, one of the 160 casualties - killed, wounded and missing - that the battalion suffered that day.