SECOND LIEUTENANT VINCENT TALLEMACH ANDERSON
MACHINE GUN CORPS
13TH APRIL 1918 AGE 21
BURIED: LAPUGNOY MILITARY CEMETERY, BETHUNE, FRANCE
Both Vincent Anderson's parents were born in England but he himself was born and brought up in South Africa. However, as his inscription hauntingly conveys - England took him.
Anderson's inscription comes from, Sir Richard's Song in Kipling's 'Puck of Pook's Hill'. Sir Richard is Sir Richard Dalyngridge, a Norman knight who comes to England with William the Conqueror. He comes as a conqueror but is conquered himself by his love for a Saxon lady - and for the country - and he sends back messages, each message a verse, to his father, mother, brother and sister, which each end telling them, 'England hath taken me'.
Anderson enlisted in the Inns of Court OTC in December 1915. He was 18. On 24 October 1916 he was commissioned into the Machine Gun Corps and joined the 1st Machine Gun Company in France on 31 July 1917. In February 1918 this became part of the 1st Machine Gun Battalion. Anderson died of wounds in a Casualty Clearing Station in Lapugnoy on 13 April. As the battalion were involved in the Battle of Estaires, 9-12 April, it is possible that this is when he was wounded.
I had my horse, my shield and banner,
And a boy's heart, so whole and free;
But now I sing in another manner -
But now England hath taken me!