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The Parish of the Good Samaritan Burnley

including the churches of

Christ the King with St Teresa's, St John the Baptist and St Mary of the Assumption


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Private Wilbert Devine

Service Number: 5371

2nd Bn. East Lancashire Regiment

Killed in Action 24th April 1918, aged 22

Son of James & Susy Ann Devine, 39 Briercliffe Road, Burnley




From the Burnley Express dated the 15th June 1918: BELIEVED TO BE VICTIM OF GAS FUMES

The parents of Lce. Corpl. Wilbert Devine, 5371 East Lancashire Regiment, who reside at 39 Briercliffe Road, had had communications from an officer and a friend of their son giving particulars of his death in action on April 24, and have recently received official confirmation of the sad event.

Writing on May 12, the friend said the battalion had been in the line a day or so when Fritz began his "antics" sending a great deal of gas shells over, and the place was thick with fumes.  "It seems", continues the soldier "that according to one fellow that Wilbert was wounded in the hand, and not being able to put his mask on, was overcome by the fumes whilst going to the aid post; while another said he was killed outright by shrapnel".

The deceased, who was nearly 23 years of age was a Reservist when war broke out, and was at once called up, going out to France in December 1914.  Lce. Corpl. Devine was first wounded in November 1915 and was subsequently incapacitated from active service for a short spell.  At the time he joined up he was a weaver, and being connected with St. Joh's R.C. Church, Ivy Street, he was a member of the Boy's Brigade.  He was a fine young fellow and highly respected.  Five cousins of the deceased had served their country and one has been killed. 


Buried in Adelaide Cemetery, Villers-Bretonneux, France:  II. M. 17