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Rye Memorial - James Walter Mesher

Rye Memorial - James Walter Mesher in Rye, East Sussex

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Kevin Regan
9 Feb 2016

I haven't been back here for some time as you can see, but this is the info available from Rye RBL WW1 Roll of Honour site for James Mesher..
MESHER, JAMES WALTER. Rank: Gunner. Service No: 32291. Age: 25.
Date of Death: 08/05/1915. Service: Royal Garrison Artillery. 122nd Heavy Bty.

Panel Reference: Panel 9. Memorial: YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL
Additional Information: Son of James and Martha Annie Mesher, of The Reading Room, Rye Harbour, Rye, Sussex. (On Casualty Form it looks like Stonework Cottages(?) Rye Harbour).
His Service Papers survive, showing he enlisted on 9th February 1910 at the age of 20. Civil occupation: general labourer.

He was trained at Sheerness in No. 18 Company then on 20 January 1914 he was posted to No. 66 Company in Jamaica, but by 7th October 1914 he was at Fort Nelson, receiving 3 days Confined To Barracks punishment for being absent for one hour – a trifle harsh, but there was a War on! On 17th October 1914 he was posted to 122 Heavy Brigade in France. Possibly Walter slipped out to phone or post a letter to his parents telling them of his posting abroad.

His character was assessed as intelligent and hardworking, with experience of fishing and small boats, gardener, etc.

On 29th May, the Rye Harbour vicar, F G Rochefort-Wade wrote on behalf of the family that they had received a report on 22nd May that Gunner Mesher had been wounded on 9th May, “and all the qualifying adverbs “Dangerously”, “Severely” and “Slightly” had all been crossed out, and requesting more news. The War Office replied that it had no further particulars at that time. Even by 28th June with further correspondence from the vicar, no certain information was known but he had appeared on Casualty List 21508 as “wounded” on 9th May.
The vicar even wrote letters to senior officers in France, and was himself informed by Major Haig commanding 122 Heavy Brigade that “Gunner Mesher died of wounds on 8th May on his way to a Dressing Station. Even then the vicar did not want to break such bad news without official confirmation, as his mother was in delicate health. He had a younger brother, Albert Ernest Mesher.

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Alan Jones
1 Feb 2013

Dear Kevin
It's good to hear from you!
My phone number is 01227 722 884 - feel free to get in touch. In due course we can put more here to let others know.
Best wishes,

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Kevin Regan
31 Jan 2013

Alan, It's so long ago since you posted, but I'd be interested in the details about Walter Mesher and 122nd Battery.

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Alan Jones
19 Aug 2008

Gunner Mesher was born in Rye and his parents were recorded as living at The Reading Room, Rye Harbour when he was killed 8 May 1915. I would be interested to hear from anyone who may know something about him - I am researching the history of his battery and know a bit about his service and the details of his final action.
Many thanks

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