Newly Released WW1 Pension Records Help Clear Up A Mystery

Friday, 23rd February 2007 saw put additional WW1 records on their website.

The records only relate to men who were discharged from the Army and were entitled to a pension. The first release contains records for surnames of soldiers beginning A & B, with full surname range coverage in release 2 (and as yet there is no date for this).

East Lancashire Regiment Badge

East Lancashire Regiment Badge

Whilst reviewing the list of Chorley Pals with surnames beginning with A & B, I came across Seth Blackburn. His name is listed on the Original Roll for the Chorley Pals and in John Garwood’s book, but nothing else.

The new database revealed that Seth enlisted in the Pals at Chorley on the 16th September 1914 and was given the serial number 15263. His records show that he was born in Chorley in the summer of 1883 and had served in the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment (Territorials) for the last 8 years. He lived at 52 Gillibrand Walks in the town and worked as a Plumber; he gave his religion as Wesleyan (Methodist).

Barely a month after enlistment he was promoted to Corporal in the Pals on the 9th October 1914. Five months later on the 12th March 1915 he was promoted to Lance Sergeant.

His records show that he was transferred to the 12th Battalion of the East Lancashire Regiment with the rank of Lance Sergeant on the 3rd September 1915. The 12th Bn. were the Reserve Battalion for the East Lancs., based at Chadderton Camp near Oldham.

He was discharged from the Army, with a pension, on the 19th August 1916 as being “no longer physically fit for war service”. His total length of service in the East Lancashire Regiment (both the 11th & 12th Battalions) was 1 year and 338 days, all in the U.K.

No reason was given why he was transferred or eventually discharged.

Steve Williams