Baxenden Lads: Ratcliffe F

24th July 1917

PTE. 40244 FRED RATCLIFFE of the Manchester Regiment died on July 24th 1917 of wounds sustained during fighting near Bapaume on the Somme in France.

Fred was a single man who lived with his parents in Hill Street, Baxenden. He had previously enlisted in the East Lancashire Regiment, and was wounded in 1916. On his recovery he was transferred to the Manchester Regiment.

Fred is buried in Achiet-le-Grand Communal Cemetery Extension. Achiet-le-Grand is a village some four miles from Bapaume, and the cemetery lies on the outskirts of the village. It was captured by British troops in March 1917 and re-captured by the Germans in March 1918. During the period of British occupation, a Field Hospital was stationed in the village, and those dying of their wounds were buried in an extension of the cemetery. Fred is buried in Plot I, one of four plots which total 1,417 burials.