Soldier bloody but unbowed by WWI agony



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We have recovered a document from 1914 that records the thoughts of a Langley Mill soldier who survivied the Battle of Mons.

We are delving into our archives to find contemporary accounts from World War I as part of our Pennies for Heroes Appeal.

We are asking readers to donate their loose change so we can raise enough to plant a tree in honour of the local men who fought the war as this year marks the centenary of the outbreak of the conflict.

Private George Reader, a reservist who lived at 24 Sedgwick Street, Langley Mill, took part in the Battle of Mons with his regiment the Royal Irish Fusileers.

The September 14 report said of Pte Reader: “His right arm, in addition to being broken, was wounded in five places by shell fire, and he also received a wound in the chest.

“He was invalided home and at prersent is in the Southern Hospital, Plymouth. Writing (with his left hand) to Mr J G Hoten Station Road, 
Langley Mill, he states that his regiment had a rough time ‘but’, he significantly adds, ‘so had somebody else’.”

Despite his injuries, it appears that Pte Reader was bloodied but unbowed by his ordeal.

The Mons battle was the first engagement between British and German forces on the Western Front, and began on August 23, 1914.

British casualties was just over 1,600 killed, wounded and missing. Practically half of these were from two battalions – 400 from the 4th Middlesex and 300 from the 2nd Royal Irish, both of the 8th Brigade. German losses were in excess of 5,000.

How you can donate to our WWI campaign

You can leave your jam jars/pennies with the reception staff at Amber Valley Borough Council’s central office on Market Place, Ripley.

You can also drop them at Market Place Cafe, Market Place, Ripley. Just ask staff for details.

At our offices at 8 Heanor Road, Ilkeston, DE7 8ER.

And you can also help the Ripley branch of the British Legion with information on our war heroes, contact us via email at, or over the phone on 0115 9446180.

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