Ralph LOMAS
Rank: Private
Number: 266467
Unit: 1/6th Battalion CHESHIRE Regiment
Date of Death: 14 October 1916
Age: 28
Cemetery: Mill Road Cemetery, Thiepval, Somme, France

The Lomas family originated from Chinley in Derbyshire. Ralph had been born there, as had his parents, John and Mary. At the time of the 1901 Census, they were living in Manchester where John's occupation was described as "beerhouse keeper". It's thought that sometime later, they moved back to Chinley and, later still, John was the landlord of the Friendship Inn, Romiley.

Ralph worked as an electrician for Baxendale's Ltd, Manchester. He is commemorated on the company's entry in the Manchester Battalions Roll of Honour (page 418). Ralph volunteered for the Army in January 1915 and was originally allocated 3886 as his service number. The number above, recorded by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, must be the one which, had he lived, would have come into use on 1 January 1917. This was the date when all Territorial Army soldiers were issued with six-digit numbers.

Ralph was killed during fighting described here. Afterwards, he was posted as missing and his body had still not been found by February 1917. Not long after this, the Germans withdrew their front line a considerable distance to a new defensive position known as the Hindenberg Line. This allowed the former No Man's Land to be thoroughly searched and cleared of bodies. Mill Road Cemetery, which contains 1300 burials, was established as their final resting place.

   
           
   
     
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