Herbert ROYLE
Rank: Private
Number: 1881
Date of Death: 29 August 1916
Age: 24
Cemetery: Basra Memorial, Iraq

Herbert lived all his life in the Stockport area until he enlisted into the army. He was the son of James and Sarah who, when the 1901 Census was taken, were living at 16 Ducie Street with their five children. Herbert's low service number suggests he was a regular soldier.

When War was declared in August 1914, the Battalion was in India and did not arrive in France until the end of September. In December of the following year, the Battalion was transferred to Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq). The first task set for the newly arrived troops was to join a task force which moved northwards to try to relieve the British garrison besieged by the Turks at Kut-al-Amara. The attempts failed and the garrison was forced to surrender in April 1916.

Conditions for the men in this theatre were appalling. There were extremes of heat, vermin and disease was rife. Medical arrangements were, at best, rudimentary. Soldiers injured or taken ill could often spend two weeks on a boat moving down river towards Basra before they received proper medical attention. Those who died were usually buried along the river banks. Many of these graves were lost during the course of the War. It is known that Herbert died of natural causes and that his grave has been lost but no further details are available.

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