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Alderley -World War 1.August 1918
We will remember them, August 1918
By July the German Spring Offensive had driven a bulge 80 miles long and 40 miles deep into the Allied lines.
But their troops were exhausted and the new line was difficult to defend.
On 20th July the British and French armies, now under the single command of Marshal Foch and strengthened by the arrival of increasing numbers of Americans, began a counter-offensive which led to victory four months later.
In these final phases of the war seven more men from Alderley Edge were to lose their lives, two of them in August.
Private Frederick Deakins Burgess was killed in action on 17th August. He was one month short of his 18th birthday - the youngest Alderley Edge casualty.
Born in 1899, the son of Evan and Fanny of West Street, he attended the village school, leaving in 1913 to work as a gardener for Miss Chesters of The Larches.
He enlisted in August 1917 and joined the East Yorkshire Regiment in December.
After posting to France he was transferred to the 2nd Battalion York & Lancaster Regiment. He was killed at the beginning of the advance in Flanders which recaptured the ground lost to the Germans in April. He is buried at Abeele Aerodrome Military Cemetery, 10 miles south west of Ypres.
Private Gerald Smith, who died on 30th August, was only 10 months older than Private Burgess.
The son of Thomas and Mary Smith of Belmont, he left the village school in 1912 and worked as a gardener like his father.
He enlisted in October 1916 and was posted to France a year later.
He was then transferred to the 1st Battalion Royal West Kent Regiment. The regiment was moved to Italy in December 1917, returned to France in April 1918 and took part in the Allied counter-offensive on the Somme beginning on 21st August.
Private Smith was wounded on 28th August and died at 14 Field Ambulance on 30th August. He is buried at Gomiecourt South Cemetery.