Medals of WW1 rifleman at Somme event

Mrs Jean Hylands, Mark Hylands, Councillor Mark Baxter, and deputy mayor Paul Greenfield
Mrs Jean Hylands, Mark Hylands, Councillor Mark Baxter, and deputy mayor Paul Greenfield

Among the items on display at a recent Somme and Great War exhibition at Donacloney Orange Hall were the medals, photographs and postcards of Royal Irish Rifleman Christopher Ogles.

This was particularly poignant for Councillor Mark Baxter as he had visited the soldier’s grave during a trip to the Somme Battlefields last year.

“I was delighted when Mrs Jean Hylands agreed to let her grandfather’s personal effects go on display,” he said.

“Along with the WW1 medals was his service medal from the Boer War, Death Penny, photographs, RIR sewing kit and postcards he had sent from the front line.”

Councillor Baxter went on to talk about the postcards Christopher had sent home.

“The first line of one of the postcards which I feel is very poignant read ‘Dear wife, you don’t need to worry we aren’t in any danger. I’ve sent postcards to the children also and I hope they have got them by now.’”

“Christopher Ogles was killed at Passchendaele a short while later.

“It’s such a sad story,” added Councillor Baxter, “and one of many that touched almost every home in the village of Donacloney and indeed was mirrored right across the British Isles.”