John Byrne

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First name: John

Middle name:

Last name: Byrne

Personal information:

Judith Saunders has compiled an account of her father's and uncle's service in World War 1, using the older brother's letters home. John (Jack) Byrne,aged 25, served with the 3rd Division, part of the 9th Brigade, in France and Belgium, and took part in the battle of Messines Ridge from June 1917. The 3rd Division was relieved in October. Among the reinforcements was Private William Byrne, aged 22. Jack returned to Messines Ridge after leave in December. In March 1918 Jack Byrne received wounds to his chest and leg and did not return to active service. William Byrne fought on the Somme from March 1917 and took part in the "Great Push" of August 8 1918, at the battle of Amiens. Seriously wounded he was in hospital in England by the end of August. In April 1919 Jack was discharged and in May William followed.

Box 8 Item 17 – Hugh Venables Vernon miscellaneous papers, 1916-1919.
Handmade protection with steely look and stylish upper lip!

At first glance it is apparent that this garment would have been quite difficult to actually put on, due to the tight fit. Undoubtedly handcrafted by a loved one, it has been photographed in action by the  wearer, as intended. I particularly like the attention to detail on the moustache – possibly one of the few things that a man in his position had complete control over.

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