Tribute To A Lost Soldier – 1st July 2016
Tribute To A Lost Soldier .
In 1901 , the Ulster Scot, Rev John Pollock became minister of St Enoch’s church, Belfast ,
When a son was born he was named Paul after the great apostle, when war threatened, young Paul enlisted in the 14th battalion Royal Irish Rifles and 36th Ulster Division. Posted to France he ended up in the forward trenches at Thiepval Wood on the morning of July 1st 1916, the Battle of the Somme. At the age of only 21 he died fighting the Germans and was not seen again after 7.30am. No body was ever found and due to error his name was omitted for many years , until recently ., from the list of the Somme fallen. However due to Peter Fisher and his book, Paul Pollocks War , his story has now been told and his name added to the list of the Somme fallen on the Lutyens Memorial. In 2014 his surviving relations Elizabeth Bridges and her daughters with the author Peter Fisher travelled to the small cemetery near Thiepval Wood , finding a tombstone to a soldier ” known onto God ” they laid thier wreath there. Pauls father wrote ” we believe that Paul was so seriously wounded that he died before he could be attended to, not more than 50 yards from our lines, his body has not been found, the entire ground having been ploughed up by explosives.
At exactly 7.28. am today , July 1st , members of the Dalaradia Historcial group gathered at John Pollocks grave , blowing whistles , then at 7.30 they observed a two minute silence, after reading words from one of Johns letters to his son Paul , a wreath was laid before the last post was played . The Dalaradia group hope to return in the summer and renovate the grave stone which now also reads , ” Also his son Paul Gilchrist , killed in action Battle of Somme 1st July 1916.”
R Williams, Chair , Dalaradia.