Saturday, 7 June 2014

Rifleman James Sharpe - Royal Irish Rifles

Remembering today Rifleman James Sharpe - 878 - 12th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles, born Carrickfergus 1895, Killed in action France 7th June 1917 aged 22.  

James was the son of Robert and Ellen Sharpe of Knockagh, Carrickfergus.

Rifleman Sharpe was killed in action during for famous and bloody Battle for Messines Ridge 5th to 12th June 1917.  He is buried at Spanbroekmolen Cemetery, along with another local man Sergeant Thomas Wortley.
The cemetery is named after a windmill which stood nearby and contains the graves of men killed in action on the first (or, in three cases the second) day of the Battle of Messines in 1917. The cemetery was destroyed in subsequent operations but found again after the Armistice.

There are 58 casualties of the First World War buried or commemorated in the cemetery. Special memorials commemorate six servicemen who were known to have been buried in the cemetery but whose graves were later destroyed.  James Sharpe's memorial would appear to be one of the graves that was destroyed hence the special memorial.  

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