|Memorial .||Loos Memorial||Panel 30 and 31.||Loss|
Awards & Titles:
MEIRE, Walter Herbert Geoffrey, 2/Lieutenant, 9/Norfolk Regiment The story of the 24th Division, of which the 9/Norfolks were part, is one of the most controversial of the Great War. The 21st and 24th Divisions were newly arrived in France and had been designated as Army Reserve under the direct command of Sir John French the Commander of the BEF. These divisions were entirely composed of Service (Kitchener) battalions made up of the willing volunteers of August and September 1914. Not only were the men inexperienced but so were the officers. This inexperience was to cost them dear in the evening of the 25th September 1915 and the following day during the Battle of Loos. As it became clear that the first phase of the battle on the morning of 25th September had stalled, Haig requested and received control of the 21st and 24th Divisions however they were too far away to arrive in theatre until the evening. No doubt their inexperience contributed but one can only imagine the problems of moving into the battlefield at night, with no reconnaissance, and much confusion from wounded and stragglers returning from the battle. The 9/Norfolks according to the Official History, was dead tired by its night march its attack was immediately stopped by heavy fire and had to be abandoned after 13 officers and 409 other ranks had become casualties. They had been seconded to the 7th Division and ordered to take the Quarries over ground that they did not know. 2/Lieutenant Walter MEIRE was killed in this action. Walter Meire, is commenerated on the church wall of Brayniston church, son of Walter and Hannah Meire, Brundall, and on the Loos Memorial. On the same day his fellow officer and Brother Mason Lieutenant William CADGE of 9/Norfolk Regiment was also killed in the same attack. Both of these men had lived and worked in Ceylon and were members of Ceylon Masonic Lodges.
Family :Son of Walter H. and Hanah M. Meire, of Verne House, Brundall, Norfolk.
Formerly of the Ceylon Planters Rifles.
"The Battle of Loos (25 September to 18 October 1915) was the major battle on the Western Front in 1915, surpassing in every respect all that had gone before in terms of numbers of men and materiel committed to battle. The preliminary bombardment was the most violent to date and the battle was charaterised by the committment of Regular and Territorial battalions on a large scale, in which the Territorials performed just as well as the Regulars. As the battles on the Western Front in 1915 increased in size and violence, so the casualties increased in proportion: Neuve Chapelle 12,000, Aubers Ridge/Festubert 29,000 , Loos 60,000. 1916 was to take the casualty cost to another level. Loos was intended as a minor role in support of French efforts around Arras but circumstances reduced the French effort. It marked the first use of poison gas by the British. Once the initial assualt had failed the battle continued in a series of actions mostly focused on the northern sector around the tactically important Hohenzollern Redoubt."
|Type||Lodge Name and No.||Province/District :|
|Mother :||St John's Lodge of Colombo No. 454 E.C.||Sri Lanka|
The project globally acknowledges the following as sources of information for research across the whole database:
- The Commonwealth War Graves Commission
- The (UK) National Archives
- Ancestry.co.uk - Genealogy, Family Trees & Family History online
- ugle.org.uk - The records of the United Grand Lodge of England including the Library and Museum of Freemasonry