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20th May, 2022

Never forgotten: Relatives write in over the loss of old soldier Ronald

Ross Crawford 18th Feb, 2020

FORMER Redditch resident Chris Bull has been given a head start in his search for the history of his great uncle Ronald Yoxall.

Chris, who now lives in the United States of America, was inspired to find out more after seeing the Oscar-winning film 1917.

He discovered our weekly commemoration of every soldier from Redditch who died in the Great War and came across Ronald’s name.

The soldier, who lived in Beoley Road, served in the Royal Artillery and was killed in a gas attack during the Battle of Passchendaele.

Chris got in touch with us and last week we printed his appeal and got two responses.

One was from Gill Smith of Headless Cross, whose grandmother was Lillian Yoxall, born about 1876 in Feckenham.

Gill said she later went on to have two sons and four daughters. The first born son was called Bernard and a daughter was named Mary.

More information came from Eileen Derrington, also of Redditch and Ronald’s great niece.

She said: “Members of his family visited his grave last year in Belgium.

“We planted a rose and placed photos on his grave of himself, his sisters Theresa and Eva and brother-in-law also called Ronald.

“We grew up knowing the tragedy of what happened, Ronald and all of his comrades were killed by the same gas explosion and they are all buried together in The New Military Cemetery at Vlamertinghe.

“He has never been forgotten in the family.

“Ronald has direct descendants in Redditch as he had two children when he died. Let’s hope they have also seen the article.”

We have passed all the information on to Chris to further his research and he would be delighted to hear from any other members of his family.

Email editor@redditchstandard.co.uk.

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