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Private's death in a prison camp cannot be forgotten
FREDERICK George Hames died as a prisoner of war while serving his country in 1916.
Private Hames, who was unmarried, enlisted in the 1st Battalion the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry and was sent to Mesopotamia, now Iraq, in December 1914.
The soldier is one of 10 from the regiment whose names will be read out at the Turning the Pages ceremony at Christ Church Cathedral today.
Nine other names from the Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars will also be read out at the ceremony, held every other month.
James Pearson, 75, volunteer archivist at the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum, dug out information about Private Hames’s battalion, which was surrounded by the Turks at Kut al Amara in December 1915.
He said: “The men in Kut were cut off from supplies and began eating horse flesh. The heat and flies and the low-lying marshy ground caused the men to fall ill.”
At the end of April 1916, the garrison was forced to surrender. More than 300 of the soldiers died of disease and starvation and only 253 were capable of a 200-mile march to captivity in Baghdad.
Those who survived were sent to different working camps. Private Hames, who was born in St Pancras, Middlesex, in 1886, died aged about 30 on August 18, 1916, at Entilla in India.
About 75 of the 385 in the battalion at the surrender survived.
Mr Pearson, who served as a lance corporal for the 16th/5th Queens Royal Lancers, said: “I think they should all be remembered.”
The ceremony starts at 11am.
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