Private/Lieutenant Charles Fraser Laxton 15/575

Private/Lieutenant Charles Fraser Laxton
15/575

Born. 1894, Dewsbury, West Yorkshire.

Charles Fraser Laxton was the third of four sons born to Mr and Mrs George Wright Laxton, woollen manufacturer and president of the Dewsbury junior conservative association.
In September 1914, along with his brother, Reginald Earl Laxton he made the short journey to the Leeds town hall, and enlisted into the Leeds Pals.

He only served with the pals for a short while at Colsterdale, when on the 26th June 1915, he, along with his brother Reginald Earl Laxton, secured commissions and were both posted as 2nd/Lieutenants into the 16th Battalion,(1st Bradford Pals) West Yorkshire Regiment, although not serving with the 15th battalion anymore, he still spent time with them, as both the 15th and 16th battalions formed part of the 31st division.

On the 1st July 1916, by now being the Intelligence Officer and A-D-C- to Major Guyon, of the Bradford Pals, Charles was wounded in both legs.

In the battalion war diary Charles reported:

"… at 5 minutes to zero Major Guyon, Ransome and myself left our headquarters for the front line. We had only been in SAP A about 2 minutes when Major Guyon was struck through the helmet by a bullet

Ransome and I were alongside at the time and bandaged him up, though unconscious and apparently dying, the wound being in the temple. We were obliged to leave, as things did not appear to be going well. We urged the men forward, and saw columns advancing over the Leeds Trench, one being led by Captain Pringle. Things seemed to stop, men were falling and no one advancing over our front line. Stead was in the front line with a few men, which we scraped together for a rush. Stead and I scrambled out and the men tried to follow, but were mown down by machine gun fire, I got about 15 yards before being hit by a bullet in the left knee and a piece of shrapnel in my right thigh and managed to crawl to a shell hole about 5 yards in front, where I found Stead, shot dead. After staying there for about 15 minutes, I tried to regain our trenches, leaving all surplus kit, and gained a shell hole a few yards nearer. Ransome evidently saw me and came out to my assistance, I sent him back to find the nearest place where I could crawl back into the trench, this he did and I followed him"

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