More than 200 people poured into the Museum of Lancashire in Preston on March 10th to have their loved-one’s precious items digitised for the Europeana 1914-1918 virtual archive. One of those attending at Preston was Joan Almont, who shared the story of her farther. A British soldier who was left for dead after being shot through both legs on the Somme, had his life saved by Allied troops who took shelter in the same trench.
John Stafford was just 20 yards from the Germans when he was wounded during the symbolic battle of 1916, which resulted in 420,000 British casualties, including nearly 60,000 on the first day alone.
His daughter, Joan Almond, 85, told the WW1 roadshow at Preston, that had it not been for Allied soldiers finding her father two days after he was shot, he would have died.
“Although at the time he was unconscious, they managed to get him back across ‘death valley’ as they called it, where he was actually seen by medics,” she said. “He was covered with a sheet, having had a label tied to him on which a doctor had written ‘maggots’.