Rifleman Matthew Blyth

Rifleman Matthew Blyth, 8th ( East Belfast ) Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles. He was killed in action in France, aged 25, on the 2nd July 1916 during the Battle of the Somme. He had been born in Selkirk in 1891 and was the son of Matthew and Elizabeth Blyth of 15 South Port, Selkirk. He was the husband of Doris Blyth who he had married in 1912 in Belfast and he is buried in Grandcourt Road Cemetery, Grandcourt, Somme, France where his Headstone is inscribed ” He Died That We Might Live”. ( the C.W.G.C. site spells his name Blythe ). His Battalion was part of the 36th ( Ulster ) Division and they reached Grandcourt on the 1st July 1916 although it was not finally taken until February 1917. The colour photograph shows the very impressive Memorial to commemorate all men from Northern Ireland and especially the 36th ( Ulster ) Division of which the Battalion was part. It was a close copy of Helen’s Tower which stands on the Clandeboye Estate near Bangor, Northern Ireland. Many of the Division’s troops had trained here. It was erected in Thiepval, Somme, France and is Northern Ireland’s National Memorial. The other photos show troops during the Battle and the colour image shows a peaceful Somme landscape today.

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