Act of remembrance for Pinchbeck vicar’s son

Michael Pemberton at the Loos memorial.
Michael Pemberton at the Loos memorial.
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A Pinchbeck man who died in the First World War a hundred years ago has been remembered by villagers.

The Wayet memorial in St Mary's Church, Pinchbeck.

The Wayet memorial in St Mary's Church, Pinchbeck.

On Sunday, August 27, Michael and Lesley Pemberton laid a wreath on behalf of the Pinchbeck branch of the Royal British Legion in the British Cemetery outside Lens in the Somme region of northern France.

It was an act of remembrance for the 100th anniversary of the death of Lieutenant Frank Merewether Wayet during the Battle of Loos, as reported in last week’s Lincolnshire Free Press.

Michael says the Loos memorial cemetery commemorates over 20,000 officers and men who died in the battle, and who have no known grave.

The Pembertons found themselves in the company of several hundred others from the UK and France who were also marking the 100th anniversary of the battle.

Michael said: “People had assembled as individuals or as regimental representatives to remember those who had fallen during the Battle of Loos, one of the earliest major conflicts on the Western Front, notable for the first use of gas by the British army as a weapon of war.

“A short act of remembrance had been organised by representatives of the London regiment who were present, and a bagpiper played a lament that echoed across the battlefield in the autumnal sunshine.”

Frank Wayet, aged 26, a lieutenant in the 2nd Cameronian regiment, was the son of the vicar of Pinchbeck, the Rev Frank Field Wayet and his wife Alice.

Frank’s name is recorded on one of the three wall plaques remembering the Cameronians who had been killed during the battle.

Michael says: “His death impacted not only the vicarage family but the whole village, and Belgian refugees, forced from their homes by the fighting on the Western front, and relocated in Pinchbeck, carved the wooden pulpit currently in use in St Mary’s church, in his memory.”

Two of the panels on the pulpit show battlefield scenes: one of Frank’s body at the foot of the crucified Christ, and the second of an angel placing a laurel wreath on his head and taking his soul to glory.