Great Uncle Victor – The Pride of the Family

The research we have carried out follows Victor’s journey from a teenager in Anfield to a man in Belgium, in just over a year.

Victor Large was born at Booths Mill Cottage Knutsford, one of the eight children of his parents William H and Eliza Large.
The family moved to Liverpool in 1903, the boys all attended Anfield Road School.

After leaving school he was apprenticed to hairdresser Charles Waring.
Before the start of the war at Frazer Street, HQ of The Kings Liverpool Scottish Regiment, on 23rd March 1914 he joined the 10th Battalion.
He was sent to Kings Park Edinburgh Camp and then Tunbridge Wells Billets, it was while there that on 23rd October 1914 he volunteered for service overseas with H Company 1-10 Battalions and would have signed the Imperial Service Obligation.
Although entirely voluntary more than 80% of the battalion signed to go to France and Flanders.
He left Tunbridge Wells 31st October and on 1st November embarked on the SS Maiden from Southampton for France. His was one of the first territorial battalions to go to F and F in 1914.
On arrival in Le Havre on 3rd November they were immediately mobilised to Belgium and on 27th November they entered the trenches for the first time.
The Belgian Army were battered and the men of the Liverpool Scottish were sent in to aid them.
Victor served in 2nd Company 1/10 Battalion as a stretcher bearer.
After a winter of terrible weather in January 1915 their numbers were reduced.
The first major battle for the Liverpool Scottish began at 4.15am on 16th June 1915, it is officially known as the Battle of Bellewarrde but is now called The Battle of Hooge.
The boys went over the top but there was little protection in the Germans shallow trenches and they then lost their way. The Germans opened up a huge barrage on to the second line killing many, still Victor and the remainder of the Liverpool Scottish went forwards and came under fire and bombardment. They continued beyond the line to a position known as Dead Man’s Bottom probably running towards their deaths.
Later that day they were forced into retreat, the Germans continuing the attack throughout the night and at the end of the following day many were dead and of the 114 missing Great Uncle Victor was one.
He was also one of those who was later confirmed to have been killed.
Of the thousands killed at Ypres Salient 90,000 have no known grave Victor is one of those, his name is held on the Roll of Honour in the Memorial Hall of the Menin Gate.

Thanks go to the members of The Liverpool Scottish Museum Trust who helped me to gather information for Victor’s story.

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