University of Oxford
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32427: Alas Arras 1917

online resource
posted on 2024-01-19, 17:05 authored by Lest We Forget Project Team

My mum, Valerie Joan Croucher wrote this heartfelt poem about the Battle of Arras in 1917.

Her grandfather, James Henry Lakeman, was lost there on 9th May 1917. He was 34 years old and a Private in the Devonshire Battalion Regiment, pt 26685.

James had married Olive Cuff, in April 1915 who was expecting at the time. They had met while working at Craig Y Nos castle in Wales; James a footman and Olive a laundry maid. Sadly his daughter Mary Lena Lakeman was only 2 years old when her father died at Arras. When James died he left Olive £3 1s 2d.

James was awarded the Victory medal posthumously on 26/6/1921.

My mum Valerie passed away in 2018, she loved writing poetry and this subject remained close to her heart, having never been able to meet her grandfather, James Lakeman.


Name of contributor(s)

Valerie Joan Croucher

Subject of the story/individual the object(s) relate to

James Henry Lakeman

Date(s) the event(s) in the story took place

9th April – 16th May 1917

Location(s) where the event(s) in the story took place

Arras, France


Poem and Image (James Lakeman)

Community Collection Day

Submitted online

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