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The First Of Far Far Too Many

Truth, as we all know, is the first casualty of war.
Aeschylus, the father of tragedy, taught us that much.
But in terms of The Great War 1914-18, the
first British casualty was a young
golf-caddy from North Finchley called John Parr.
He was only 16 when he joined the
4th Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment,
and was assigned the role of reconnaissance cyclist.
Parr, like many others, lied about his age.
On Friday August 21st 1914, he found himself
on patrol in the village of Obourg, north east of Mons
and just over the border into Flanders. It was there that
he encountered an advance unit from the German First Army.
16-year-old John Parr remained behind to hold off the enemy,
whilst his colleague returned by pedal-power to report to superior officers.
At dawn the next day, the British army fired
their first shots in anger on the Western Front,
and young golf-caddies from far and wide
began falling like blanched dominoes.
St Symphorien Military Cemetery:
the final resting place of Private John Parr