Gunner Vasiliy Nikitenko 129340 RGA, The Forgotten Hero of Newtongrange
Whilst researching the London Gazette I came across a MM for this man , giving his place of residence as Newtongrange. I later found in the Gazette that in 1918 he appears in a list of dead soldiers and his worldy goods were listed as unclaimed by next of kin, this appeared for several years thereafter and his money ,all £14 14/ 5d ,still lay unclaimed.
It appears that Vasiliy was a Lithuanian / Ukranian immigrant to Newtongrange and had no traceable next of kin, he was killed in action / died in May 1918, this from CWGC
Name: NIKITENKO, VASILIY
Nationality: United Kingdom
Regiment/Service: Royal Garrison Artillery
Unit Text: 160th Siege Bty.
Date of Death: 28/05/1918
Service No: 129340
Awards: M M
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: I. C. 22.
Cemetery: FRANVILLERS COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION
Having no next of kin he was not put forward for inclusion on the War Memorial when the names were added a few years back. I intend contacting Midlothian Council to have his name added to the Roll of Honour and hopefully have enough evidence to persuade them to do so.
He gave his all for his adopted country and we should commemorate his memory.