Chesterfield Sherwoods on the Somme

 

1st July - 18th November 1916

 

 

1/6th (Territorial) Battalion, Nottingham and Derbyshire Regiment 

(Sherwood Foresters)

 

 

139th Brigade, 46th Division, VII Corps, 3rd Army

 

index to page:-

Mobilisation (4th August 1914)

The Battle of the Somme (Summer 1916)

The Battalion moves in to support trenches prior to the attack (1 a.m - 7 a.m.)

Advance of Lieut. Wheatcroft's left platoon of "A" Coy; Sergt Wagg wins the DCM (8.45 a.m.)

Advance of Captain Dick's "B" Company [8.45]

The attack continues; Captain Green wins the Victoria Cross trying to save Captain Robinson (mid-morning)

Postponement of the afternoon attack (1.30 p.m - 3.30 p.m.)

Withdrawal from the front line (evening)

Gallantry Awards for the Battle of the Somme

Back to the front line; Patrols and reconnaissance (July - November)

 

 

 

 

Mobilisation

4th August 1914

 

The 6th Battalion drew mainly from the North and North East of Derbyshire and companies were recruited in country towns such as Chesterfield, Chapel-en-le-Frith, Matlock and Wirksworth, or in small mining villages such as Peak Dale, Dove Holes and Clay Cross. 

"From these towns and neighbouring villages came the officers and men who formed the Battalion; the peace-time friendships and associations between these groups of men gave this civilian-military unit a kind of family character. In spite of the enormous casualties suffered in the First World War - and the consequent reinforcements which amounted to twice the total strength of the Battalion - by far the majority of the officers and men serving with the unit, during the 14/18 war came from the North and North-East Derbyshire area. To the end, the "sixth" never lost its Territorial character"

[Extract from "The 6th Battalion Sherwood Foresters in the 1914-18 War", by Captain W.D. Jamieson]

 

Following the 1909 reorganisation of the Derbyshire Volunteers into the Territorial Force, the 6th Battalion Sherwood Foresters comprised the following eight companies :-

"A" - Chesterfield

"B" - Chapel-en-le-Frith

"C" - Ashbourne and Buxton

"D" - Bakewell, Tideswell and Stoney Middleton

"E" - Wirksworth and Matlock

"F" - Staveley and District

"G" - Clay Cross and District

"H" - Whaley Bridge, New Mills and Hayfield

 

The 6th Battalion, along with its sister battalions [5th (Derby), 7th (Nottingham) and 8th (Newark)], formed the Sherwood Forester Brigade (139th). The Brigade had been in training camp at Hunmanby on the Yorkshire coast from the 6th July. However, on the 3rd August the Brigade was instructed by the War Office to suspend training and for individual Companies to return to their local stations. 

1. Brigade at Hindlow 1910.jpg (106147 bytes)  2. 6th at clumber park.jpg (98151 bytes)  3. C Coy Buxton 6th SF Clumber 1913.jpg (101021 bytes)

1. Sherwood Forester Brigade at Hindlow (nr Buxton) in 1910.

2. 6th Btn Sherwood Foresters at Clumber Park, c1910-13.

3. "C Coy", 6th Battn Sherwood Forester at Clumber Park 1913.

 

At 7pm on the 4th August a telegram was received at Company Headquarters instructing the Battalion to "Mobilise" at Victoria Drill Hall on Saltergate. The plan for mobilisation, which had originally been devised by Captain Atkinson and kept up to date by his successor Captain McLlomer, quickly became known as "Lomer's Guide to Chesterfield". 

On the second day of mobilisation the men from Bakewell (D Coy), Wirksworth (E Coy), Staveley (F Coy) and Clay Cross (G Coy) marched into Town, as did the men from the Buxton half of C Coy. Accommodation for the men was arranged in the Drill Hall and Chesterfield Central Schools, which turned out to be both comfortable and convenient quarters. The Companies from Chapel-en-le-Frith (B Coy) and Whaley Bridge (H Coy) as well as the Ashbourne half of C Coy arrived at Chesterfield on the third day of mobilisation. 

The Battalion Colours were placed in St Mary's Church (The Crooked Spire) prior to its departure from Chesterfield. On the 10th August the Battalion marched out of Chesterfield, with Lt.-Col. J.M. Clayton at its head, en route for Derby. The Brigade assembled at Derby before moving by train to Luton and then onto Harpenden.

 

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1. The 6th Btn Sherwood Foresters marching down Lordsmill from the Victoria Drill Hall in Chesterfield.

2. The 6th Btn Sherwood Foresters on the March in 1914.

3. "C" Coy, 6th Btn Sherwood Foresters leaving Ashbourne along the Buxton Road on 6/7th August 1914.

 

1.   2.   3.

1. Chapel-en-le-Frith Territorials

2. Buxton Territorials

3. Tideswall Territorials

 

Following mobilisation Colonel Goodman recorded these observations:

"On the whole mobilisation worked smoothly. Before the men left training Camp at Hunmanby [near Scarborough] they were warned of the probability of mobilisation with the result that all who had been in Camp reported themselves at their Company Headquarters early on the morning of the 5th August. The Billeting arrangements at Chesterfield, Ripley (on march to duty) and Derby (Temporary War Station) had been previously arranged with care and worked well."

Lieut. Colonel Goodman

The Battalion also occupied stations at Luton and Harpenden prior to their embarkation to France. The battalion spent 3 months at Harpenden until 'fitting-out' was complete. This included the issuing of re-sighted charger loading rifles and the arrival of limbered wagons and travelling kitchens. On the 14th and 15th of November the Brigade moved to Braintree in Essex to counter a rumoured threat of invasion. 

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1. Battalion Transport lines at Harpenden.

2. 6th Battalion Officers at Braintree in February 1915, prior to embarkation.

 

The Battalion disembarked at Le Harve on 26th February 1915 with 548 Officers and men on the roll. The 46th was the first complete Territorial Division to arrive in France and suffered heavy casualties during the Battle of Loos in October of that year, specifically during the attack on the Hohenzollern Redoubt, in which it suffered 3,700 casualties. Following that battle the division held portions of the front line on Vimy Ridge. During this time, and throughout the Battle of the Somme, the Division was commanded by Maj. Gen. Hon. EJM Stuart-Wortley.

 

 

 

The Battle of the Somme

 

In the spring (May) of 1916 the 46th Division moved towards the training areas in preparation for the great push of that summer. The following is a précis of the preparations for the attack on the 1st July:-

 

"2.5.16. - Btn practiced smoke attack with 139th Brigade at TINQUES."

"10th to 18th - During this period the Battn dug communication trenches West of FONQUEVILLERS."

"27.5.16. - 2/Lt K.H.Bond with a patrol went out at 1.15 a.m. and spent the day in a trench in SUCRERRIE on the GOMMECOURT ROAD, returning at night with an enemy cap. . . .  Casualties for the tour:- Killed, 1 O.R. Accidentally killed. 1 O.R. Wounded 18 O.R., 2 of whom have since died of wounds. Accid. Wounded 1."

 

TUCKLEY, LAWRENCE GEORGE

Private, 3761, 1/6th Btn., k. in a. 20/05/1916

b. Danesmoor; e. Chesterfield; r. Danesmoor.

Village Memorial in Danesmoor

Arrived in France on 27th October 1915

 

STRAW, HARRY

Private, 4235, 1/6th Btn., d. of w. 21/05/1916

e. Chesterfield; r. New Whittington.

 

WILLIAMS, LEWIS

Private, 1924, 1/6th Btn., d. 22/05/1916

b. South Normanton; e. Clay Cross; r. Clay Cross.

Village Memorial at The Church of St Bartholomew in Clay Cross

Arrived in France on 25th February 1915

 

ABBOTT, GEORGE EDWARD

Private, 4060, 1/6th Btn., d. of w. 26/05/1916

b. Thrandeston, Suffolk; e. Chesterfield; r. New Whittington

 

SLATER, JAMES

Private, 4216, 1/6th Btn., d. 28/05/1916

e. Chesterfield; r. Lincoln

 

"30.5.16. - 150 men under CAPTS R. SAXBY & J. TOLSEN dug advanced trench 250 yards linking up with 37th Divn on left. 50 men under CAPT E.B. JOHNSON wired."

"6.6.16. - A draft of 72 men arrived from base."

"17.6.16. - 139th Brigade practiced attack near LUCHEUX FOREST in presence of Corps Commander & G.O.C. Division. 6th Battn in support.

"22/23.6.16 - Bn began to dig advanced trench on Brigade front. (Total length with all C.T.'s about 1.300 yards). . . . Bn wired heads of saps & C.T's.

"23/24.6.16. - Bn continued digging advanced trench with 7th Bn . . . rather heavy M.G. fire and shelling."

 

 

NADEN, GEORGE.

Lance Sergeant 2211, 1/6th Btn., k. in a. 23/06/1916, aged 28.

b. Dove Holes; e. Chapel-en-le-Frith; r. Dove Holes.

"Son of George and Hannah Naden, of Burmoor Clough, Dove Holes, Stockport."

FONCQUEVILLERS MILITARY CEMETERY, Pas de Calais, France - I. E. I.

Dove Holes Memorial  

George Naden arrived in France on 25th February 1915. He was the eldest son of George and Hannah Naden of Dove Holes, his other brothers, Victor (1st Lincolns, formerly 3748 Notts &  Derby, k. in a. 25/9/16), Samuel and James also served with the colours. He was mortally wounded by shell fire during the early morning. Prior to enlisting George played centre-half for Dove Holes Football Club

"Major Hall and I were glad to be able to pay our last tribute of respect and his brother and some of his comrades were there"

Col. G.D. Goodman

 

 

"June 25th, 1916.- A very heavy storm. Had to swim in communication trenches in places. Battalion out working all night and wet through. In this state we marched back to camp at _________.

June 26th.- During last months we have been preparing for an attack. The weather has caused it to be postponed so at least we are having a rest."

[Extract from the Personal Diary of an Officer from Buxton]

 

"30.6.16. - Bn relieved in trenches by 5th & 7th Bns & drew stores preparatory to attack on German trenches."

 

The operation orders for the 1/6th Btn. Sherwood Foresters were issued on the 30th June by Lieut. Colonel G.D. Goodman and were as follows:-

 

"A" Company: In 1st support line with their right on Stafford Avenue. To move into position via Roberts Avenue.

"B" Company: In 1st support line with their left on Raymond Avenue. To move into position via Raymond Street.

Bombers: In first support line on the right of Lr "B" Company. To move into position via Roberts Avenue.

6 Brigade machine guns: In first support line on the right of Bombers. To move into position via Roberts Avenue.

"D" Company: In 3rd support line with right on Stafford Avenue. To move into position via Raymond Street.

"C" Company: In 3rd support line with their left Raymond Avenue. To move into position via Raymond Street.

Battalion runners/signallers: In 3rd support on right of Lr "C" Company. To move into position via Roberts Avenue.

Battalion HQ: In dugout at junction of Roberts Avenue and Nameless Road.

 

 1. Stafford Avenue.jpg (44273 bytes)  2. ARiAL.jpg (63941 bytes)

1. Stafford Avenue and Rotten Row.

2. Arial view of the 'Little Z' and the ground of which the Sherwood's had to charge.

 

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1. German front line from Gommecourt Cemetery. The tall poplar trees on the left mark the approximate site of 'The Z'.

2. View down the German Line. It was in front of this position that Captain Green won the Victoria Cross for attempting to save Capt Robinson's life. The position of 'The Z' and 'Little z' can be clearly seen in the middle of the photograph.

3. No Man's Land  - a view from the German front line. The British front line (Green Street) runs along the near edge of the ploughed fields.

 

1. British support trenches.JPG (116736 bytes)  2. No Man's Land from British trenches.JPG (111104 bytes)  3. Little Z.JPG (105984 bytes)  4. View from little Z.JPG (113664 bytes)

1. The view of the British support lines from the Calvary in Fonquevillers. Rotten Row and Stafford Avenue ran from this point down the hill to Green Street.

2. The view from Z road on Green Street towards Gommecourt Road.

3. The view from  Green Street looking across No Man's Land towards the German Lines. The 'Little z' is on the far left of the photograph. It is over this area that the 6th Battalion tried to advance towards the Germans and where Sergt. Wagg won his D.C.M.

4. The view from the 'Little z' looking back across No Man's Land towards the British Front line. The commanding position of the 'Z' and 'Little z' can be easily appreciated.

 

 

 

 

The Battalion moves into the support trenches prior to the attack

(1 a.m - 7 a.m.)

 

 

"Companies will move into positions in the above order, unless definite orders to the contrary are received from Battn. H.Q.  All troops will be in allotted positions by 2 a.m.  On arrival at the heads of the above C.T.'s Companies will file into the old British Front Line Trench.  As soon as the last man of each company reaches his position, Companies will move out by half Companies, through the gaps in our wire, and deploy as soon as possible.  Arrangements for a hot drink and an issue of rum on arrival at the trenches will be given out latter."

 

"July 1st .- The most terrible day I have ever had. At 1.30 a.m. moved into headquarters dug-out. Our bombardment had been going on for five days, and was now getting intense. The Huns had kept quite, but were now dropping big stuff about now."

[Extract from the Personal Diary of an Officer from Buxton]

"Personally I have come off lucky. We were sent in the trenches the night before the charge, and we had three bags of bombs to carry, a pair of wire cutters, 200 rounds of bullets, a shovel or pick and we were standing in the trenches all night up to the knees in water. The rum we had did us good, for it was a cold night."

[Pte. John Bates, "A" Coy, from Chesterfield]

 

In his official report to the Headquarters of the 139th Infantry Brigade, Col. Goodman wrote the following description of the attack on the 1st July : - 

 

"Owing to the muddy state of the trenches it took considerably longer than had been expected to get this wave ["A" and "B" Coys.] into position and it was not completed before 3.15 a.m."

"At 5.45 a.m. I moved to Left Advanced Head QRS (7th Battn.)."

"About 7 a.m. Mjor. Hind, his adjutant and Medical Officer left. He stated he was going to new front trench to watch the waves out and then go himself."

"At 7.45 a.m. I and my Adjutant went along Green Street towards Regent Street to watch my leading Companies advance and to follow them. I found Green Street congested and waited a long time trying to get men forward but found it impossible as the front line was blocked. During the time the enemy's bombardment was very heavy with shrapnel and H.E."

 

"About five o’clock in the morning our guns opened up, and then the German guns replied, but you could hear which was the bigger side for guns. It was like being in hell, for the sky was full of smoke and it was all colours. The shells were bursting all around us, and they were killing some and wounding others in great numbers. I was hit several times with little pieces of shells: it was awful, but we were sending twice as many shells as Fritz, and he suffered the worse."

[Private John Bates, "A" Coy, from Chesterfield]

 

"At 7.45 a.m. Capt Robinson, commanding my right ("A") Coy had a report from his runners that the 5th Battn Carrying Company was moving. He lead his Company forward but was checked by the 5th Carrying Coy who said they were checked by the 4th wave who had not cleared. It was 8.45 a.m. before the head of my "A" Coy was in the old front line trench . . . . . . . by that time the smoke had almost gone.

 

"I had to lead my men up the trench, but it was blocked with men, and we could only move along at about a foot a minute. I got out and ran along the top and reported state of trenches. Saw the first of many horrible sights; men buried and badly cut up, appealing to be dug out, but no time to help them.

I got back to my party and brought them over the way I had come. We then went on, trying to avoid stepping on the wounded at every step. Eventually I got to the front and found eight men with me. Of these five were wounded, fortunately not very badly."

[Extract from the Personal Diary of an Officer from Buxton]

 

 

 

 

Advance of Lieut. Wheatcroft's left platoon of "A" Coy

Sergt Wagg wins the DCM

(8.45 a.m.)

 

 

"The trenches were so muddy and so crowded with wounded men that I had great difficulty in deploying my four platoons, but eventually they were ready. My own C.O. came up ten minutes before the attack was due to start and watched the smoke screen and bombardment, which were quite inadequate. Just before we were due to go over he ordered me to cancel the attack. I sent runners off, at once, to the four platoons; only three managed to deliver their messages on time. The other platoon attacked but every man except one, the platoon sergeant, was hit."

[Capt. V. O. Robinson, M.C., "A" Coy, from Holymoorside, Chesterfield]

 

"At 8.45 a.m. Lieut. Wheatcroft at head of his platoon (left platoon of "A" Coy) crossed our wire. All but Sgt. Wagg being hit, and withdrew to old sap." 

 

The story is taken up by Private John Bates:-

"Then the Sherwoods had to mount the top on to No Mans’ land to make the way across, and the Germans were ready for us, but we made them retire into their support line. Our platoon officer, Lieut. Wheatcroft, was leading us down into an advanced trench, when he found it blocked as a result of the havoc wrought by the shells. I was the sixth man from the Lieutenant. The Officer got on top, about 300 yards away from the Germans, and he had gone about 50 yards when he discovered that the barbed wire was not out. He started cutting a way through, when he was hit by a bullet and a piece of shell. He fell onto the wire, and the next to take his place was Private Shaw, of Chesterfield. He was struck by a nose-cap of a shell and fell about 10 yards from the Lieutenant. The next one was a sergeant [L/Sergt. S Sharman] of our platoon, junior to Sergt. Wagg, of Chesterfield , and he mounted the top, when he was hit with a bullet in the back, but he was able to get back down into the trench again. Following him was Private Green of Whittington Moor. He got a long way when he was struck by pieces of shell. Then came Private Bennett, of Chesterfield. There were no N.C.O.’s to lead us, and we did not know which way to go, so Sergt. Wagg came up the trench from the rear of the platoon, which was his place. Looking over the top he saw the Lieutenant, and went out under heavy shell fire, extracted him from the wire, and pulled him into the trench again. The Lieutenant was covered with blood, and he said ‘Fetch Shaw’, which he did, and pulled him in. Lieut. Wheatcroft then ordered Sergt. Wagg to send us back again into our lines, and he went for Green under heavy shell fire. Private Bennett received his wound from the shell just as the Sergeant had got back to the trench. I was covered with earth, almost buried. The sergeant said it was the ‘rummest’ corner we’ve ever been in. He shouted ‘Come on, John,’ and we did our best for the Lieutenant and the boys. We carried them back to the dressing post."  

 

For this act of outstanding bravery Sergeant Wagg was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal:-

"1680 Actg. Sjt. R. Wagg, Notts and Derby R. For conspicuous gallantry. 'All the party, except Serjt. Wagg, were hit within 30 yards of their trench, and he carried the officer on his back to an advanced sap, and returned twice for two other men. He then reorganised his party." 

[London Gazette, 22nd September 1916]

CLARENCE.gif (27391 bytes)

Sergeant Clarence Dick Wagg, "A" Coy, 6th Sherwood Foresters who arrived in France on 28th February 1915

 [Photograph courtesy of Sandra Genders]

The Derbyshire Times were soon to carry the story of the award of a D.C.M. to this 20 year old local lad, who worked as a miner at Ireland Colliery and was an old Scholar of St Helen's Street School.

"Three weeks ago we announced that Sergt. Clarence (Dick) Wagg; whose wife lives in St Mary's Gate, Chesterfield had been recommended for the D.C.M. This week Mrs. Wagg has received a letter from her husband stating that he has been awarded the coveted decoration. During heavy fighting, Sergt. Wagg gallantly brought in to the British trenches Lieut. Wheatcroft, of Wirksworth, Pte. Chas Shaw, Stonegravels, Chesterfield, and another soldier, who had all been wounded. Unfortunately, Lieut. Wheatcroft and Pte. Shaw afterwards succumbed to their injuries. Sergt. Wagg has received a warm letter from Lieut. Wheatcroft's father, Mr. G. H. Wheatcroft, expressing gratitude at the gallant act and hoping that he may have the opportunity some day of personally thanking Sergt. Wagg." 

[THE DERBYSHIRE TIMES, SATURDAY, AUGUST 19, 1916]

 

After the War the Wheatcroft Family presented Dick Wagg with a Gold Half Hunter watch in gratitude for his actions in trying to save their son that day. After the War Dick worked at the Robinson's Wheatbridge Works until he retired. He died in September 1964.

 

 

Advance of Capt FM Dick's "B" Company

 

"At 8.45 a.m. the right of the Company ["A" Coy] endeavoured to advance up No 3 sap and "C" C.T. The Barrage was very heavy . . . . . . there were many casualties and the men withdrew for shelter to the saps and other trenches. The same thing happened on my left when my "B" Coy was kept back by the 7th Carrying party. Capt F.M. Dick Commanding my Company was hit in the leg as soon as he got over the parapet and his Coy Sergt Major [160158 C.S.M Goddard] was killed at his side. The survivors accordingly took cover."

Captn Dick.jpg (12853 bytes)

Captain Frank M Dick was warded the Military Cross for leading his men across into No Man's Land that morning:-

"On 1.7.1916 in the attack by the 139th Brigade, this Officer led the leading platoon of his carrying Company over the parapet of the old front line trench, following the carrying Company of the assaulting Battalion. There was a heavy barrage and rifle fire. Just past the wire he was wounded and most of his men were hit. He crawled back into the trench and for two hours carried on with the orders and materially assisted to restore order in the fire trench. throughout the whole of his service in the field he has rendered most valuable service"

[L.G. 4.6.17]

 

 

The attack continues;

Captain Green wins the Victoria Cross trying to save

 Captain Robinson

(mid morning)

 

 

  Green Grave.jpg (44832 bytes) 

"Although wounded himself, he went to the assistance of an Officer who had been wounded and was hung up on the enemy's wire entanglements, and succeeded in dragging him to a shell hole, where he dressed his wounds, not withstanding that bombs and rifle grenades were thrown at him the whole time. Captain Green then endeavoured to bring the wounded officer into safe cover, and had nearly succeeded in doing so when he himself was killed."

[London Gazette, August 4th 1916]

 

The wounded Officer he attempted to save was Captain Robinson, the Brigade Machine Gun Officer. John Green's body was not recovered until the spring of 1917 and he is interned in Foncquevillers Cemetery amongst the men of the Sherwood Foresters that he bravely served as Medical Officer.

 

"For assisting the late Captain F. B. Robinson, of Chesterfield, when mortally wounded, official information has been received from the Major-General commanding the N.M.D. that Sergt. J. F. Smith (Machine Gun Section)  of Derby Road, Ripley, has been recommended by the Commanding Officer and Brigade Commander for conspicuous bravery. Writing home he states he is lucky to be alive. When they rushed over the parapets and quickly advanced within three or four yards of the Huns' trenches, Captain F. B. Robinson of Chesterfield was hit in the stomach. Although bombed by the Germans, Smith managed to get his Captain away. He says that Captain Robinson whilst being carried out was once again hit by the enemy, this time fatally. "He was a gentleman," adds the Ripley lad. Smith went out with the Territorials in February 1915, but after a time transferred to the Machine Gun Section, quickly gaining promotion to Corporal, and afterwards being made Sergeant."  

[THE DERBYSHIRE TIMES, SATURDAY, AUGUST 19, 1916]

 

"At 9.45 a.m. received telegraphic message from Brig Genl that Naylor of 5th in German Front line trench required help. I sent message to Capt Robinson to organise advance from new front line trench and went to No 3 sap where I conferred with Capts Kerr & Robinson who said Naylor was back and advance impossible . . . . . .  The enemy's fire (chiefly rifle) on that (new front) trench was very heavy and accurate. No 3 Sap (to which I went) was covered by the enemy's rifle fire."

 

 

Postponement of the afternoon attack

(1.30 p.m - 3.30 p.m.)

 

After the failure of the leading waves (1/5th and 1/7th Battalions Sherwood Foresters) to break through the German lines, it was decided that the 1/6th Sherwood For. should launch a second attack at 12.15pm. This was first postponed to 1.30pm, but then finally they were given the order to attack at 3.30pm. The preliminary bombardment, which was supplemented with a smoke screen, proved totally inadequate and at the last moment the orders for an attack were cancelled. Unfortunately this message was not received in time by one platoon, which advanced towards Gommecourt Wood, only to suffer severe casualties. 

 

"About 12.30 p.m. I received orders to attack with two Companies of my Battalion at 1.15 p.m. under cover of smoke. There was no smoke however and I did not attack. Another attack was ordered for 2.30 p.m. also under cover of smoke which however was not ready, and orders were received to the effect that the smoke would be at 3.30 p.m. and I was to advance at 3.35 p.m."

"A Stafford officer came to confer and I settled that my right should advance on Orkney, my left on Ouse C.T.'s. . . . . At 3.30 p.m. a small film of smoke appeared but in no way interfered with the view of the enemy's trenches. I accordingly at 3.35 p.m. ordered the men not to go over the parapet. . . I was and am quite satisfied that there was no possible chance of reaching the objective and no result could have been achieved . . . . owing to a mistake, a party of 20 did leave the trench most of them were struck down at once." 

 

During the afternoon the British Soldiers in the front line trenches continued to come under heavy artillery fire:-

"I came through the bombardment all right till about 4.30 in the afternoon, then the shell came which did for me. I shall never forget it as long as I live, only God knows how I came through it."

[1936 L/Cpl. Vernon Smith from Birdholme, who was later awarded the MM]

 

But what of the German perspective? the following report gives an idea of the progress of the Sherwood Foresters during the morning of the battle:-

"7.30 a.m. The enemy's fire lifted. The enemy's attack which was made under the cover of gas bombs, was perceived. . . . the shell holes were occupied exactly at the right moment, and the attackers were received with hand grenades. The barrage fire which had been celled for began at once. 

7.40 a.m. Strong hostile skirmishing lines deployed . . . . . they were at once met by heavy machine gun and infantry fire. . . . . the enemy built up his firing line and attempted to press forward with bombers and flame projectors, but was repulsed everywhere.

German Machine Gun, typical of those in the 'Z' that would have faced the attacking waves of the Sherwood Foresters

 

"9.30 a.m. The fine spirit of the troops of the 2nd and 4th Companies succeeded their stubborn resistance in annihilating the thick charging waves of the English. The ground was covered with numbers of dead, and in front of our trench lay quantities of English arms and equipment."

[War Diary, 55th Reserve Infantry Regiment]

 

Following the disastrous attack the remnants of the 5th, 6th and 7th Battalions were relived by the 8th Battalion

"At 6.10 p.m. we received instructions to take over the original front line and advanced trenches from the 6th, and the remnants of the 5th and 7th Battalions, who were there, and this was done. Later, however, the 5th Lincolns took over the line as they had been ordered to carry out another attack at midnight. . . . this attack however was not pressed and finally A Company of our Battalion were given the melancholy task of scouring No Man's Land to find the dead and wounded."

[The Sherwood Foresters in the Great War 1914-1919; the 1/8th Battalion by Capt. W.C.C. Wheetman, M.C.]

 

And why did the attack fail ? Col. Goodman had his own views on this, which he quickly communicated to Brigade HQ :-

 

From :- O.C. 6th Sherwood Foresters.

To :- H.Q., 139th Infantry Brigade.

"I should like to add to my report of this morning a statement with regard to the smoke and state of our trenches on the 1st inst."

"I was waiting in Green Street for my carrying party to move up [when] I found a small party of Lincolns with an Officer [Smoke Party] coming down the trench. They said they had orders to go back. I ordered them back to continue the smoke, and they complied but I believe there was not much material left. All reports agree that the smoke had practically gone when the 4th wave was about to start.

"The greatest difficulty was the mud in the trenches. The C.T.'s were even more difficult to pass then on preceding days as the water was subsiding and thick mud being formed." 

3.7.16 3.15 p.m.        /sd/G.D. Goodman, Lt-Colonel, Comdg. 6th Battn Sherwood Foresters.

 

Despite the failure to secure any of the objectives, the attack at Gommecourt was non-the-less deemed a success, as indicated by the communication from 46th Division Headquarters' :-

"The G.O.C. has great pleasure in publishing the following Communication from the Chief of the General Staff dated 13th July 1916."

"The commander in Chief . . . . . conveys his appreciation of the gallant efforts made at Gommecourt on the 1st and 2nd July by the 46th & 56th Divisions of the VII Corps. While deeply deploring the losses suffered by these Divisions he is glad to be able to assure them that their vigorous and well sustained attack proved material assistance in the success of the general plan of operations."

 

The entry for the battalion War diary echoed these sentiments :-

"1.7.16 - .............greater part of the 5th and 7th Bn. carrying companies could not get away before smoke lifted, and all attempts to advance by these and 6th A & B Coys. were met by heavy artillery and machine gun Barrage. The attack (as also that of 137th Bde. against Gommecourt Wood) therefore failed with heavy losses to assaulting battns., but the main effect was achieved of containing enemy forces near Gommecourt"

 

 

Casualties for the 1st July

46th Division Plaque.JPG (48686 bytes)

46th Division Plaque in Gommecourt Cemetery

 

Official Casualties given in the War Diary are as follows:-

Killed

Officers:- Lieut. E.M. Jellicoe

Other ranks:- 160158 C.S.M. Goddard, 1443 L/Sgt. Allcock, 2206 L/Sgt. S, Sharman and 17 others.

(In fact six more OR were killed on the 1st July than were originally noted in the War Diary)

Wounded - Officers :-

Capt F.M. Dick, Capt & Adj. C.B. Johnson, Capt V.O. Robinson, Capt F.B. Robinson (attd. 139th Brigade M. G. Coy) died of wounds 2.7.16, Lieut. R.D. Wheatcroft died of wounds 2.7.16, 2nd Lt H. Simpson died of wounds, 2/Lt F.R. Oliver, 2/Lt F.W.A. Stubbs, 2/Lt J.E. Barker.

1. Captn Dick.jpg (12853 bytes)  2. CB Johnson.jpg (13347 bytes)  3. VO Robinson.jpg (19681 bytes)  4. RD Wheatcroft.jpg (14541 bytes)

1. Captain F.M Dick

2. Capt & Adj C.B. Johnson

3. Capt V.O. Robinson

4. Lieut R.D. Wheatcroft

 

"I got safely through the battle, though we participated in three bayonet charges. I was sent to the dressing station with a wounded Captain of the Sherwoods on my back, and I got him there alright."

[Sergt. Ernest Reaney of the Lincolns and a resident of Hady Hill]

 

Wounded - other ranks :-

140 [including William Martin (Stonegravels), Richard Walters (Brampton) Albert Wain and George Else (Wirksworth)], Albert Thornley (New Mills)       

 

Total casualties for the 1st July was 170, many of whom were killed during the German bombardment of the font line and assembly trenches. These men are buried in graves of Plot I.L. in FONCQUEVILLERS MILITARY CEMETERY.

 

Fonq.jpg (112640 bytes) foncqplots.jpg (44566 bytes)

Fonquevillers Cemetery

 Sherwood Row.jpg (371113 bytes)  

A row of 6th Battalion Sherwood Foresters in Fonquevillers Cemetery

 

Many others have no known grave and are commemorated on The THIEPVAL MEMORIAL, Pier and Face 10 C 10 D and 11 A. 

 

 

ALLCOCK, TOM.

Corporal 1443, 1/6th Btn., k. in a. 01/07/1916, aged 25.

b. Chapel-en-le-Frith; e. Dove Holes; r. Stockport.

"Son of the late William and Mary Ann Allcock, of Dove Holes, Stockport; husband of Lousie Allcock, of 4 New St., Upper End, Peak Dale, Stockport."

FONCQUEVILLERS MILITARY CEMETERY, Pas de Calais, France - I. L. 20.

Dove Holes Memorial and Peak Dale Memorial

Mrs Allcock was received the news from her youngest son Stanley that his elder brother Tom had been killed in action. L/Sergt Allcock took the place of Sergt George Nadin only four days before he was k. in a. Prior to enlisting he was a member of the Dove Holes Football team.

 

 

ALLEN, LEONARD.

Private 2192, 1/6th Btn., k. in a. 01/07/1916, aged 19.

b. Woodford, Northamptonshire; e. Clay Cross; r. Clay Cross.

"Son of Edward and Sarah Jane Allen, of King St., Clay Cross, Chesterfield. Native of Woodford, Northants."

FONCQUEVILLERS MILITARY CEMETERY, Pas de Calais, France - I. L. 46.

Village Memorial at The Church of St Bartholomew in Clay Cross

'As briefly stated by us last week, Mrs. A Howe, of Shakespeare Yard, King Street, Clay Cross, received information to the effect that her 19 year old son, Private Len Allen of the Sherwood Foresters, was killed in action on July 1st. Confirmation of the sad intelligence is contained in a sympathetic letter sent to Mrs. Howe by Mrs. G.M. Jackson, wife of Col G.M. Jackson, of Clay Cross Hall, who in the course of her communication stated; 

"I have heard from my son, Captain H.H. Jackson, who says: "I am writing to tell you all I can about poor Len Allen. I am sorry I did not write to his mother, but I could not ascertain her address. Allen was killed with two other bombers, who were altogether under bombing Officer Lieut. Hipkins. Our party of bombers were in front of these, and the shell killed three of them, putting most of the others out of action. Allen was killed at once, and I am afraid I cannot give any more particulars, as I was not with him. He was a very good soldier and a very brave man, which I hope will be a little comfort to his mother. He used to be in my platoon, and came out with the first reinforcements. He really was splendidly brave." 

[THE DERBYSHIRE TIMES, SATURDAY, JULY 29, 1916]

 

 

 

BAGSHAW, SAMUEL HARRY.

Lance Corporal 1804, 1/6th Btn., k. in a. 01/07/1916, aged 24.

b. Matlock; e. Matlock.

"Son of Samuel and Ellen Bagshaw, of Kelvin Side, Dimple, Matlock, Derbyshire."

Bagshaw SH.jpg (337579 bytes)

FONCQUEVILLERS MILITARY CEMETERY, Pas de Calais, France - I. L. 23.

Matlock Memorial

Roll of Honour (Matlock Bank) - The Derbyshire Times, Saturday, July 15th, 1916

Harry Bagshaw was the Son a veteran footballer of Matlock. His brother John was killed with the Lancashire Fusiliers in Gallipoli on 5th September 1915 and he had formerly been with the Sherwood Foresters. 40 members of the Bagshaw family served with the Forces during the War.

 

 

BERRIDGE, WILLIAM.

Private 3976, 1/6th Btn., k. in a. 01/07/1916, aged 23.

b. Heeley, Yorkshire; e. Chesterfield; r. Brampton.

THIEPVAL MEMORIAL, Somme, France - Pier and Face 10 C 10 D and 11 A.

Brampton Memorial

'Reference was made in a letter which Private Walter Wright of the Sherwoods wrote home to his wife at 447 Chatsworth Road, Brampton, Chesterfield, that his friend William Berridge had been killed. Private Berridge is the only son of Mrs. Berridge, 7, Stone Row, Brampton, and he was only married a year ago, he never having seen his baby. Twenty-three years of age last May, he enlisted in the Sherwoods in February, 1915. Prior to that he worked at Plowright's.'  

[THE DERBYSHIRE TIMES, SATURDAY, JULY 15, 1916]

 

 

BRADDER, ERNEST.

Private, 240691, 1/6th Btn., k. in a. 01/07/1916, aged 21.

b. Clay Cross; e. Clay Cross; r. Clay Cross.

"(2690). Son of Mrs. Mary Ann Bradder, of Egstow, Clay Cross, Chesterfield."

THIEPVAL MEMORIAL, Somme, France - Pier and Face 10 C 10 D and 11 A.

Village Memorial at The Church of St Bartholomew in Clay Cross

 

 

BRADY, ALFRED.

Private 3985, 1/6th Btn., k. in a. 01/07/1916, aged 19.

b. Brampton; e. Chesterfield; r. Brampton.

THIEPVAL MEMORIAL, Somme, France - Pier and Face 10 C 10 D and 11 A

Brampton Memorial

'Private Alfred Brady, second son of Mr. and Mrs. William Brady, 12 Shaw's Row, Brampton, Chesterfield, was killed in action on July 1st. In a letter of sympathy Sergt. T. Shirt :- 

"I can honestly state that your son was a good soldier, was always ready to do his duty, and that he is greatly missed by all ranks of my platoon. I was near him when he was killed and his death was instantaneous." 

Private Brady joined the Sherwoods in February 1915 and would have been 20 years of age on September 11th. He worked at Ashgate Colliery.'  

[THE DERBYSHIRE TIMES, SATURDAY, JULY 22, 1916]

 

 

CARLINE, WILLIAM.

Sergeant 240022, 1/6th Btn., k. in a. 01/07/1916.

b. Nottingham; e. Chesterfield; r. Chesterfield.

THIEPVAL MEMORIAL, Somme, France - Pier and Face 10 C 10 D and 11 A

Brampton Memorial

 

 

CARTER, WILLIAM.

Private 4465, 1/6th Btn., k. in a. 01/07/1916, aged 20.

b. Darley Dale; e. Matlock; r. Darley Dale.

FONCQUEVILLERS MILITARY CEMETERY, Pas de Calais, France - I. L. 33.

A resident of North Darley his brother George was wounded in France earlier in the year.

 

 

FAIRBROTHER, HARRY.

Private 4308, 1/6th Btn., k. in a. 01/07/1916.

b. Newhall; e. Chesterfield; r. South Normanton.

THIEPVAL MEMORIAL, Somme, France - Pier and Face 10 C 10 D and 11 A.

 

 

FORD, LEONARD.

Private 3293, 1/6th Btn., k. in a. 01/07/1916, aged 24.

b. Kirk Ireton; e. Kirk Ireton; r. Kirk Ireton.

"Son of George and Patience Eliza Ford, of Hemp Yard, Kirk Ireton, Derbyshire."

FONCQUEVILLERS MILITARY CEMETERY, Pas de Calais, France - I. L. 29.

Roll of Honour (Kirk Ireton) - The Derbyshire Times, Saturday, July 15th, 1916

Leonard Ford was the first man from Kirk Ireton to be killed during the War and was killed by a bullet. Prior to enlisting in October 1914 he was employed as a timber feller by Messrs Allen and Orr of Chesterfield. He had been in France nearly 12 months.

 

 

GIBBONS, GEORGE FLETCHER.

Lance Corporal 2251, 1/6th Btn., k. in a. 01/07/1916.

b. Chesterfield; e. Chesterfield; r. Chesterfield.

GOMMECOURT WOOD NEW CEMETERY, FONCQUEVILLERS, Pas de Calais, France - II. E. 26.

 

 

GODDARD, WILLIAM , M.M.

 Company Sergeant Major 158, 1/6th Btn., k. in a. 01/07/1916.

b. Stoney Middleton; e. Stoney Middleton; r. Stoney Middleton.

"Son of James and Maria Goddard, of Stoney Middleton; husband of Gertrude Goddard, of Vicarage Rd., Stoney Middleton, Sheffield"

FONCQUEVILLERS MILITARY CEMETERY, Pas de Calais, France - I. L. 14. 

Village Memorial, Parish Church of St Martin in Stoney Middleton

Roll of Honour (Stoney Middleton) - The Derbyshire Times, Saturday, July 15th, 1916

MM announced in the London Gazette on 19th February 1917 - awarded posthumously

 

 

HARRISON, PHILLIP J. REPTON.

Private 4426, 1/6th Btn., k. in a. 01/07/1916, aged 19.

b. Wirksworth; e. Wirksworth; r. Wirksworth.

THIEPVAL MEMORIAL, Somme, France - Pier and Face 10 C 10 D and 11 A.

Wirksworth Memorial Park and Commemorative Plaque, St Mary's Church, Wirksworth

Roll of Honour (Carsington) - The Derbyshire Times, Saturday, July 22nd, 1916

Aged 19 Years from Carsington. An 'Old Boy' of Wirksworth Grammar School. Prior to enlisting he was employed as a gardener.

 

 

HEALEY, HERBERT.

Private 2732, 1/6th Btn., k. in a. 01/07/1916, aged 21.

b. Chesterfield; e. Chesterfield; r. Chesterfield.

"Son of Mrs. Sophia Healey, of 403 Chatsworth Rd., Brampton, Chesterfield."

THIEPVAL MEMORIAL, Somme, France - Pier and Face 10 C 10 D and 11 A.

Brampton Memorial

'News of a disturbing nature has been received by Mrs. Healey, of 403, Chatsworth Road, Brampton, Chesterfield, respecting her youngest son, Herbert, who is a private in the Sherwood Foresters. It came from his pal in the same regiment, Private Tom Carline, of 48, New Hall Road, Brampton. He wrote:-

"It is with deep regret that I write these few lines relating to the death of your son, which I suppose you will have heard of by now. I am heart broken but any sorrow will be little compared to yours. Herbert was a good soldier and he died doing his duty. I can not give you any details, because I was slightly wounded myself and had to leave the trenches. When I enquired about him they told me what had happened. We made a charge, and poor old Herbert, who was a machine gunner, was done in like more of his pals". 

Private Healey was the youngest son of Mrs. Healey and the late Geo. Healey, being 21 years of age last January. He was a crane driver in the employ of Messrs. Allen and Orr, timber merchants, Chesterfield. In October, 1914, he enlisted, and had been at the front a year and eight months  without having a furlough.' 

[THE DERBYSHIRE TIMES, SATURDAY, JULY, 15th, 1916]

 

 

HOOK, JOHN WILLIAM.

Private 241040, 1/6th Btn., k. in a. 01/07/1916.

b. Skegby, Nottinghamshire; e. Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire; r. Shirebrook.

THIEPVAL MEMORIAL, Somme, France - Pier and Face 10 C 10 D and 11 A.

Commemorative Plaque, Holy Trinity Church, Shirebrook

 

 

JACKSON, HARRY.

Private 3918, 1/6th Btn., k. in a. 01/07/1916, aged 22.

b. Brampton; e. Brampton; r. Brampton.

THIEPVAL MEMORIAL, Somme, France - Pier and Face 10 C 10 D and 11 A.

Brampton Memorial

'Private Jack Bannister, Sherwoods, writing to his brother, Mr. T. Bannister, 20, New Hall Road, Brampton, Chesterfield, says that Pte. Harry Jackson ('Toby') has been blown to pieces. Jackson and a soldier from Creswell were left in charge of an ammunition stores, which was blown up, and they had not been seen since. He was pleased to say the British were now giving the Germans 'Jerry' all along the line. Private Jackson was the eldest son of Mr. Hy. Jackson, 6, South Place, Barker Lane, Brampton. He was 22 years of age, and before enlisting on February 12th, 1915, worked at the Pump Mill, belonging to Messrs. Robinson and Sons.'  

[THE DERBYSHIRE TIMES, SATURDAY, JULY, 15, 1916]

 

 

JELLICOE, ERIC MAITLAND

Lieutenant, 1/6th Btn., k. in a. 01/07/1916, aged 20.

"Son of James T. Jellicoe and Lilian his wife."

FONCQUEVILLERS MILITARY CEMETERY, Pas de Calais, France - I. B. 21.

 

 

JOHNSON, LUTHER.

Corporal 240060, 1/6th Btn., k. in a. 01/07/1916, aged 29.

b. Brimington; e. Chesterfield; r. Brimington.

THIEPVAL MEMORIAL, Somme, France - Pier and Face 10 C 10 D and 11 A.

Brimington War Memorial, St Michael and All Angels Church

Luther Johnson enlisted with his four brothers during the early part of the War. He was employed at the local (Clowne) Colliery and left a widow and three young children.

 

 

LEVERTON, WILLIAM.

Private, 3204, 1/6th Btn., k. in a. 01/07/1916, aged 19.

b. Goldthorpe; e. Creswell; r. Creswell.

THIEPVAL MEMORIAL, Somme, France - Pier and Face 10 C 10 D and 11 A.

Creswell Village War Memorial [10]

 

 

NADEN, GEORGE F. PHILLIPS.

Private 1405, 1/6th Btn., k. in a. 01/07/1916.

b. Buxton; e. Chapel-en-le-Frith; r. Dove Holes.

"Son of Richard and Hannah Naden, of Homestead Cottages, Meadow Lane, Dove Holes, Stockport."

FONCQUEVILLERS MILITARY CEMETERY, Pas de Calais, France - I. L. 9.

Dove Holes Memorial

Arrived in France on 28th February 1915

 

 

PEARSON, WILLIAM HERBERT.

Private 4626, 1/6th Btn., k. in a. 01/07/1916, aged 31.

e. Matlock; r. Matlock.

"Son of George and Hannah Pearson, of 24, North Street, Cromford, Matlock, Derbyshire."

FONCQUEVILLERS MILITARY CEMETERY, Pas de Calais, France - I. L. 36.

Cromford Memorial and Roll of Honour - The Derbyshire Times, July 22nd, 1916

' July 5. Dear Mrs Pearson.- I now write to you with deepest sympathy to inform you that your son, William, is missing since July 1st. I opened his letter to get your address and I now enclose it to you again. . . . . My home is at West Bank, Matlock Bath and as I knew him before the War I though I would write to you. He was in the same Company as me and he will be greatly missed by me and the other men of the Company. . . . . '

[L/Cpl G Collis and Pte W.L. Cooper from Matlock]

Prior to enlisting William Pearson and his brother Samuel worked at Masson Mills in Cromford and was a popular local footballer. He was rejected twice by Medical boards until finally being accepted on the third attempt. His brother Samuel was killed in action with the 10th Battn SF on the 9th August 1916. 

 

 

PRATLEY, GEORGE RAYMOND.

Private 1713, 1/6th Btn., k. in a. 01/07/1916, aged 23.

b. Witney, Oxfordshire; e. Matlock; r. Matlock.

"Son of Mark Elisha Pratley."

THIEPVAL MEMORIAL, Somme, France - Pier and Face 10 C 10 D and 11 A.

Roll of Honour (Darley Dale) - The Derbyshire Times, Saturday, July 15th, 1916

Arrived in France on 28th February 1915

 

 

SHARMAN, Sidney.

Lance Sergeant 2206, 1/6th Btn., k. in a. 01/07/1916, aged 21.

b. Stonebroom; e. Clay Cross; r. Stonebroom.

"Husband of Sarah Annie Allsop (formerly Sharman), of 4113, Sun St. West, Edgbaston, Birmingham."

THIEPVAL MEMORIAL, Somme, France - Pier and Face 10 C 10 D and 11 A.

Village Memorial, St Peter's Church, Stonebroom and Tibshelf Memorial

Arrived in France on 26th February 1915

 

 

SHAW, WILLIAM

Private 3643, 1/6th Btn., k. in a. 01/07/1916, aged 21.

b. Hucknall; e. Chesterfield; r. Creswell.

"Son of William and Lois Shaw, of 66, Model Village, Creswell, Mansfield, Notts."

THIEPVAL MEMORIAL, Somme, France - Pier and Face 10 C 10 D and 11 A.

Cresswell Village War Memorial [10]

'One of the victims of the great push on the Western Front was Drummer William Shaw, Sherwood Foresters, son of Mr. and Mrs. W. Shaw, 66 New Village, Creswell, who was killed on July 1st during a bombardment of the British Trenches by the Germans. The Official notification was sgnd. by Lieut. Col. G.D. Goodman, commanding the _____Sherwoods, while details of how the deceased met his death were forwarded by Lance Corpl. Ball, a friend of Drummer Shaw, who stated that they were in the trenches when the Germans started shelling them and 

"poor old Bill was killed." 

He did not see him afterwards, but one of the sergeants told him he was killed instantly, a shell burying him all but his head - A letter of sympathy with the parents was sent by the following Creswell Soldiers serving in the same regiment;- Ptes. F. Johnson, T. Drabble, C. Webster, W. Buxton, J.H. Bellamy, F. Bambridge, and A. Marples. The letter stated; 

"He was a good soldier and one of our best chums." 

Drummer Shaw, who was only 20 years of age, enlisted about eleven months ago, and had only been in France a few weeks. He was formerly a member of the Creswell Boys Brigade, an organisation which has furnished many excellent recruits for the Army. Before enlisting he worked at the Creswell Colliery. Another brother Pte. James Shaw, Sherwood Foresters, is also in France, having enlisted at the outbreak of war.'  

[THE DERBYSHIRE TIMES, SATURDAY, JULY, 15th, 1916]

 

 

SHELDON, F.

Private 3581, 1/6th Btn., k. in a. 01/07/1916, aged 21.

b. Bonsall; e. Matlock; r. Bonsall

FONCQUEVILLERS MILITARY CEMETERY, Pas de Calais, France - I. L. 25.

Bonsall Village Memorial

Roll of Honour (Bonsall) - The Derbyshire Times, Saturday, July 15th, 1916

Frank Sheldon enlisted in the Sherwoods at the beginning of 1915, Prior to which he worked at the Bonsall Wood Basalt Quarries. He had been in France for seven week before he was killed. His brother served with the 16th Battn Sherwood Foresters and after being wounded in 1916 he returned to France, where he was killed on the 8th October 1916.

 

 

SIDEBOTTOM, T.

Private 2010, 1/6th Btn., k. in a. 01/07/1916.

b. Dove Holes; e. Peak Dale; r. Peak Dale.

FONCQUEVILLERS MILITARY CEMETERY, Pas de Calais, France - I. L. 42.

Peak Dale Memorial

Arrived in France on 25th February 1915. His brother Henry was also wounded.

 

 

SPENCER, JAMES A. STANLEY.

Private 2841, 1/6th Btn., k. in a. 01/07/1916, aged 25.

b. Chapel-en-le-Frith; e. Chapel-en-le-Frith; r. Dove Holes

"Son of William and Ann Spencer, of Carlow Lane, Dove Holes, Stockport."

THIEPVAL MEMORIAL, Somme, France - Pier and Face 10 C 10 D and 11 A.

Dove Holes Memorial

Arrived in France on 28th June 1915. James was 6ft 1¼in and the tallest soldier from the village and played centre-half for the Doles Holes football team.

 

 

TOMLINSON, WILLIAM.

Private 3842, 1/6th Btn., k. in a. 01/07/1916.

b. Woodthorpe; e. Chesterfield; r. Clay Cross.

FONCQUEVILLERS MILITARY CEMETERY, Pas de Calais, France - I. L. 32. 

Village Memorial at The Church of St Bartholomew in Clay Cross

 

 

The wounded of 1st July 1916

 

Capt & Adj. C.B. Johnson

Lieutenant-Colonel Cyril Benton Johnson was killed in action on the 21st of September 1917. He had taken command of the Battalion at 'Kite Copse' at the the age of 26. He was killed by a shell whilst going up to the trenches just in front of Loos.

Lieut. Cyril B. Johnson is commemorated on the Roll of Honour in St Gile's Parish Church, Buxton and on the Monument in Buxton Memorial Park.

 

Capt E.B. Johnson

'Information was received in Ashover on Wednesday to the effect that Captain E.B. Johnson, of the Sherwood Foresters, Notts and Derbys Regiment, has been wounded in France and is now in hospital at Havre. Prior to the War, Captain Johnson, who resided at Ashover, was the cashier at the offices of the Clay Cross Co. Ltd., being formerly in Messrs Crompton and Evans' at at Chesterfield. He was at one time a Lieutenant in the Clay Cross Territorials, and joined immediately after the outbreak of hostilities.'

[THE DERBYSHIRE TIMES, SATURDAY, JULY, 8th, 1916]

 

2nd Lt F.W.A. Stubbs

'For the second time, Lieut. F.W. A. Stubbs, son of Mr W.R. Stubbs, schoolmaster, of Ashford, has been wounded. News of his second experience was received on Monday from War Office that Lieut. Stubbs had been wounded the previous day in the hand and was in hospital suffering, in addition to the wound, from shock. No details have been received up to the present but it is assumed that Lieut. Stubbs, who is attached to the local Sherwood Foresters (T.F.) received his injury during the opening stages of the present offensive. Lieut. Stubbs, who received his commission after serving in the ranks in the regiment in which he is now an officer, was reported wounded some time ago. On that occasion he was struck on the forehead and wrote home saying that he was only slightly hurt. He made light of the injury, but it subsequently transpired that he had reieved treatment in hospital some time after the incident.'

[THE DERBYSHIRE TIMES, SATURDAY, JULY, 8th, 1916]

2nd Lieutenant Frederick William Arthur Stubbs M.C., aged 26, was killed in action on the 10th May 1917 by a German shell. He is buried in Maroc British Cemetery (plot II.O.4) in the village of Grenay, and his death is commemorated on the Ashford Village Memorial.

 

2nd Lt J.E. Barker

'Second-Lieut. J.E. Barker of Clay Cross, who is attached to the Sherwood Foresters has again been wounded in action, his wife receiving official intimation on Monday to the effect that her husband had been admitted into hospital suffering a gun shot wound on the arm. . . . . . Second Lieutenant Barker is a son of Mr and Mrs Barker of Thanes Street, Clay Cross, and his home is is in Revil (?) Street, Clay Cross. He was a Sergeant in the local Territorials at the outbreak of hostilities and was later promoted to the rank of Quartermaster Sergeant, and subsequently received a Commission.'

[THE DERBYSHIRE TIMES, SATURDAY, JULY, 8th, 1916]

 

 

 

 

Withdrawal of the Battalion from the front line

(evening of the 1st)

 

During the evening of the 1st July the battalion were withdrawn from the front line and over the next few days reorganised Company Commanders and received drafts of Officers and Men as detailed by the War Diary :-

"Fonquevillers 2.7.16 - Bn marched into huts at Marlincourt. Capt Tolson to Command "B" Coy via Capt Dick, Lt G.K.K. Maughan appointed A/Adjuctant via Capt C.B. Johnson."

"Warlincourt 2.7.16 - Bn marched into Billets vacated & handed over by 5th N. Staffs Regt."

 

During this time many of the wounded succumbed to their wounds and were buried in nearby cemeteries :-

 

 

WHEATCROFT, RONALD DUNCAN.

Lieutenant, 1/6th Btn., d. of w. 02/07/1916, aged 26.

"Son of George Hanson Wheatcroft and Ada Maria Wheatcroft, of Waltham House, Wirksworth, Derbyshire."

WARLINCOURT HALTE BRITISH CEMETERY, SAULTY, Pas de Calais, France - I. F. 14.

Wirksworth Memorial Park

In loving memory of the two youngest sons of GEORGE HANSON and ADA WHEATCROFT

GEORGE HANSON WHEATCROFT of Rugby and Trinity College Cambridge, 2nd Lieut. l6th Heavy Battery R.G.A. who was killed in action near Mailly-Maillet in France on the 11th August 1915 in his twenty seventh year and was buried in the communal Cemetery at Beaussart near Mailly-Maillet.

RONALD DUNCAN WHEATCROFT of Rugby and New College Oxford. Lieut. 6th Battalion the Sherwood Foresters who died in France on the 2nd July 1916 in his twenty seventh year of wounds received the previous day in the attack on Gommecourt and was buried in the Military Cemetery at Warlincourt Halte on the Arras Doullens road.

"They were lovely and pleasant in their lives and in their death they were not divided"

Commemorative Plaque, St Mary's Church, Wirksworth

 

"July 3rd.- Went to the funeral of Lieut Wheatcroft. Great sympathy felt for his brother, Captain Wheatcroft, who has now lost two brothers in the war. We now expected a rest but no such luck."

[Extract from the Personal Diary of an Officer from Buxton]

 

 

BYFLEET, GEORGE.

Private 1681, 1/6th Btn., d. of w. 03/07/1916, aged 21.

b. Hunslett, Yorkshire; e. Chesterfield; r. Whittington Moor.

WARLINCOURT HALTE BRITISH CEMETERY, SAULTY, Pas de Calais, France - VI. B. 15.

'News has been received of the death in action of Private George Byfleet, Sherwood Foresters, whose father lives in Chapel Street, Whittington Moor. In a letter to Pte. Byfleets's fiancé, Miss Leach, Hardwick Street, Chesterfield, a chum named Pte. F. Huckerly writes that Byfleet was wounded and taken to hospital where death occurred. 

"A piece of shrapnel hit him on the shoulder and must have penetrated his lungs. He told me when he got the wound that it had taken the use out of his left arm, so I told him to drop his bombs and get back to the Red Cross as the guns were blinding us with all sorts of shells, You have the sincere sympathy of his platoon." 

Pte. Byfleet was 21 years of age, and in civil life was a moulder at Sheepbridge Works. He had been a Territorial for five years and was called up on the outbreak of War. He was one of the bomb throwers for his battalion. He was home on leave two months ago.'  

[THE DERBYSHIRE TIMES, SATURDAY, JULY, 29th, 1916]

 

 

MURPHY, WALTER FRANCES JOSEPH.

Private 2052, 1/6th Btn., d. of w. 03/07/1916, aged 20.

b. Greenwich, Kent; e. Whaley Bridge; r. Bugsworth.

"Son of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Murphy, of Clough Head, Bugsworth, Stockport. Born at Lee, London."

WARLINCOURT HALTE BRITISH CEMETERY, SAULTY, Pas de Calais, France - I. G. 11.

Whaley Bridge Memorial

Arrived in France on 28th February 1915. A native of Bridgemont.

 

 

 

PELL, CHARLES RICHARD.

Corporal 2315, "B" Coy., 1/6th Btn., d. of w. 03/07/1916, aged 20.

b. Great Longstone; e. Chapel-en-le-Frith; r. Chapel-en-le-Frith.

"Son of Charles Richard and Caroline Pell, of Market St., Chapel-en-le-Frith, Stockport. Enlisted 2nd Sept., 1914, and served 16 months in France."

WARLINCOURT HALTE BRITISH CEMETERY, SAULTY, Pas de Calais, France - I. F. 11.

Roll of Honour (Great Longstone)- The Derbyshire Times, Saturday, July 22nd, 1916.

Charles Pell's name does not appear on either the Chapel-en-le-Frith or Great Longstone Memorials

Cpl Charles Pell was unofficially reported wounded in the chest on the 7th July by two of his friends. This was the second time that Cpl Pell had been wounded.

 

 

ROBINSON, FRANCIS BRADBURY.

Captain, 1/6th Btn., d. of w. 03/07/1916, aged 23.

"Son of William Bradbury Robinson and Margaret Robinson, of Elm Lodge, Chesterfield."

WARLINCOURT HALTE BRITISH CEMETERY, SAULTY, Pas de Calais, France - I. F. 6.

Brampton Memorial

'Widespread sympathy is felt with Major and Mrs. W.B. Robinson, Elm Lodge, Brampton, Chesterfield, in the death of their only son, Capt. Frank B. Robinson, who is reported to have died of wounds on Monday last. The sad news reached Elm Lodge on Tuesday, when a telegram was received from the Territorial Records' Office. Lichfield, as follows - "Regret to inform you that Captain Robinson, Sherwood Foresters, died of wounds on 3rd July. The Prime Minister expresses his sympathy."

'Captain Robinson had only just attained his 23rd birthday, and had been connected with the Territorials since he was 19. On receiving his Commission he took up the work with great sympathy, and passed at Hythe and Chelsea . . . . Immediately, Lieut. Robinson, as he was then, returned home and joined his unit, being placed in command of the machine gun section. He proceeded to France with his battalion, and when the machine guns were drawn from the various units and formed into a separate body at the end of last year, he was given command of the gun brigade, which included eight officers and 170 men. His promotion to a captaincy was dated October 15th, 1915.' 

'A near relative of the deceased officer, Captain Victor Robinson, of Chesterfield, is also serving with Sherwood Foresters, and was recently awarded the Military Cross.'  

[THE DERBYSHIRE TIMES, SATURDAY, JULY 8, 1916]

 

 

NADEN, JOHN EDMUND.

Private 2951, 1/6th Btn., d. of w. 04/07/1916, aged 21.

b. Wormhill; e. Chapel-en-le-Frith; r. Dove Holes.

"Son of Richard Fearn Naden and Hannah Naden, of Meadow Lane, Dove Holes."

DOVE HOLES METHODIST CHAPELYARD, Derbyshire - 2. 34.

Dove Holes Memorial

Arrived in France on 28th June 1915

 

 

DEPLEDGE, CHARLES.

Private 2383, 1/6th Btn., d. of w. 05/07/1916, aged 36.

b. Fernilee, Derbyshire; e. Chesterfield; r. Whaley Bridge.

"Son of Richard and Hannah Depledge; Husband of Dinah Depledge of 8, Johnson St., Whaley Bridge, Stockport."

WARLINCOURT HALTE BRITISH CEMETERY, SAULTY, Pas de Calais, France - XII. C. 16.

Whaley Bridge Memorial

Charles Depledge was a veteran of the Boar War. He survived the attacks of the 1st July, but was fatally wounded later in the week. He left a widow and four children, the eldest being only eight years old. The news was conveyed by Tom Depledge. Before the War Charles Depledge was a printwork labourer.

 

 

GREEN, WALTER.

Private 4644, 1/6th Btn., d. of w. 05/07/1916, aged 19.

e. Chesterfield; r. Chesterfield.

"Son of Emily and William Booker (stepfather)."

LE TREPORT MILITARY CEMETERY, Seine-Maritime, France - Plot 2. Row L. Grave 3c.

Newbold Memorial

'Pte. Walter Green, 20, Arundel Road, Newbold Moor, is the second brother to lose his life in the present struggle. Another brother is severely wounded. Pte. Green joined the Sherwoods early in the war, and has seen some severe fighting. The first intimation of his being wounded was received from the chaplain in the No. 2 Canadian General Hospital, Le Treport, France on July 3rd, who wrote that he was shot through both lungs. This was followed by the official intimation from the authorities, and on the 11th another notice with the sympathy of the King and Queen was received informing Mrs Green that Pte. Green had succumbed to his injuries on the 5th.' 

[THE DERBYSHIRE TIMES, SATURDAY, JULY 22, 1916]

 

 

HAYES, JOSEPH HARRY.

Private 4534, 1/6th Btn., d. of w. 06/07/1916, aged 22.

b. Ashover; e. Matlock; r. Matlock.

"Son of Frederick and Eliza Hayes, of Lime Tree Road, Matlock, Derbyshire."

LE TREPORT MILITARY CEMETERY, Seine-Maritime, France - Plot 2. Row O. Grave 2B.

Matlock Memorial

 

 

SHAW, CHARLES GORDON.

Private 1853, 1/6th Btn., d. of w. 07/07/1916, aged 22.

b. Chesterfield; e. Chesterfield; r. Chesterfield.

CHESTERFIELD (CHRIST CHURCH) CHURCHYARD, Derbyshire, United Kingdom

Special Memorial

Arrived in France on 27th February 1915

 'Among the many Stonegravels soldiers who have given their lives for their country in France is Pte. Charles Gordon Shaw, Sherwood Foresters, the adopted son of Mr. W.H. Taylor, 1, Hardwick Street. He had been twice wounded in the earlier stages of the war, and on July 1st he again fell a victim of the enemy's fire. He was removed to hospital at Chester. arriving there on the 4th inst. His injuries were of a serious nature, however, and soon proved fatal. The deceased was only 22 years of age, and before the war was a joiner in the employ of Mr. J Wright, Rutland Road. He was a prominent member of the Marsden Street U.M. Church and was a member of the Bible Class and Choir. The corpse was removed from Chester to Chesterfield on Saturday and the internment took place in Christ Churchyard on Tuesday. The coffin was wrapped in the Union Jack and was borne to the grave by soldier-bearers. the Grammar School Cadets also attended, and at the close of the burial service, read by the Rev. J Ducker, the 'Last Post' was sounded.'  

[THE DERBYSHIRE TIMES, SATURDAY, JULY, 15, 1916]

 

 

SIMPSON, HERBERT

2nd Lieutenant, 1/6th Btn., d. of w. 07/07/1916, aged 30.

"of wounds received at Gommecourt, July 1st. Only son of John William Bramhall Simpson and Julia Simpson,

of "South Dene," Ashgate Rd., Chesterfield, Derbyshire. Officers,"

ST. SEVER CEMETERY, ROUEN, Seine-Maritime, France - A. 3. 6.

Brampton Memorial, Old Brampton Memorial and Old Cestrefeldians Memorial

'Mr. and Mrs. J.W.B. Simpson, Southdene, Ashgate Road, Chesterfield, on Monday received a telegram from the War Office, informing them that their only son, Second-Lieutenant Herbt. Simpson, Sherwood Foresters, was reported dangerously ill with a gun-shot wound in the arm, and had been admitted to No. 2 Red Cross Hospital at Rouen . . . . . Second-Lieutenant Simpson was chief clerk to the Chesterfield Gas and Water Board . . . . He received his education in the Chesterfield Grammar School, and is 29 years of age. Enlisting shortly after the outbreak of War, in the 12th York and Lancs. (Sheffield City Battalion), he received his commission towards the end of 1915, and was gazetted to the Sherwood Foresters, whom he joined on May 8th.'

[THE DERBYSHIRE TIMES, SATURDAY, JULY, 8, 1916]

'Amid their personnel grief, Mr and Mrs J. W. B. Simpson of Smithdene, Ashgate Road, Chesterfield, have every reason to be proud of their gallant son, second Lieutenant Herbert Simpson, for, as he lay on the battlefield mortally wounded, he spurned his men on to victory. "Don't worry," he remarked, "I am only slightly hit." Thus he veiled the terrible news that his left arm was completely shattered, that he was mauled all down the left side from shoulder to his foot, and that his right hand was smashed. Under the withering cross fire of the opposing forces he lay in the open from early morn till dawn, shells burst round about him, and when he could stand the pain no longer he propelled his maimed body, bit by bit, until he reached the British lines. His wounds were dressed, and in the course of time he was admitted to No. 2 Red Cross Hospital, Rouen. Here he made a gallant fight for life, but an imperative operation, delayed til the last moment, brought the end near, and he died in the presence of his mother, his father, whom the War Office would not permit to make the journey till Thursday afternoon, arriving just too late to see his only son alive.'

[The Derbyshire Times, Saturday, July 15, 1916]

 

The War Diary notes that 2/Lt H Simpson joined the Battn at Humbercamps from the Reserve Battn on 14th May. He was to die fifty-four days later. 

 

 

BARKER, WILLIAM LEOPOLD.

Private 2183, 1/6th Btn., d. of w. 10/07/1916, aged 30.

b. Two Dales; e. Matlock; r. Darley Dale.

"Son of William and Salome Eliza Barker, of 7, Hazel View, Two Dales, Darley Dale, Matlock, Derbyshire."

ETRETAT CHURCHYARD, Seine-Maritime, France - II. D. 11A.

Roll of Honour - The Derbyshire Times, July 22nd, 1916

William was badly wounded (for the second time) on the 1st July.

 

 

HALL, JAMES.

Private 4498, 1/6th Btn., d. of w. 13/07/1916, aged 34.

b. Bollington, Cheshire; e. Buxton; r. Whaley Bridge.

"Husband of Harriett Hall, of Bings, Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire."

MONT HUON MILITARY CEMETERY, LE TREPORT, Seine-Maritime, France - I. G. I.

Whaley Bridge Memorial

Left a wife and small daughter. He enlisted on 17th August 1915 prior to which he worked as a "Tacker" at Goyt Mills.

 

 

 

Gallantry Awards for the battle of the Somme

 

For their individual acts of bravery during the attack on the 1st July the following men received the Military Medal:-

1644 Drummer J Chatterton

570 C.S.M. George W Dakin

1790 Pte. Samuel Dawes (Company Runner)

71 Sergt. W. Hopkins

1464 Sergt. W Longson

1936 Vernon S Smith

2323 Cpl. Arthur Stroyan

In addition the following men were Mentioned in Dispatches:-

2353 Sergt. T Shirt (for clearing the wounded)

1658 Sergt. W Booth (for clearing the wounded)

4508 Sgt. Major Henry Jackman

939 Pte. James Hamer

2617 Pte. Edward Mills (runner)

1766 Sergt. Joseph Clarke (led men to front line trenches)

Lieut FW Hipkins (Btn Bombing Officer) was later to win the MC (awarded posthumously) in part for his actions on the 1st July

240420 Pte GW Nadin served as a stretcher bearer and was later to receive the D.C.M for devotion to duty [Feb 1915 - Oct 1918]

 

 

 

Back to the front line; Patrols and reconnaissance

(July - November)

 

 

After 10 days rest in Divisional reserve the Bn moved back to the Front line.

"11/12.7.16 - Bn marched to trenches and relieved 5th Bn South Lancashire Regt in Right Sector."

 

"We are in the reserve line now. But I think our Battalion will have to go in again in a few days’ time, so we shall then go back for a rest. We have had six days in, and Fritz has had a lively time of it."

[Pte. John Bates, "A" Coy, 6th Sherwood Foresters]

 

 

PRATT, GEORGE EDWARD.

Private 1487, 1/6th Btn., k. in a. 14/07/1916, aged 26.

b. Brimington; e. Brimington; r. Brimington.

"Husband of Gladys May Pratt, of 41, Queen St., New Brimington, Chesterfield, Derbyshire."

BELLACOURT MILITARY CEMETERY, RIVIERE, Pas de Calais, France - I. F. 5.

Brimington War Memorial, St Michael and All Angels Church

Arrived in France on 28th February 1915

'Private G. E. Pratt of Brimington attached to the Sherwood Foresters, has been killed, the sad information having been conveyed to his wife by Lieut. Col. Goodman, who stated that Pratt was killed on the 14th instant. Private Pratt was a member of the Territorials, and has gone through a lot of heavy fighting. He was 27 years of age, and leaves a widow and one child.'  

[THE DERBYSHIRE TIMES, SATURDAY, JULY 29, 1916]

 

"20.7.16 - Very heavy bombardment of trenches by enemy. 'A' Coy under Capt V.O. Robinson moved up to reinforce within 1 minute of receiving order from O.C. 5th Battn. Lt C.E.V. Cree and 3 O.R. killed, 15 O.R. wounded."

 

 

CREE, CHARLES EDWARD VICTOR

Lieutenant, 1/6th Btn., k. in a. 20/07/1916

 

 

CHURCHILL, EDWARD.

Private 4519, 1/6th Btn., k. in a. 20/07/1916.

b. Chesterfield; e. Chesterfield; r. Chesterfield.

BELLACOURT MILITARY CEMETERY, RIVIERE, Pas de Calais, France - I. G. 8.

Church of the Annunciation Memorial

'News has been received by his sisters, Mrs. McGough and Mrs. Lynch, Schofield's Yard, New Square, Chesterfield, on the death in action of their brother, Pte. Edward Churchill, Sherwood Foresters. 

"He was killed almost instantly by a shell which burst and killed our officer and other two poor fellows. His comrades take it very hard as he was a good and brave soldier, who died doing his duty, and gave all for his King and Country."

Private Churchill was 24 years of age and worked at Grassmoor Colliery before the War. He leaves a widow and three children.'  

[THE DERBYSHIRE TIMES, SATURDAY, AUGUST, 5th, 1916]

See also John William Lynch of the 11th Battalion, who was Edward Churchill's cousin.

 

 

CROMPTON, JOHN HENRY.

Private 3768, 1/6th Btn., k. in a. 20/07/1916.

b. Newton Moor; e. Chesterfield; r. Manchester.

BELLACOURT MILITARY CEMETERY, RIVIERE, Pas de Calais, France - I. G. 7.

see Thomas Vero

 

 

MELBOURNE, FRANCIS.

Private 3399, 1/6th Btn., k. in a. 20/07/1916, aged 20.

b. Clifton; e. Ashbourne; r. Clifton.

"Son of Frank and Martha Elizabeth Melbourne, of Clifton, Ashbourne, Derbyshire."

BELLACOURT MILITARY CEMETERY, RIVIERE, Pas de Calais, France - I. G. 6.

Arrived in France on 18th August 1915

 

 

CARNEY, JAMES. 

Private, 4505, 1/6th Btn., d. of w. 22/07/1916

b. Tangeree, C. Tyrone; e. Chesterfield; r. Rossington, Yorkshire.

WARLINCOURT HALTE BRITISH CEMETERY, SAULTY, Pas de Calais, France - I. H. 1.

 

 

VERO, THOMAS.

Private 4105, 1/6th Btn., d. of w. 23/07/1916, aged 17.

Formerly 3946 Liverpool Regiment.

b. Whittington; e. Chesterfield; r. Eastwood, Nottinghamshire.

"Son of Tom and Eliza Vero, of Hasland, Chesterfield."

ABBEVILLE COMMUNAL CEMETERY, Somme, France - VI. A. 3.

Brampton Memorial   and   Hasland Memorial

Arrived in France on 27th October 1915

'Mrs French, 53,Wharf Lane, Stonegravels, Chesterfield. Has received information that two soldiers who were billeted with her, while stationed in the town have been wounded, while a chum of theirs was killed. Her Son-in-law writing from the Front says: 

"Just a line to let you know that H Maycock has got wounded in the leg, and a bad wound too. We dropped in for it, not half. J. Crompton has been killed and Vero Wounded. When I saw The Derbyshire Times I could have cried to see my only pal's photo in it. We have to smile to save us from crying. It would open people' eyes when they saw The Times, but someone has to fight, the duty must be done." 

Pte. Tom Vero is also in the Sherwoods and lived with his brother, lately deceased, in Chatsworth Road. He is 19 years of age and worked at Grassmoor Colliery.'

[THE DERBYSHIRE TIMES, SATURDAY, JULY, 29th, 1916] 

 

 

"24.7.16 - A patrol of 2/Lts E. Kershaw & F.R. Oliver & 2 O.R. penetrated gap in TALUS wire & lay on bank. Whilst there they were challenged by a German patrol who fired, severely wounding 2/Lt Oliver. Pte Webb missing. Others got back with valuable information."

[2/Lt E Kershaw was to survive the War and finished as a Captain. He later assisted with the compilation of 'The History of the 6th Battalion Sherwood Foresters in the 1914-18 War', by Captain W.D. Jamieson who also served with the Battalion]

"In advance of the enemy's main line and lying in a hallow screened from direct observation, is a bank (or sunken fence) 200 yards long, known as the TALUS. (see plan) This bank is 200 yards distant from No 14 SAP and rather more from No 15, from which saps it is approached by a downward slope devoid of cover . . . . The TALUS is connected at its SOUTH end with enemy's front line by a C.T. some 200 yards long. About 120 yards down this C.T. is a circular work probably a Machine Gun dug-out or emplacement marked "D". In front of the TALUS are two depths of wire, each about 10 yards deep with an interval between them of some 10 yards. At a point apparently 15 yards from SOUTH end of TALUS is a gap 10 to 15 yards wide (marked A - B on plan) Both sides of the C.T. are strongly wired and there is also much wire between the TALUS and the enemy's front trench, and on the NORTH (open) flank which latter is protected by the BLOCKHOUSE. Apparently it is the enemy's custom to patrol the TALUS from time to time. His patrols also use the gap A-B to approach our line, and there is often a working party on the wire in the neighbourhood."

 

 

OLIVER, FREDERICK RICHARD.

2nd Lieutenant, 1/6th Btn., d. of w. 24/07/1916, aged 26.

"Son of Richard and Mary Kate Oliver, of 60, Curzon St., Derby."

THIEPVAL MEMORIAL, Somme, France - Pier and Face 10 C 10 D and 11 A

 

 

WEBB, FRANK.

Private 3152, 1/6th Btn., d. 26/07/1916, aged 24.

b. Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire; e. Chesterfield; r. Stow-on-the-Wold.

"Son of John and Elizabeth Webb, of "Corona," Cirencester Rd., Charlton Kings, Cheltenham."

ARRAS MEMORIAL, Pas de Calais, France - Bay 7.

 

 

SLATER, GEORGE.

Private 4589, 1/6th Btn., d. of w. 27/07/1916, aged 22.

b. Chesterfield; e. Chesterfield; r. Chesterfield.

"Brother of Mr. R. W. Slater, of 26, Prospect Terrace, Brockwell, Chesterfield."

WARLINCOURT HALTE BRITISH CEMETERY, SAULTY, Pas de Calais, France - I. J. 12.

 

 

POYSER, WILLIAM.

Private 3989, 1/6th Btn., d. of w. 02/08/1916.

b. Grassmoor; e. Chesterfield; r. Grassmoor.

MONT HUON MILITARY CEMETERY, LE TREPORT, Seine-Maritime, France - II. B. 7.

Village Memorial in Grassmoor

 

 

McCREERY, CHARLES.

Private 3007, 1/6th Btn., d. of w. 06/08/1916, aged 18.

b. Wirksworth; e. Wirksworth; r. Wirksworth.

"Son of John and Alicia McCreery, of 1, West End, Wirksworth, Derbyshire."

WARLINCOURT HALTE BRITISH CEMETERY, SAULTY, Pas de Calais, France - I. J. 5.

Wirksworth Memorial Park  and  Commemorative Plaque, St Mary's Church, Wirksworth

 

 

FERRIS, JAMES.

Lance Corporal 1661, 1/6th Btn., d. of w. 09/08/1916, aged 22.

b. Wormhill; e. Peak Dale; r. Peak Dale.

"Son of Mrs. H. Ferris, of Peak Dale, Derbyshire."

MONT HUON MILITARY CEMETERY, LE TREPORT, Seine-Maritime, France - II. B. 6.

Peak Dale Memorial

 

 

"19.8.16. - Enemy shelled village about 12.15 a.m. 17 other ranks wounded, and 1 killed and 1 wounded attached 139th Trench Mortar Battery."

 

STOPPARD, THOMAS.

Private 4443, 1/6th Btn., k. in a. 19/08/1916, aged 34.

b. Clay Cross; e. Chesterfield; r. Clay Cross.

"Son of Samuel and Lizzie Stoppard, of Market St., Clay Cross, Derbyshire."

BELLACOURT MILITARY CEMETERY, RIVIERE, Pas de Calais, France - I. F. 1.

Village Memorial at The Church of St Bartholomew in Clay Cross

Lizzie Stoppard received a letter from Col Goodwin informing her that her son had been killed in action. 

"You must remember that he was a good soldier and has died for his Country. Your son was buried this afternoon in a small cemetery behind the lines. I was present with several Officers and Men of his Company."

Tom's Cousin (Q Sergt M Unwin of Chesterfield), was serving in the same Battalion and in a letter home he indicated that Tom lived only minutes after being wounded. Tom had been resting in billets with his comrades when the Germans started shelling the Village. Prior to enlisting Tom worked as a miner at the Alma Colliery in North Wingfield. He enlisted in early 1915 and arrived in France in April 1916.

 

 

"22.8.16. - Relieved by 5th Battn and moved into Divl Reserve in BAILLEULVAL."

 

 

ANDREWS, JOHN ARTHUR.

Private 3683, 1/6th Btn., d. of w. 23/08/1916, aged 30.

b. New Whittington; e. Chesterfield; r. New Whittington.

"Son of Mary Ann Andrews, of 142, South St., New Whittington, Chesterfield, Derbyshire."

WARLINCOURT HALTE BRITISH CEMETERY, SAULTY, Pas de Calais, France - III. A. 10.

John Andrews was the 95th New Whittington Soldier to be killed during the War. Before enlisting John was employed in the pipe shops at Staveley Works. He was 31 years of age and had been in France for about ten months.

 

 

HALLOWS, WILLIAM.

Private 2160, 1/6th Btn., d. of w. 30/08/1916, aged 19.

b. Middleton; e. Wirksworth; r. Wirksworth.

"Son of Herbert and Ann Jane Hallows, of Engine House, Middleton, Wirksworth, Derbyshire."

WARLINCOURT HALTE BRITISH CEMETERY, SAULTY, Pas de Calais, France - III. A. 6.

William Hallows's name does not appear on the Wirksworth Memorials

'In comparison with villages of a similar size the village of Middleton-by-Wirksworth has already suffered severely in the number of the soldiers who have given their lives for their country during the present war. This week news has been received that Private William K Hallows died in a casualty clearing station [20th and 43rd Casualty Clearing Stations?] on the 30th August from wounds received the --th of the month. Private Hallows was aged 19 years, single and was mobilised with the Sherwood Foresters (T.F.) on the outbreak of the war and proceed with those to France. At the time of his wounding he was a member of the Lewis gun section and he was shot in the chest and back . . . . . . . . . .'

[THE DERBYSHIRE TIMES, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER, 9th, 1916]

 

 

"1.9.16. - Raid on Talus. Which was checked by wire and party withdrew."

 

 

LOVETT, JOHN.

Private 3905, 1/6th Btn., d. 15/09/1916.

b. Brampton; e. Chesterfield; r. Brampton.

WARLINCOURT HALTE BRITISH CEMETERY, SAULTY, Pas de Calais, France - III. A. 2.

John Lovett's name does not appear on the Brampton Memorial

 

 

SPENCER, ROBERT.

Private 4511, "C" Coy., 1/6th Btn., d. of w. 21/09/1916, aged 18.

b. Ashbourne; e. Chesterfield; r. Chesterfield.

"Son of Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Spencer, of 3, Hall Bank, Green Rd., Ashbourne, Derbyshire."

WARLINCOURT HALTE BRITISH CEMETERY, SAULTY, Pas de Calais, France - II. G. 9.

Ashbourne Village Memorial and St Oswald's Parish Church Memorial Plaque

Roll of Honour -  Buxton Advertiser, Saturday, October 21st 1916

 

 

BAGULEY, ALBERT.

Private 3437, 1/6th Btn., d. of w. 24/09/1916, aged 22.

r. Staveley; e. Staveley; r. Staveley.

"Son of Mr. and Mrs. W. Baguley, of 173, Speedwell Terrace, Staveley, Chesterfield."

WARLINCOURT HALTE BRITISH CEMETERY, SAULTY, Pas de Calais, France - II. G. 10.

Staveley Memorial

 

 

Second Lieut. Kenneth Hill Bond (aged 21 and a resident of Rutland Road) was awarded the Military Cross for his actions during the latter part of the Battle of the Somme.

KH BOND.jpg (109454 bytes)

2/Lieut. Kenneth H. Bond

"At ________ on 30th September 1916, this Officer displayed marked gallantry and enterprise in crossing No Man's Land in broad daylight. Accompanied by four men, he crawled up to the German wire cut his way through, and lay in a German listening post in the hope that a hostile patrol might come out to the point, thus giving an opportunity for their capture or destruction. No patrol came, and Second-Lieut. Bond repeated this very risky operation on two other occasions, but without success.. He has done good work of this kind on Vimy Ridge and at Foncquevillers, on one occasion lying out all day between the lines, thereby obtaining much valuable information."

 

 

"The departure of the Battalion from the Bellacourt sector took place in the last two days of October"

 

 

.........and there ended the Battle of the Somme for the 6th (Derbyshire) Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters. During the preceding 4 months the Battalion had suffered over 200 casualties, and over thirty of these men were either killed in action or died of their wounds..............

 

Debris.jpg (68955 bytes)

Battlefield debris collected from the fields in front of Gommecourt Wood. From top left, British .303 bullets, German  barbed wire, German Mauser cases, and British shrapnel balls from a 4" shell [2002].

 

 

Sources of information :-

1) Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914-19; Part 49. The Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment). Published by J. B. Haywood & Son, Suffolk, 1989.

2) The Derbyshire Times, Chesterfield Edition.

3) Sherwood Forester Roll of Honour. Western Front Association; East Midland Branch.

4) British Battalions on the Somme by Ray Westlake. Published by Leo Cooper, 1998.

5) Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

6) War Dairy, 6th Btn Sherwood Foresters, WO 95/2694.

7) London Gazette, 22-9-1916, ZJ1/636.

8) The 6th Battalion Sherwood Foresters in the 1914-18 War, by Captain W.D. Jamieson, Privately Published in 1958.

9) Brave Sons of Shirebrook by Trevor Skirrey. Published by Derbyshire County Council, Libraries and Heritage Department, 2000.

10) Personal communication from William Bryan