The WW1 Roll of Honour:
Surnames K - L

Private 8248 Ernest Cato Kealey

2nd Bn. Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 21st November 1914, Aged 25.

Buried Le Touret Military Cemetery I. E. 7. 

(His brother Henry Percy Kealey also fell see below)

Ernest was the son of Henry William Cato Kealey (previously known as Henry Kealey Williams) and his second wife Caroline Draper. His father Henry had served briefly in the blacksmith's crew on H.M.S. Audacious but is believed to have jumped ship, which might explain his change of name. The Kealey family lived at 14, Cartwright Street, Loughborough.

Ernest enlisted in the Army on 11th October 1907, qualifiying in his duties on 22nd January 1909. By 1911 he was with his Regiment in Fort St. George, Madras, India. In August 1914 his battalion was in Ranikhet with the Indian Corps (Gharwal Brigade) in the Meerut Division and was ordered to proceed to France. The troops, under Major-General Charles Blackader, left Karachi on 21st September and arrived at Marseilles on 12th October 1914. They then transferred via Orleans, Lillers and Calonne-Ricouart to the frontline trenches to relieve the 3rd Worcesters. For the next month they came under continued shellfire, bombing and sniping from the enemy but, nevertheless, continued to strengthen the trenches. On 21st November, the day that Ernest Cato Kealey was killed, they were working underground towards the enemy lines.

Ernest's half-brother Henry Percy Kealey, a Sergeant with the Leicestershire Yeomanry, was killed in action near Ypres in 1915. His older brother William Thomas Kealey Williams enlisted in 1914 with the 2/5 Warwickshire Regiment but was discharged as medically unfit.

Sergeant 1508 Henry Percy Kealey

 

Leicestershire Yeomanry.                                    

Killed in Action 13th May 1915, Aged 29.

Commemorated Ypres (Menin Gate)   Panel 5

 

Henry Percy Kealey, known as 'Harry' and born in Kettering, Northamptonshire, in 1885, was the second son of Henry William Cato Kealey (previously known as Henry Kealey Williams) and his first wife Alice Amelia Mayes. His father Henry had served briefly in the blacksmith's crew on H.M.S. Audacious but is believed to have jumped ship, which might explain his change of name.

Harry's mother died when he was just years old and in 1888 his father was married again to Caroline Anne Draper. Harry's stepmother unfortunately also died a year after this second marriage and Harry's father married for a third time in 1890 in Loughborough to Elizabeth North. The children of all three marriages lived as a blended family at 14 Cartwright Street, Loughborough.

Harry enlisted in 1908 and in 1910 he married Constance Lizzie Diggle, the sister of another Leicestershire Yeomanry soldier Bertie Diggle. Harry and Constance Kealey had two daughters Constance (born 1912) and Dorothy (born 1913). By an unfortunate coincidence both Harry and his brother-in-law Bertie Diggle were killed on the same day at the Battle of Frezenberg.

Harry's half-brother Ernest Cato Kealey, a Private with the 2nd Leicestershire Regiment, was killed in action on 21st November 1914. His older brother William Thomas Kealey Williams enlisted in 1914 with the 2/5th Warwickshire Regiment but was discharged as medically unfit.

Harry's widow was remarried in the summer of 1918 but died a few months later.

Private 10170 Albert Edward Keightley

6th Bn. Leicestershire Regiment.

Died at Home 10th February 1915, Aged 20.

Buried Aldershot Military Cemetery R. 299. 

When Private Albert Edward Keightley enlisted at Loughborough in August 1914 the only members of his immediate family he left behind were his ailing father, Thomas Francis Keightley, a pianist, and his six year old sister Doris May, who was being looked after by his father's eldest sister Emma Charlesworth (née Keightley) of Church Street, Shepshed. Albert and Doris's mother, Harriet Keightley had died in 1913, and their father was also dead by the end of 1914.

Previously an electrician, on enlistment Albert was initially sent to the Salisbury Training Centre. In September 1914 the Battalion moved to Bordon, Hampshire, for further training.

Albert himself was not long in following his father to the grave, dying from cellulitis and pneumonia in the Cambridge Military Hospital at Aldershot in early 1915. He was buried at Aldershot Military Cemetery, Grave No. R. 299.

Private 16951 Percival Frederick Keightley

2nd Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Died on or after 15th May 1915, Aged 38.

Buried Guards Cemetery, Windy Corner, Cuinchy, Pas de Calais, Grave VI. J. 41. 

Percival Frederick Keightley (known to his family as 'Percy') was born in 1877 in Sileby, Leics. and baptised at All Saints Church, Thorpe Acre as 'Frederic Percival Keightley' on 29th July 1877. He was the son of Frederick Keightley, a farmer from Thorpe Acre, and Mary Anne Eliza Harley Keightley (née Cooper) of Sileby. Percy's parents were married at St. Mary's Church, Sileby, on 19th November 1868. In 1881 Percy's's father was farming 220 acres and the Keightley family was living in King Street, Sileby. By 1891 the family had moved to Mill Lane, Long Whatton, and by 1901 to Glebe Farm, Hathern. Percy had two brothers Edward and George and five sisters Helen, mary, Edith, Gertrude and Hilda.

In 1901 Percy was employed as an engine cleaner and lodging with the Bexson family at 23 Bateman Street, Derby. In 1903 he married Mary Jane Cross in the Melton Mowbray area and by 1911 he and Mary Jane were living in East Leake with their daughter Hilda May. Percy was now employed as a farm labourer.

Percy enlisted in Loughborough and joined the Leicestershire Regiment as Private 16951. The date of his enlistment, however, is not known as his service papers have not survived. After preliminary training he was sent to France on 19th March 1915 to join the 2nd Battalion of the Leicesters. The 2nd Battalion was part of an Indian Army formation led by Major-General Charles Blackader. When Percy joined the battalion it had just been in action in the Battle of Neuve Chapelle. After this battle the battalion spent a couple of months alternately in the trenches or in billets while war training, in the area of Calonne and Vieille Chapelle north-east of Béthune. On 9th May the battalion took part in the Battle of Aubers Ridge and on 15th May, the first day of the Battle of Festubert, launched a night attack on the enemy. Percy, aged 38, was reported missing on 15th May 1915 and was subsequently found to have been killed in action on or after 15th May.

Percy was buried in Guards Cemetery, Windy Corner, Cuinchy, Pas de Calais, Grave VI. J. 41.

 

Private 183719 Ernest Patrick Kelly

31st Bn. Canadian Infantry (Alberta Regiment).

Died of Wounds 1st October 1916, Aged 27.

Buried St Sever Cemetery B. 15. 5.

(his brother James also fell see below)  

Ernest Patrick Kelly was born on 7th April 1889 in Loughborough, the son of James Kelly bricklayer's labourer, and his wife Alice. Ernest had a twin brother William and three older brothers John, James and Patrick. He also had an older sister Margaret; another sister Ellen had died under the age of one. (Some records relating to Ernest state that he was born in Ireland like his parents but that was not the case.) In 1891 the Kelly family lived at 19 Bridge Street, Loughborough. Two years later they were living in Derby Square and by 1894 in Dead Lane. In 1895 the family moved to No. 4, Court C, Bridge Street, in 1898 to Providence Square and in 1899 to Greenclose Lane. James Kelly Senior died in 1909 and Alice Kelly went to live with her eldest son John and his wife Ellen at 3 Court C, Bridge Street. She later moved to 3 Sparrow Hill.

The Kelly children appear to have had a troubled background, at least from 1891 onwards. Records for Loughborough Petty Sessions and Police Court show that in 1891 both Kelly parents were fined for being drunk and disorderly. In 1893 Alice Kelly was summoned for throwing manure into the house of John and Harriet Middleton and for striking John Middleton on the head with a kettle. In 1894 James Kelly was fined on two separate occasions: firstly for obstructing the footpath in The Rushes and spitting in the causeway and secondly for stealing or destroying watercress at Woodhouse, the property of Mr. W. B. Paget. Alice, meanwhile, was fined for being drunk and disorderly in Bridge Street and in 1895 was fined for assaulting Mary Parsons with a fender. By 1899 Alice had been convicted twelve times for being drunk and disorderly besides convictions for common assault, obscene language and other offences.

It is therefore not surprising that the Kelly twins, Ernest and William, ran out of control and were sent to St. John's Industrial School and Reformatory for Roman Catholic Boys at Church End, Walthamstow, Essex. It also appears that the twins may have been sent as 'home children' to Canada on the SS Tunisian in 1904 by the Catholic Emigration Society. Certainly by 1914 Ernest and William were both living in Alberta.

Ernest enlisted on 2nd December 1915 in Calgary, Alberta, giving his occupation as brakeman on the railway. He joined the 89th Battalion of the Canadian Infantry as Private 183719. On 18th March 1916 he was admitted to Red Deer Military Hospital, central Alberta, with a sprained ankle and infected toe.

He sailed from Halifax, Nova Scotia, on the SS Olympic on 2nd June 1916 arriving at Liverpool on 8th June and joined Canadian troops at Westenhanger, Kent. In June he forfeited one day's pay for being absent without leave. On 26th June he was admitted to West Cliff Canadian Eye and Ear Hospital, Folkestone, with otitis media and remained in hospital until 12th July. On 27th August he was drafted from Westenhanger to the 31st Canadian Battalion in France and arrived at Le Havre on the following day.

The 31st Battalion was part of the 2nd Canadian Army Division which, in mid- to late September 1916 was tasked with capturing the ground around Courcelette, a village to the north of Pozières. The particular target of the 31st Battalion was to capture the sugar factory, supported by the tanks of C Company Heavy Section of the Machine Gun Corps, on 15th September 1916. They captured the village itself quite quickly but then there was a drawn-out battle from 26th September to take the ground around the Regina Trench to the north-east of the village. Ernest received gunshot wounds to both legs during this battle and was transferred to No. 12 General Hospital, Rouen. He died from his wounds on 1st October 1916, aged 27, and is buried in St, Sever Cemetery, Rouen, Grave B. 15. 5.

Ernest's twin brother in Canada did not enlist. He had married Lilian Overton McDougall in 1915 in Red Deer, Alberta. Ernest's older brother James who served with the East Surrey Regiment was killed near Arras in 1917. Their mother Alice Kelly committed suicide by drowning in the canal at Loughborough in 1926.

Private 7677 James Kelly

8th Bn. East Surrey Regiment. Previously Private 5150 Leicestershire Regiment and Private 6754 5th Bn., Middlesex Regiment.

Died of Wounds 3rd May 1917, Aged 39.

Commemorated Arras Memorial, Bay 6.

(his brother Ernest also fell see above)  

James Kelly was born in about 1878 in London or Plumstead, Kent, the son of James Kelly (Senior), bricklayer's labourer, and his wife Alice. James had one older brother John and three younger brothers Patrick, William and Ernest. He also had a younger sister Margaret. Another sister Ellen had died under the age of one. In 1891 the Kelly family lived at 19 Bridge Street, Loughborough. Two years later they were living in Derby Square and by 1894 in Dead Lane. In 1895 the family moved to No. 4, Court C, Bridge Street, in 1898 to Providence Square and in 1899 to Greenclose Lane. When James Kelly Senior died in 1909 Alice Kelly went to live with her eldest son John and his wife Ellen at 3 Court C, Bridge Street. She later moved to 3 Sparrow Hill.

The Kelly children appear to have had a troubled background. Records for Loughborough Petty Sessions and Police Court show that in 1891 both Kelly parents were fined for being drunk and disorderly. In 1893 Alice Kelly was summoned for throwing manure into the house of John and Harriet Middleton and for striking John Middleton on the head with a kettle. In 1894 James Kelly was fined on two separate occasions: firstly for obstructing the footpath in The Rushes and spitting in the causeway and secondly for stealing or destroying watercress at Woodhouse, the property of Mr. W. B. Paget. Alice, meanwhile, was fined for being drunk and disorderly in Bridge Street and in 1895 was fined for assaulting Mary Parsons with a fender. By 1899 Alice had been convicted twelve times for being drunk and disorderly besides convictions for common assault, obscene language and other offences.

On 2nd September 1893 James, who had become an engine driver, enlisted and joined the 3rd Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment as Private 5150. After completing six years' service he was reengaged on 21st July 1899. He was sent to South Africa on 26th March 1902. He returned to England on 3rd October 1902 and was finally discharged on 25th August 1910, his conduct as a soldier being described as 'Fair'.

On 10th January 1912 James reenlisted for four years with the Middlesex Regiment and was appointed a Lance Corporal in the 5th Battalion, a promotion rescinded one month later for misconduct (absence from duty, being unshaven on staff parade, and being drunk in the barracks). On 29th March 1912 he was arrested in Maidenhead for begging. He had now been transferred to the Middlesex Regiment Special Reserve, but was 'of no fixed abode' and he did not appear at an assembly of the Battalion in Mill Hill in July 1912.

In January 1914 James was charged with being drunk and disorderly in Queen Street, Maidenhead and fined. On 27th July 1914 he was again in trouble for being drunk and improperly dressed in town.

In March 1915 James was court-martialled twice and convicted of absence without leave and drunkenness while on active service. He was sentenced to two months of Field Punishment No. 1, being shackled in irons and secured to a fixed object such as a gun wheel for two hours a day for twenty-one days of the sentence. On 11th November 1915, having again forfeited pay for unauthorised absence, he was transferred to the 8th Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment and one month later he deserted at Rochester. He rejoined the Regiment, however, just over one month later, was court-martialled for desertion and sentenced to six months detention at Bridgewood Camp near Chatham, Kent.

On 30th June 1916 James was sent from Southampton to Le Havre and on 13th July was attached to the 8th (Service) Battalion of the East Surrey Regiment. The 8th Battalion was in the trenches facing Maricourt, Somme, near Trônes Wood and being subjected to considerable enemy barrage.

The 8th East Surreys were in action in the Battle of Delville Wood which ended on 3rd September and the Battle of Thiepval Ridge (26th-28th September). Although between July and September 1916 James was again court-martialled twice and awarded a total of fifteen days Field Punishment No. 1 the East Surrey Regiment nevertheless agreed that James should be fully transferred to their ranks as Private 7677.

James was slightly wounded in September 1916 but quickly returned to duty. The 8th Battalion's next engagement was during the Battle of Ancre Heights (1st October - 11th November 1916). In November 1916 James's old habits resurfaced and he was awarded fourteen days of Field Punishment No. 2. (This involved being shackled in irons for up to 2 hours in 24, and not for more than 3 days in 4.) In January 1917 he was given twenty-one days of Field Punishment No. 1.

From January to March 1917 the 8th battalion took part in the Operations on the Ancre including Miraumont and the capture of Irles. They also fought during the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line (14th March - 5th April 1917). From 3rd - 4th May they were involved in the 3rd Battle of the Scarpe and it was during this action on 3rd May that James was wounded and went missing. He was aged about 39. His body was never found and his death was presumed by the military authorities. James is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, Bay 6.

James's brother Ernest died from wounds near Courcelette in 1916. His mother Alice Kelly committed suicide by drowning in the canal at Loughborough in 1926.

Lance Corporal William Francis Kent

 

Leicestershire Yeomanry.                                    

Killed in Action 13th May 1915, Aged 25.

Buried Bedford House Cemetery Encl. 4. III. C. 14.      

 

William Francis Kent, born in Loughborough in 1890, was the son of Frederick Britton Kent, an assistant draper, and Lucy Mary Anne Kent (née Shipley). William's father and mother, from Norfolk and Buckinghamshire respectively, were married in Nottingham in 1885. William had an older brother Frederick Shipley Kent and a sister Hilda Lucy and the family lived at 140 Herrick Road, Loughborough. By 1901 William's father had progressed to become the joint manager of a hosier and gentleman's outfitting business 'Barrow and Kent' in partnership with Benjamin Braybrooke Barrow at 34 High St, Loughborough and the Kent family lived on the premises. William was educated at Loughborough Grammar School and in 1911 he was employed as an education clerk with the County Council and was living at home. On 10th March 1915 William's father became sole owner of the gentleman's outfitting business which was renamed 'Fred B. Kent'. The business continued until 1928 when the Council acquired the premises for a road-widening scheme.

Both the Kent brothers enlisted when war broke out. William joined the Leicestershire Yeomanry and Frederick, who married Jessie E. Moor in Loughborough in the summer of 1914, was a gunner with the Royal Garrison Artillery. William went to France on 2nd November 1914 but was wounded in the 1st Battle of Ypres. He recovered in a French hospital, came home on leave and then returned to the front.

William was killed in action at the Battle of Frezenburg Ridge (part of the 2nd Battle of Ypres) on 13 May 1915, aged 25 (rather than 29, as noted in some sources). He is buried in the Bedford House Cemetery Enclosure, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Grave 4.III.C.14. A newspaper report of the day noted that:
The news of the casualties to the Leicestershire Yeomanry was made known in Loughborough by a letter received by Mr. Ambrose Webster from his son William, who is in the commissariat attached to the regiment. This news was confirmed, when it became known that a mere handful of then Leicestershire Yeomanry had withstood at the battle of Frezenberg, some say 2000 Germans and kept them at bay. By means of hand grenades the enemy had caught them in the trenches, with the result that many casualties followed. These included Major Martin second son of Mrs. Martin, of the Brand, Lieut. T. Brooks, Sergt. Major Parker, W. Kent, Frank White, and C. H. Adams.

William is also commemorated on the Loughborough Grammar School war memorial. William's mother Lucy Kent died in 1917. His brother Frederick survived the war and emigrated with his wife and family to Wellington, New Zealand. He died in 1953 in the Tangiwai rail disaster.
 

Private 220332 Frederick Kerr

1st Bn. Princess Charlotte of Wales's (Royal Berkshire) Regiment.

Formerly 1797 and 265339 Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry.

Killed in Action 24th August 1918, Aged 22.

Commemorated Vis-en-Artois Memorial panel 7.

Frederick Kerr was born in Twickenham, Middlesex, on 21st November 1896 and was baptised on 6th July 1898 at the Church of St. James the Great, Bethnal Green, Middlesex. He was the son of Menotti Walter Kerr and his wife Ellen (née Clarkson) who were married on 13th October 1889 at St. Matthew's Church, Brixton, Surrey. Frederick had four brothers Sidney, Montague, Horace and Ernest and one sister Nellie. Another brother Henry died, aged three, in 1893.

Frederick's father was an upholsterer and in 1898 the Kerr family was living at 51 Pollards Road, Bethnal Green. In 1901 they were living at 59 Ravenscroft Buildings, Bethnal Green and when the census was taken Frederick's sister Nellie was in the Children's Hospital in Hackney Road, Bethnal Green. By 1911 the family had moved out of London and were living at 4 Limmer Cottages, Booker, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.

In High Wycombe Frederick's father, Frederick and his brothers Sidney and Montague were all employed in the flourishing furniture industry there, Frederick being a chair maker's errand boy. By 1914 Frederick had progressed to being a polisher for W. Birch and Co., an Arts and Crafts furniture company, and the Kerr family was living at Dashwood Avenue, High Wycombe. During the First World War the Kerrs moved again, this time to Hop Villa, Packe Street, Loughborough.

Frederick enlisted at High Wycombe on 29th April 1914 for the Bucks Territorials. He joined the 2/1st Battalion of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry as Private 1797 (later being renumbered as 265339). Frederick's oldest brother Sidney had joined the 1/1st Battalion. Horace and Montague were not far behind in following their brothers - by 1916 they had enlisted together and also joined the 2/1st Battalion.

Frederick was sent for training firstly at Chelmsford and then at Parkhouse Camp, Salisbury Plain. On 25th May 1916 Frederick, Horace and Montague sailed with the battalion on the HMT Connaught from Southampton to Le Havre.

After a night in a rest camp the battalion entrained for Berguette and marched to billets in Le Sart. Company training took place from 30th May - 8th June when the battalion marched to billets at Riez Bailleul. A day of practical instruction in the trenches followed, after which the battalion went straight into the trenches at Laventie until 15th June. After a break in rest billets at Laventie the men carried gas cylinders up to the front. From 21st-27th June the battalion returned to the front line in the right sub-sector of Fauquissart.

On the first two days of the Somme Offensive the battalion was in rest billets at Laventie and then went into Divisional reserve at Fosse. On 6th July the battalion was suddenly ordered to proceed to the front line at the Ferme du Bois section. The battalion was relieved six days later and moved to billets at Richebourg St. Vaast. On 15th July the battalion moved to Laventie and went into the trenches at Fauquissart opposite the Sugar Loaf salient. On 19th July the battalion launched an unsuccessful attack on the enemy and sustained nearly 322 casualties, many from shellfire, in the process.

After a break at Estaires, Riez Bailleul and Merville the battalion completed two more trench tours at Fauquissart, with breaks at Laventie. On 3rd September they marched to La Gorgue and were billeted at Le Grand Pacaut. During September and October there were four trench tours in the Moated Grange section and rest intervals at Riez Bailleul. From 29th October-1st November there was hard training in open warfare at Robecq, after which the battalion marched over five days to Barly for training until 15th November.

The battalion then proceeded over several days to Albert before moving into Brigade reserve in huts at Ovillers. On 26th November they moved to the trenches at Mouquet Farm. From 30th November until 11th December the battalion was in Divisional reserve at Martinsart Wood and Hedauville and in training. From 12th-23rd December the battalion did fatigue work in support at Martinsart and near Aveluy. Christmas was spent in the trenches and the New Year of 1917 in billets at Hedauville.

After another period in support at Martinsart Wood the battalion marched in heavy snow via Puchvillers, Gezaincourt and Mesnil Domqueur to Gapennes for training until 4th February. On 20th January 1917 Frederick was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal (unpaid).

Training continued at Villers-sur-Ailly until 13th when the battalion entrained at Longpré for Marcelcave and marched to Wiencourt Camp. Moving on to Framerville they went into the trenches at Deniecourt until 1st March and on 28th February experienced a violent three-hour bombardment by the enemy.

March included a stay at Raincourt for training, another trench tour during which there were clear signs of an enemy retreat to the Hindenburg Line and a move via Vauvillers, Bersaucourt and Marchelpot, Flez and Druvieux to Tertry.

At Tertry on 1st April the battalion was unexpectedly asked to move up to the line at Soyecourt for operations on the following day. They then pushed forward to Caulaincourt. After another trench tour at Soyecourt and a break at Tertry four days training took place at Offey. The battalion next moved into the front support line at Bois de Holnon and then to the outpost line at Fayet.

May began with training at Germaine and Rouey le Gran. On 15th May the battalion entrained at Nesle for Longeau and marched to billets at Camon, near Amiens. Training continued at Camon, Talmas, Barly and Duisans until the end of the month. On 31st May the battalion moved into dugouts and shelters on the old German line west of Tilloy.

From 1st-5th June the battalion provided carrying parties in the support line at La Marlière, amid some enemy shelling. On 6th June they moved into the front line east of Guémappe before moving to Berneville for inspections and training until 22nd June. On 23rd June the battalion marched to Gouy, entrained for Auxi-le-Chateau, and marched to Frohen-le-Grand to continue training. Training continued at Rougefay from 27th June-24th July. The troops also enjoyed a couple of open air concerts by a new troupe called The Frolics.

On 25th July the battalion entrained at Auxi-le-Chateau for St. Omer and marched to billets along the Lederzeele road. From 1-14th August the men were in training in the Buysscheure district and during this time The Black and Whites troupe gave a concert party. On 15th August they entrained at Arneke for Abele and marched to camp in the Watou area. Three days later they marched to a camp west of Ypres near Goldfish Chateau.

On 20th August the battalion moved into the line at Pommern Castle and on 22nd took part in an action which cost the battalion 337 casualties. The remainder of August and the first week of September were spent at Goldfish Chateau and Brandhoek, in training. After one more trench tour near Ypres the battalion moved to Mill Camp, Watou, on 14th September for reorganisation and inspections and on 16th September Frederick relinquished his rank of Lance Corporal (unpaid).

On 17th September the battalion began another move via Wormhoudt and Esquelbecq (where they entrained for Aubigny) to Agnez-lès-Duisans for five days training. Training continued at Lichfield Camp, St. Nicholas, near Arras, until 3rd October. A trench tour followed in the support line of the Greenland Hill sector, where the men provided carrying parties.

From 18th-28th October Frederick was granted leave to the UK. On his return he joined his battalion in the Prison Barracks, Arras. During November the battalion was firstly in training, then in the line in the Chemical Works sector and at Gavrelle Switch. On 29th November they entrained at Dainville for Bapaume and marched to huts at Léchelle. At the beginning of December the battalion moved via Berthincourt and Fins to Metz-en-Couture. Much of the rest of the month was spent in the nearby front line and at Havrincourt Wood, with a rest at Léchelle. On Christmas Eve the battalion entrained at Etremont for Plateau and marched to billets at Suzanne.

The first week of January 1918 was spent at Vauvillers, practising for an attack. After this the battalion moved via Voyennes and Marteville to the trenches in the Pontruet-Gricourt sector for two tours in very muddy conditions, with breaks at Holnon Wood. They also spent three days in support at Maissemy, providing working and carrying parties. Between 1st and 21st February there were two trench tours, work on Manchester Hill, and two stays in deep dugouts in Savy Wood.

On 22nd February 1918 Frederick's battalion was disbanded at Germaine. Frederick was sent, with a large number of the battalion's Ordinary Ranks to Divisional support at Metz-en-Couture. In early March he was posted to the 1st Battalion of Princess Charlotte of Wales's (Royal Berkshire) Regiment as Private 220332 and joined his new Regiment on 14th March 1918.

On 19th March the 1st Royal Berkshires were sent to Corps reserve at Manancourt and kept in a constant state of readiness as a large-scale German attack was expected. On 21st March the German Spring Offensive began and on 23rd March the battalion was sent to Equancourt to strengthen the line. They fought a stubborn rearguard action over the next two days but were forced to withdraw to Beaucourt. On 25th March the battalion was in action at Auchonvillers before moving back to the old British line at Beaumont Hamel. On 28th March the battalion was inspected and reorganised at Forceville.

At the beginning of April, after two days at Hedauville and Beauval the battalion was taken by bus to Frévent and marched to Houvin-Houvigneul for training. During the rest of April the battalion completed three trench tours, two at Boiry-Saint-Martin and one at Berles-au-Bois and spent some time on trench improvement and collecting salvage at Adinfer.

May began with one more trench tour at Boiry-Saint-Martin after which the battalion moved by bus from Ransart to La Herlière for training until 6th June. The remainder of June was taken up with three trench tours at Monchy-au-Bois. At the beginning of July, while the battalion was in Brigade reserve at Monchy or in the front line at Douchy large numbers of men reported sick with flu.

During the first part of August the battalion was in the front line near Ayette and then in the support position behind Douchy. On 16th August while at St. Amand the battalion began practising tactics for a forthcoming operation near Ayette. The attack began on 21st August and progressed to an attack on Ervillers on 24th. Frederick, aged 22, was killed in action on 24th August 1918.

Frederick is commemorated on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial Panel 7.

Frederick's brother Horace was also killed in action in August 1918. His brothers Sidney and Montague survived the war.

Private 266616 Horace James Kerr

2/4th Bn. Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry.

Formerly 4224 2/1st Buckinghamshire Battalion.

Killed in Action 8th August 1918, Aged 20.

Buried Aval Wood Military Cemetery I. AA. 20. 

Horace James Kerr was born in Bethnal Green, Middlesex, in the late spring of 1898. He was the son of Menotti Walter Kerr and his wife Ellen (née Clarkson) who were married on 13th October 1889 at St. Matthew's Church, Brixton, Surrey. Horace had four brothers Sidney, Montague, Frederick and Ernest and one sister Nellie. Another brother Henry died, aged three, in 1893.

Horace's father was an upholsterer and in 1901 the Kerr family, apart from Horace's sister Nellie, was living at 59 Ravenscroft Buildings, Bethnal Green. Nellie was in the Children's Hospital in Hackney Road, Bethnal Green. By 1911 the family had moved out of London and were living at 4 Limmer Cottages, Booker, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. At Booker Horace's father and three older brothers Sidney, Montague and Frederick were all employed in the flourishing furniture industry there.

During the First World War the Kerrs moved again, this time to Hop Villa, Packe Street, Loughborough. Horace's oldest brother Sidney who was in the 1/1st Buckinghamshire Battalion, a territorial battalion of the Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, went to France in March 1915. His brother Frederick also went to France with the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry in 1916. Horace and his brother Montague were not far behind in following their brothers - by 1916 they had enlisted together, joined the 2/1st (Territorial) Buckinghamshire Battalion for young soldiers as Privates 4224 and 4225 and were training with the battalion firstly at Chelmsford and then at Parkhouse Camp, Salisbury Plain. On 25th May 1916 Horace and Montague sailed with the battalion on the HMT Connaught from Southampton to Le Havre.

After a night in a rest camp the battalion entrained for Berguette and marched to billets in Le Sart. Company training took place from 30th May - 8th June when the battalion marched to billets at Riez Bailleul. A day of practical instruction in the trenches followed, after which the battalion went straight into the trenches at Laventie until 15th June. After a break in rest billets at Laventie the men carried gas cylinders up to the front. From 21st-27th June the battalion returned to the front line in the right sub-sector of Fauquissart.

On the first two days of the Somme Offensive the battalion was in rest billets at Laventie and then went into Divisional reserve at Fosse. On 6th July the battalion was suddenly ordered to proceed to the front line at the Ferme du Bois section. The battalion was relieved six days later and moved to billets at Richebourg St. Vaast. On 15th July the battalion moved to Laventie and went into the trenches at Fauquissart opposite the Sugar Loaf salient. On 19th July the battalion launched an unsuccessful attack on the enemy and sustained nearly 322 casualties, many from shellfire, in the process.

Horace received a gunshot wound in his right shoulder on 19th July and was sent back to England. He was admitted to the Chelsea VAD Hospital of St. John and St Elizabeth on 2nd August. Discharged on 20th September 1916 he was granted a period of furlough.

Horace was subsequently transferred to the 2/4th Battalion of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry as Private 266615 and it is possible that this transfer took place in late 1916 or early 1917. Horace's service papers have not survived but the 2/4th Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry received a draft of 102 Ordinary Ranks on the last day of December 1916 and it is possible that Horace was with this group.

In late December 1916 the 2/4th Battalion was in reserve billets at Hedauville. They remained there until 8th January 1917 when they moved to support hutments at Martinsart. On 15th January the battalion began a four-day transfer by march via Puchevillers, Longvilletteon, and Domqueur to Maison Ponthieu where they remained in rest billets until 3rd February. The battalion then moved to rest billets at Brucamps for training until 12th February.

On 13th February the battalion marched to Longpré, entrained there for Marcelcare and marched to hutments at Wiencourt, taking over the huts from French troops. On 15th February they marched from Wiencourt to reserve billets at Rainecourt, where they remained until the 21st before marching to billets at Herleville.

On 23rd February the battalion went into the front line trenches in the left sub-section of the Ablaincourt sector. Most of the trenches being deep in mud or water, parties were engaged day and night in clearing up. All companies in the line sent out patrols at night. On 27th the enemy bombarded the trenches for four hours and on 28th repeated the performance as well as launching a raid which penetrated the centre company front. A counter attack was organized, and the enemy driven out, but not before he had inflicted heavy casualties The battalion came out of the trenches on the 2nd March, had one more tour in the line from the 9th to the 15th, and then moved quarters several times until, on the 31st, Caulaincourt was reached.

On 1st April C and D Companies moved to Sailor's Wood, in close support to the 2/1st Bucks and on 3rd April D Company moved up to the line in the sector east of Soyecourt, with the other three companies in close support. On 6th April the battalion took part in an unsuccessful attack on the enemy trenches by the 184th Brigade. Relieved on 7th April three companies of the battalion moved to Caulaincourt while one company went into support at Sailor's Wood.

The 9th April was spent consolidating and holding a line of trenches west of Holnon Wood and on 10th the battalion marched to reserve billets at Monchy-Lagache. From 11th-19th April the battalion was in rest billets and training at Hombleux after which they marched to reserve billets at Germaine. From 20th-25th April the battalion was in the support line at Holnon and moved into the front line on 26th. On 28th April a raiding party captured two enemy machine guns and one German soldier but at the cost of 60 casualties. Relieved on 29th April the battalion marched to reserve billets.

On 2nd May the battalion marched into divisional reserve and were billeted at Vaux and Etreillers. They remained there until 12th May training and furnishing working parties. On 13th May the battalion moved to billets at Mesnil St. Nicaise. Two days later the battalion entrained at Nesle for Longeau and marched to Rivery from where they proceeded to Vicogny on 17th and on to Neuvillette on 21st. On 23rd and 24th May they moved via Barly to huts at Duisans where a week's training took place.

After Duisans the battalion marched to Tilloy and on 1st June went into the reserve line trenches in the Monchy sector. Here they formed working and carrying parties until 6th June when they moved up to the front line. On 7th A Company, pushing forward under cover of darkness, occupied a line of shell-holes unobserved by the enemy; consolidated them; and dug communication trenches. A patrol of five Germans, unaware of A Company's advanced position, walked into it, and were captured. On 9th June the battalion returned to reserve-line trenches for one day before marching to bivouacs at Tilloy. On 11th they marched to billets at Berneville and remained there, resting and training, until the 22nd. On 23rd June the battalion entrained at Gouy-en-Artois for Auxi-le-Chateau and marched to billets at Noeux, where the remainder of the month was spent.

From 1st-25th July the battalion was in rest billets at Noeux, carrying out training. On 26th July they marched to Auxi-le-Chateau, and moved by train to St. Omer, before marching to billets at Broxeele.

From 27th July-14th August the battalion was under training at Broxeele On 15th August the battalion entrained at Arneke for Abeele and marched to camp at Watou. On 18th July the men marched to a reserve camp in the Ypres north area and two days later went into the front line trenches in the St. Julien area to prepare an attack on the German position. The attack took place on 22nd but was unsuccessful, although some ground was regained the following day. Afterwards the enemy made some local counter-attacks; which were repulsed with heavy loss. After being relieved the battalion marched to camp near Goldfish Chateau, Ypres, and from there on 25th moved to Query Camp near Brandhoek. The battalion then rested for five days before returning to the Ypres area.

From 1st-6th September the battalion remained in reserve camp at Ypres. On the 7th September it moved up to the support line at Wieltje, and on the 9th to the front line at St. Julien. On 10th September two companies proceeded to attack certain German positions on Hill 35 but were held up by enemy machine gun fire and the battalion was withdrawn to the reserve camp at Ypres.

From Ypres the Battalion moved to Brandhoek on the 13th September, to Watou next day, to Wormhoudt on the 17th, and by rail to Aubigny on the 18th. From Aubigny the battalion marched to Gouves on the 19th, and to Grimsby Camp, St. Nicholas, Arras, on the 24th.

The Battalion remained in the vicinity of Arras through October until the end of November, taking its turn in the Greenland Hill sector and Chemical Works sector of trenches and providing working parties.

On the 30th November the battalion entrained at Dainville for Bapaume, but on arrival previous orders were cancelled and the battalion was hurriedly conveyed in buses to Bertincourt, information having been received of a German counter-attack in the vicinity of Cambrai. In December there was little fighting. Christmas was spent at Suzanne and on New Year's Eve the battalion moved to Caix.

From 1st-9th January 1918 the battalion was training at Caix and Voyennes before moving to hutments at Attilly. During the rest of January he battalion completed four trench tours, two in the front line of the Gricourt sector, and two in the support trenches at Maissemy. After a few days in reserve billets at Holnon Wood the battalion went into the line near Fayet on 3rd February, and remained in the front line and in support at Holnon until the 19th, when it moved into reserve at Vaux.

On the 23rd front-line trenches were taken over again.

Relieved on 2nd March the battalion moved to reserve billets at Ugney, where it remained until the 10th when it moved to Attilly Huts and took over positions in the Battle Zone. A substantial German offensive was now expected. On 18th March the battalion moved into the Forward Zone, placing companies at the front, in Sunken Road, at the Willows and at the Enghien Redoubt. The next two days wer spent wiring and improving trenches and fighting patrols were sent out.

On 21st March, the opening day of the German Spring Offensive, the battalion's positions were subjected to a severe enemy bombardment, with gas shells being freely used on the back areas and keeps. Under a heavy smoke barrage, a strong enemy attack was launched, penetrating the Forward Zone and surrounding Enghien Redoubt. The garrison of the latter held out till late afternoon when, owing to casualties, they attempted to fight their way out. The remainder of the battalion (less than 50 men) attached themselves to the 2/5th Gloucesters. In one day there were 581 casualties in the battalion, including 407 men taken prisoner by the Germans.

Between 22nd and 31st March the few men who remained were formed into a composite company with the survivors of other battalions of the Brigade and were ordered to retreat. As the retreat continued, the men of the 2/4th Battalion grew fewer each day as the casualty figure rose to 631.

By 1st April the remnants of the battalion were at Gentelles. On 3rd April they marched to Longeau and on by bus to Mericourt. On the 7th April the battalion marched to Avesne. Here the battalion received a draft of 431 Other Ranks from England in addition to some 300 of the 25th Entrenching Battalion (late 2/1st Bucks Battalion), which was now amalgamated with the 2/4th Battalion. On 11th April the battalion, now upwards of 1,000 strong, marched to Hangest and there entrained for the north. At Hangest there was a delay of several hours, a change of destination being necessitated by a German attack at Armentières. Between Candas and Doullens the train broke in half, which caused further delay, but no accident.

On 12th April the battalion finally arrived at Steenbecque and was ordered to march forward at once and take up a defensive position along the line of the River Noe, as the Germans had broken through the line and were threatening Merville. An advance party of company commanders rode forward through Saint-Venant to Les Amusoires, and found the situation to be serious.

Orders were given for an attack to be pressed if necessary in order to gain the south-east bank of the River Noe and the battalion moved forward along the St. Venant-La Haye-Les Amusoires road. The battalion took control of the

Robecq-Calonne road, with patrols across the Noe River; took a bridgehead and drove the enemy from Bacquerolles Farm. Some ground was lost on the following days after counter-attacks by the enemy but a huge German attack on 15th April was successfully prevented by heavy artillery fire. A further enemy counter-attack east of Hennebecq, however, forced one company of the battalion to withdraw.

On 16th April the battalion was relieved and went into cellar billets at Saint-Venant which was being heavily shelled. On 19th April they returned to the front for four days and during this tour improved posts and wiring, took part in attacks on Bois de Pacaut, south-west of Bailleul, and the Carvin area north-east of Lens. On 24th the battalion moved to billets in Saint-Venant and then at Robecq for cleaning up, training and working parties.

Throughout May and June the battalion remained in the same area, completing trench tours in the front and support lines at Robecq, spending some time in reserve at St. Venant, and with breaks at La Perrière. Some progress was made in advancing the line. On 9th June the battalion began to suffer from influenza and by 26th June work was severely handicapped by the number of influenza cases.

From 29th June- 9th July training, football and boxing competitions took place at La Perrière. Training continued for the rest of July at Liettres for a week, and subsequently at Saint-Hilaire-Cottes, Warne and Pont Asquin. On 4th August the battalion proceeded in lorries to Thiennes and next day took over front line trenches in the Arrewage sector.

On 7th August A and B Companies carried out a successful attack on the German front line between the Hazebrouck-Merville road. On 8th August the Germans launched a gas attack and Horace, aged 20, was killed in action.

Horace was buried in Aval Wood Military Cemetery, Grave I. AA. 20.

Horace's brother Frederick was also killed in action in August 1918. His brothers Sidney and Montague survived the war.

Private 13983 Arthur Kidger

8th Bn. Leicestershire Regiment

Killed in Action 1st October 1917, Aged 24.

Commemorated Tyne Cot Memorial panel 50 - 51.

Arthur Kidger was born in 1893 in Loughborough, the only son of Ernest Kidger and Ada (née Robey) who were married in Loughborough in 1893. Arthur's parents both worked in hosiery manufacture, his father as a hosiery trimmer and his mother at various times a binder off or linker. Arthur had two sisters, Ethel and Gladys. In 1901 the Kidger family lived at 1 George Street, Loughborough and Arthur's aunt Clara and uncle Leonard Kidger also lived with them. By 1911 Arthur's aunt and uncle had moved out, the family was at 31 Russell Street, and Arthur, aged 17, was apprenticed to Messrs. Corah, builders and contractors, as a wood machinist. The family subsequently moved to 28 Albert Promenade.

Arthur enlisted in Loughborough on 4th September 1914, three months after completing his apprenticeship, and joined the 8th (Service) Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment as Private 13983. From the Depot he was sent firstly to Aldershot for training and then moved to Shorncliffe in Kent at the end of February 1915. In April 1915 Arthur's battalion became part of the newly established 37th Division of Kitchener's 2nd New Army and the Division began to concentrate on Salisbury Plain. On 25th June the units were inspected by King George V at Sidbury Hill. On 22nd July the Division began to cross the English Channel and Walter travelled to France on 29th July 1915. Initially the 37th Division concentrated near Tilques.

The 8th Battalion then moved via Watten, Houlie, St. Omer, Eecke and Dranoutre to Wulverghem and Berles-au-Bois, a short distance from the front line. In the months that followed the 8th Battalion did tours in the trenches, alternating with the 6th Leicesters who relieved them. They were involved in operations in Bailleul, Le Bizet, Armentières, Mondicourt, Beauval and Berles-au-Bois.

In April 1916 Arthur had moved with the 8th Leicesters to the Doullens area for six weeks cleaning up, resting and training. In mid-May they returned once more to the trenches in the Bienvillers-Bailleulmont sector, but nearer Gommecourt. In June there was a series of nightly excursions into No-Man's Land with patrols attempting to gather information on the enemy's dispositions. On other occasions there were working parties out repairing the British barbed wire entanglements. The situation became increasingly hazardous as the month wore on when the Germans began to use a new and more accurate type of trench mortar.

The 8th Battalion did not participate in the first days of the Somme Offensive but was held in reserve. On 6th July Arthur's battalion left billets at Humbercamps and marched to Talmas, continuing on the following day to billets in Soues. On 10th July the battalion marched to Ailly-sur-Somme, entrained for Méricourt and travelled from there by lorry to bivouacs in Méaulte. Between 10th and 13th July the battalion was in the trenches near Fricourt and subjected to fairly continuous enemy fire.

On the 14th July the battalion went into action at the Battle of Bazentin Ridge and on 15th July Arthur suffered a gunshot wound. He was taken to No. 65 Field Ambulance and two days later transferred to the Casualty Clearing Station and sent to No. 6 General Hospital at Rouen. From 20th - 31st July he then recuperated at Etaples before being sent to the 9th Entrenching Battalion in the field. Entrenching battalions were temporary units used as pools of men, from which drafts of replacements could be drawn by conventional infantry battalions. On 25th September Arthur damaged his foot while on duty and having been admitted to the 64 West Lancs. Field Ambulance was transferred to No. 15 Casualty Clearing Station.

Arthur's service record does not make it clear where he was between October 1916 and the spring of 1917 although he appears to have been home on leave on New Year's Day 1917. It is clear, however, that he was still in trouble with his foot in March and April 1917 and that after passing through No. 64 Field Ambulance and No. 32 Casualty Clearing Station he arrived at No, 2 Canadian General Hospital at Le Tréport. On 29th May he was transferred to No. 3 General Hospital in Le Tréport where he remained until 7th June when he was discharged to the Base.

Arthur's service record notes that on 9th July 1917 he rejoined his battalion and it is possible that it was at this point that he rejoined the 8th Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment. On 9th July 1917 the battalion was in the trenches near Croisilles before going into brigade Reserve. After one more front line trench tour at Croisilles the battalion moved to Camp A at Moyenville for eight days training. Another trench tour followed before the battalion moved to a hutment camp at Ervillers on 17th August. On the day before the battalion moved Arthur was deprived of ten days pay for not complying with standing orders i.e. by being without anti-gas appliances. On 25th August the battalion moved by motor bus to Barly and from there, on the following day, marched to Ambrines. Two periods of training followed, firstly at Ambrines and then at Avesnes-le-Comte.

On 16th September the battalion marched to Savy, entrained for Caestre and went into camp for more training. On 23rd September they began a series of moves, firstly to Meteren, then by bus to Hallebast before marching to Sint Hubertushoek and from there to Ridge Wood south-west of Ypres. On 30th September they moved up to the front line at Polygon Wood. On 1st October the enemy attacked the 9th Leicesters who were nearby and got possession of their front line. The 8th Leicesters went to assist but the enemy made repeated attacks. Counter-attacks were hit by a heavy enemy barrage in the neighbourhood of Joist Farm. Arthur, aged 24, was killed in this action, a phase of the Battle of Passchendaele.

Arthur is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, Panels 50-51.

The Major of Arthur's company wrote to his parents that 'He was hit in the body by a shell and died immediately. He has been a member of my platoon and company most of the time he has been in France, and he was a most efficient and reliable soldier. The officers and men of the company join with me in expressing our deepest sympathy with you in your terrible loss'. The Chaplain of the battalion also wrote a letter of sympathy to the family, in which he stated that the Germans made a big counter attack, and that Pte. Kidger was one of those who made the great sacrifice. He extended his sympathy with the parents in their great sorrow.

Corporal Ernest Watts Kidger

R.A.F.

Died at Home 4th April 1919, Aged 22.

Buried Loughborough Cemetery 47/47.

His home was at 41 Russell Street Loughborough.

Private 3486 John James Bernard Kidger

1/5th Bn. Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 1st July 1916, Aged 23.

Buried Foncquevillers Military Cemetery Special Memorial 3. 

John James Bernard Kidger, known to his family and friends as Bernard, was born in Shepshed in 1893. He was the eldest son of John Ryan and Mary Jane Kidger (née Randon) who were married in Loughborough in 1892. Bernard had two brothers Leo and Joseph and six sisters Evelyn, Margaret, Rose, Hilda, Winifred and Mary. John Ryan Kidger was initially a shoe finisher but he later became a hosiery packer. In 1901 the family lived in Charnwood Road, Loughborough but moved to 87 Moor Lane and then to 20 Meadow Lane. In 1911 young Bernard was a solder in the hosiery trade.

Bernard enlisted on 2nd December 1914 and joined the 1/5th Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment as Private 3486.

Bernard left Southampton for France on the SS Queen Alexandra on 29 June 1915, disembarking at Rouen the following day. He joined his battalion in the trenches near Zillebeke, on the outskirts of Ypres where there was much shelling and rifle fire. Tours in the trenches alternated with rest periods in billets at Ouderdom. At the end of July 1915 the battalion moved to bivouacs at Kruisstraat and then to the trenches at Maple Copse in the shadow of Hill 62 where they were subjected to further bombardment by the enemy.

On 24th August 1915 Bernard received a surface wound in his right eye and on 3rd September was admitted to the 23rd General Hospital at Etaples. On 24th September he was sent to the 46th Divisional Base Depot at Rouen before rejoining his unit in the trenches near Monchy-au-Bois, south-west of Arras, on 6th October.

On 13th October 1915 he was admitted to the North Midlands Field Ambulance with a gunshot wound to his left arm and on 15th October was transferred to the 9th General Hospital at Rouen. Writing home from Rouen Hospital he said: 'We charged into the Prussian Guard and took three lines of their trenches. I got into the third line and had a good German helmet when a shell came and buried me and another fellow. We got out all right, but I lost my helmet. I was bandaging up a chap who was badly wounded when I was hit by a bullet from one of their machine guns. It came sideways and went through the muscles of my left arm'.

On 19th October 1915 Bernard was transferred to England and on 20th November was allotted to the 3/5th Battalion of the Leicesters. He remained in England with this battalion until 16th March 1916 when he was reposted back to the 1/5th Battalion near Vimy and returned to France. On 27th April the battalion was sent to the neighbourhood of Neuville St. Vaast to work with the French and English tunnellers and then to billets in Luchaux for bayonet training. This was followed by a period at Souastre digging cable trenches, and constructing bomb stores and gun pits in preparation for a 'big push'.

On 4th June 1916 the battalion was moved up to trenches near Gommecourt. This was followed by further training at Warlincourt. On 30th June the battalion assembled in a trench near Foncquevillers Church ready for the diversionary attack at Gommecourt on the first day of the Somme Offensive planned for 1st July. Bernard was killed in action on 1st July 1916, aged 23. He is buried at Foncquevillers Military Cemetery and remembered on Special Memorial 3 which reads 'Buried in this cemetery'.

According to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Bernard's parents later moved to 'Tramore', Westfield Drive, Loughborough.

Sergeant 2796 Ernest King

15th Bn. Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regt)

Killed in Action between 22nd and 28th March 1918, Aged 27.

Commemorated Pozières, Memorial, Somme, panel 52 - 54.

Ernest King was born in Whitwick in April 1890. He was the only survivor of five children of Joseph King and his wife Alice (née Springthorpe) who were married in late 1889 in the Ashby de la Zouch area. Ernest's father was a coal miner. After Ernest's mother died in 1899, aged 26, his father was married again on 16th April 1900 at All Saints Church, Loughborough, to Catherine Smedley. Ernest grew up in Brooks Lane, Whitwick, and by 1911 had two step-brothers Thomas and Joseph and two step-sisters Elsie and Catherine. The King family had now moved to Pares Hill, Whitwick. In 1913 Ernest's father was an elected delegate to the Leicestrshire Miners' Council.

By 1908 Ernest had become a coal miner like his father and on 21st July 1908 he had also attested at Derby for the Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment) Special Reserve. He joined the 3rd Battalion, a training unit, as Private 2796 and in 1909 received special training in musketry. He was appointed a Lance Corporal (unpaid) on 17th July 1911.

On 8th August 1914 Ernest, who had been sent with the battalion to Plymouth, was appointed a paid Lance Corporal and on 4th September 1914 an Acting Corporal. Further promotions followed to Corporal and then Lance Sergeant (unpaid). The battalion was then transferred to Sunderland as part of the Tyne Garrison.

On 9th October 1914 Ernest married Mary Calladine at Loughborough Register Office and on 5th February 1915 their son Reginald Ernest was born in Loughborough. Ernest's wife lived with their son at 18 Packe Street, Loughborough.

On 7th August 1915 Ernest was posted to the 2nd Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters in Flanders. He joined the battalion at Maple Copse, Hooge, and was promoted to Lance Sergeant (paid).On 9th August the battalion supported the Durham Light Infantry in a frontal assault at Sanctuary Wood, suffering 351 casualties. After a two-week break in billets at Poperinghe for refitting, training and drill with reinforcements the battalion went back into the line at Potijze on 23rd August.

Two weeks training in Poperinghe followed after which the battalion returned to the Potijze trenches where it encountered much enemy shelling. Relieved on 27th September the battalion moved to the Potijze defences and the Yser Canal Bank to provide digging and carrying parties in very wet weather before returning to Poperinghe.

From October 1915 to March 1916 the battalion followed a regular pattern of trench tours at Potijze, St. Jean and Wieltje with breaks at Camps A, B, C and E near Poperinghe, at Brielen, and at Machine Gun Farm. The battalion usually moved between Poperinghe and the trenches by train and sometimes there were working parties at night for trench digging or work at the Canal Bank. Conditions in the trenches were the worst the battalion had so far experienced. The sides of the trenches kept collapsing and the men were often up to their knees in water for four days at a time. Much effort was expended on pumping and draining the trenches. The rest camps were often equally muddy. Between October and March the enemy also had sudden burst of activity, shelling villages, roads and trenches and initiating gas attacks. Nearly every day there were a few casualties. Ernest was promoted to Sergeant on 7th October 1915.

On 18th and 19th March the battalion marched via Herzeele to Wormhoudt for training until 26th March. Training continued at Camp N, Poperinghe, until 5th April. On 6th April the battalion entrained at Hopoutre for Calais and marched to Beaumaris Camp for additional training, including drill on the beach and company sports, until 14th April. On 15th April the battalion began a three-day march via Zutkerque, Merckeghem and Wormhoudt to Camp G, north-east of Poperinghe. They stayed here until 28th April when the men returned to dugouts and working parties on the Canal Bank. On 2nd May the men were back in the trenches which were once again full of water.

On 4th May 1916 Ernest was admitted via No, 17 Field Ambulance to No. 15 Casualty Clearing Station. From there he was sent to No. 4 General Hospital at Camiers with synovitis of his left knee. The problem had originated in July 1908 when he was working at Whitwick Colliery and he had been hit on the knee by a large lump of coal. This had caused a weakness in the joint but it did not begin to swell until Ernest had moved from the Reserve to regular army service which entailed excessive exercise. From Camiers on 7th June 1916 Ernest was sent to England on the hospital ship HMHS Jan Breydel and transferred to the 2nd Southern General Hospital at Southmead, Bristol. He was then theoretically transferred to the 4th Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters, but in fact he was not discharged from hospital until 1st August 1916 and nine days after his discharge he was posted to the 3rd Battalion in Sunderland.

Ernest then seems to have been granted a period of leave from September to December 1916 before being going briefly to Sunderland to be with the 3rd Battalion and then being reposted on 9th March 1917 to the 15th Battalion in France.

Ernest joined the 15th Battalion at Fosse 10, Sains-en-Gohelle, where it was working on trench maintenance before moving on to fill shell holes near Angres and Calonne. From 14th-21st April Ernest was in hospital suffering from boils. When he rejoined the battalion the companies were variously occupied with road works at Neuville St. Vaast, on the Ecurie road near St. Aubin and on the Anzin-Arras road. At the beginning of May three companies moved to Roclincourt, while one remained working on the Ecurie road. Between 9th and 12th May the battalion proceeded to Papotte, near Steenbecque, and from there to Ouderdom.

From 14th May to 28th June the battalion was based at N Camp and Sherwood Camp and was employed on a variety of work. This included road construction near Kruisstraat, near Swan Chateau, and from St. Eloi Crater to Dome House, laying a train lines, making cartridge shelters, box culverts and camouflage screens, unloading ammunition and digging new communication lines. Towards the end of June work was severely hampered by heavy enemy shelling and on 30th June the battalion entrained at Reninghelst for the 2nd Army Rest Area at Lottinghem.

On 9th July they marched via Lumbres and Renescure to Haut Arques and camped outside the town. On 11th July two companies moved to the Steenvoorde area and two travelled by bus to Sherwood Park Camp, Dickebusch. At this point Ernest contracted scabies, was hospitalised, and did not return to the battalion until 12th September, two days before it moved to Merris for training and inspections. On 21st September the battalion entrained at Caestre for Miraumont and marched to Barastre. Here they erected Nissen huts and horse standings. On 27th September they began a three-day move to Le Roisel.

The battalion was based in the area of Le Roisel and Templeux Quarries until the beginning of March 1918. The men were fully occupied digging trenches, erecting stables, dugouts and elephant shelters, doing drainage work, laying duckboards, sandbagging and lagging entrances. They also provided carrying parties, filled a crater on the Hargicourt-Villeret road and shell holes on the Hargicourt-Bellicourt road and worked on defences at Le Roisel and Templeux Quarries.

On 10th February 1918 Ernest was wounded while on duty. His service record, which has been severely damaged by fire, has obscured further details but he clearly cannot have been out of action for very long and he may have rejoined the battalion at some point between 8th and 20th March when it was in the area of Vendelles, Jeancourt, Bihecourt and Villecholles.

The German Spring Offensive began on 21st March. After a two-day enemy attack the battalion was ordered to proceed to the ridge behind Marchélpot, to march via Lihons and Chaulnes and to take up a defensive position at Méharicourt. On 26th March the enemy heavily shelled and attacked Méharicourt, resulting in many casualties, after which the battalion was ordered to withdraw to Caix, Castel and then Haille.



St. John's Church, Whitwick, War Memorial


Coalville Clock Tower War Memorial


Ernest, aged 27, was killed in action between 22nd and 28th March 1918. He is commemorated on the Pozières Memorial, Somme, Panels 52-54. He is also remembered on the memorial in the churchyard of St. John the Baptist Church, Whitwick, and on the Clock Tower Memorial in Coalville.

Private 21942 Charles William Kirk

2nd Bn. Duke of Wellingtons (West Riding Regiment)

Formerly 32104 Leicestershire Regiment.

Died of Wounds 18th October 1918, Aged 37.

Commemorated Terlincthun British Cemetery VI. A.16.

Pte. Charles Kirk was wounded on September 1st, and for a time made good progress but amputation of the leg became necessary, and he did not recover. His widow lived at 43 William Street, Loughborough, she was with him for three weeks after his admission to hospital, but had returned home, and did not get back to France in time to see him alive again. Charles was formerly at the Nottingham Manufacturing Co., joining the army in August 1916.

Lance Corporal 241299 George Knight

2/5th Bn. Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 26th September 1917, Aged 37.

Commemorated Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, panel 50 - 51.

George Knight was born in Thorpe Acre, Loughborough, in 1880, the son of Robert Knight and his wife Eliza (née Kidger) who were married on 3rd October 1879 at St. Andrew's Church, Aylestone, Leicestershire. George's father was a farm labourer and his mother was a hosiery seamer and occasionally a charwoman. George had one brother Collin and a half-sister Emma Kidger (born eight years before his mother married Robert Knight). In 1884 both George's parents were in trouble with the law, his father being fined twice for being drunk and disorderly and his mother being involved in an affray in Thorpe Acre. After 1884 it seems that George's parents may have separated.

In 1898 George, who had become a brickyard labourer, married Sarah Emily Holman in Loughborough and by 1915 the young couple had two sons Willie and George and four daughters Lily, Emma, Nelly and Florence. Another child had died young. In 1911 George and his wife and family lived at 35 Union Street, Loughborough, but later moved to 39 Rosebery Street. By 1911 George was now employed as a hosiery dyer at Messrs. Clarke's Dye Works.

George enlisted in Loughborough in January 1915 and joined the 2/5th Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment as Private 241299.

In January 1915 the 2/5th Battalion moved from Loughborough to Luton and was billeted in private homes, and in February and March had a spell at Epping digging practice trenches. In July the battalion moved to the St Albans area, under canvas at Briton Camp for training and route marches. In August 1915, the Brigade was retitled 177th Brigade, 59th Division (2nd North Midland) and in October they were moved back to billets in Harpenden. Throughout 1915 some members of the 2/5th Leicesters also provided guards for the prisoner of war camp at Donington Hall.

In January 1916 parties of officers were sent to France on tours of instruction in the trenches and in March, the long awaited orders to proceed overseas were received. On Easter Monday, however, the rebellion in Ireland forced a rapid change of plans. The 177th Brigade was recalled from leave and ordered to move to Liverpool at midnight. The following day they sailed on the SS Ulster, a fast mailboat, escorted by a Royal Navy destroyer. Their first taste of action was not to be in the trenches of the Western Front, but in the streets of Dublin.

By the end of the month the main uprising was over and the 2/5th Battalion supplied search parties for Ballsbridge and guarded railways, bridges and other key infrastructure. On the 10th May they moved out of the city to tackle pockets of resistance in County Kerry, searching homes and making arrests. In June word was received that the Battalion would be moving to France and training resumed with long route marches through Ireland. In August they marched 80 miles from Tralee to Fermoy Barracks, where they would remain until January 1917, engaged in live fire training in trench warfare. The return trip from Ireland was made aboard the SS Ulster and the battalion arrived at Fovant Camp in Wiltshire by train at 7pm on 6th January 1917.

After embarkation leave they proceeded to France via Southampton, arriving at Le Havre on the 24th February 1917. They were sent to the Somme area where the enemy was retreating to the Hindenburg Line. They made their first attack on the villages of Hesbecourt and Hervilly on 31st of March 1917, capturing both villages and suffering a number of casualties.

On 1st April the battalion began constructing a line of cruciform posts and on the following day were shelled while doing so. On 3rd and 4th April part of the battalion supported the 4th Leicesters in an attack on Fervaque Farm while the rest of the battalion built posts in Templeux. On 11th and 12th April the battalion moved to Hervilly and Hamelet to provide working parties and on 15th A and C Coys were in support for an attack on Villeret. On 17th April the battalion moved from Brosse Woods to Templeux and Hervilly and were in support again on the following day in an attack on a quarry north of Villeret. On 19th April the battalion moved to Hancourt for cleaning up, working parties and training. On the night of 27th/28th April Hancourt was bombarded by the enemy and the battalion moved to the front line at Le Vergier.

Trench tours continued until 15th May when the battalion marched back to Bois Bias training camp between Bouvincourt-en-Vermandois and Le Catelet. Training took place until 25th May when they moved to Equancourt and went into the front and support lines at Villers Plouich. Here until 7th June more posts were constructed amid some heavy enemy bombardment. From 7th-16th June the battalion was in Brigade Reserve at Dessart Wood, after which the battalion returned to the front line at Villers Plouich and carried out cable digging and laying for the Royal Engineers. Attack training took place at Equancourt from 22nd-30th June, after which the battalion went into support at Metz-en-Couture until 10th July. For the rest of July and the first three weeks of August the battalion was in training at Barastre camp.

On 22nd August the battalion moved via Senlis to a front one mile south-west of Le Sars for further training. On 31st August they entrained at Albert for Hazebrouck and marched to a training camp north of Winnezeele where they remained until 20th September. By 23rd September the battalion was in the reserve trenches at St. Jean near Ypres, before taking over the front line at Hill 37, Hill 35 and Elmtree Corner. On 26th September the battalion went into attack to capture all enemy positions on Hill 37 (part of the Battle of Polygon Wood, a phase in the 3rd battle of Ypres, or Passchedaele). An enemy counter-attack was subsequently beaten back. In this operation George was killed in action, aged 37. He had been promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal by the time he was killed.

The officer commanding George's Company wrote expressing his personal sympathy and that of Lance Corporal Knight's comrades in the regiment as follows: 'I have lost a good friend one of whom I could always look for loyal support when things were not as pleasant as they might be. The men of the company feel their loss as much as I do, and I trust that this knowledge may do something towards lightning the grief you have to bear in your bereavement'.

George is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, Panels 50-51, and on the Carillon War Memorial in Loughborough.

Private 90989 Herbert Knight

29th Coy, Machine Gun Corps.

Formerly 782 and 7773 Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 12th April 1918, Aged 25.

Commemorated Ploegsteert  Memorial panel 11.

Herbert Knight was born in late 1892 or early 1893 in Ilkeston, Derbyshire. He was the son of John William Knight and his wife Elizabeth (née Sadler) who were married at Christ Church, Cotmanhay, Derbyshire, on 14th March 1880. Herbert's father was an electrical core maker and before Herbert was born had worked in Belper, Derbyshire, and Sheffield, Yorkshire. By 1901 he was working in Loughborough and the Knight family was living at 15 Morley Street. After Herbert's father died in 1908 the family moved to No. 45 in Morley Street and Herbert's mother worked at home as a hosiery embroiderer. In 1911 Herbert, now aged 18, was a hosiery warehouseman.

Herbert joined the 1/5th Leicestershire Regiment as Private 782 and was renumbered in 1917 as Private 7773. His exact date of enlistment is not known as his service papers have not survived.

The 1/5th Leicesters were mobilised in 1914. After training in Luton Herbert sailed with the battalion for France on 26th February 1915 in very rough seas. The battalion travelled by train via Rouen, Abbeville and St. Omer to Arneke where they detrained for Hardifort. The battalion was then held in reserve for, but did not take part in the Battle of Neuve Chapelle. For the whole of April they were in trenches near Wulverghem and subjected to continual sniping by the enemy, and then moved on to Zillebeke, south-east of Ypres, followed by a tour in the area of Mount Kemmel. After this they were moved to a slightly different part of the line to relieve the Sherwood Foresters.

From July to September 1915 the battalion remained in the area of Zillebeeke and Ouderdom, before moving to Hesdigneul-lès-Béthune in October, La Couture in November and Merville and Thienne in December. January 1916 was taken up with a potential move of Herbert's battalion to Egypt which was aborted at Marseilles, the battalion being returned to Candas, and the area of Vimy Ridge.

In mid-February 1916 the 1/5th Battalion took over the line north of the River Ancre opposite Beaumont-Hamel. On 29th February the battalion moved to the area of Doullens where the men worked on improving the trenches despite being subjected to a considerable bombardment from the enemy with mines and craters being blown.

From 9th March 1916 the 1/5th Leicesters were in the area of Vimy Ridge, either in the front line, in support, in reserve or at rest. On 27th April the battalion was sent to the neighbourhood of Neuville St. Vaast to work with the French and English tunnellers and then to billets in Luchaux for bayonet training. This was followed by a period at Souastre digging cable trenches, and constructing bomb stores and gun pits in preparation for a 'big push'.

On 4th June 1916 the battalion was moved up to trenches near Gommecourt. This was followed by further training at Warlincourt. On 30th June the battalion assembled in a trench near Foncquevillers Church ready for the diversionary attack at Gommecourt on the first day of the Somme Offensive planned for 1st July.

On 1st July 1916 the 46th Division of the Army, of which the 1/5th Leicesters were part, had 2445 casualties at Gommecourt. On 7th July the1/5th Leicesters relieved the 4th Lincolnshires in the trenches opposite Essarts-lès-Bucquoy. The battalion remained in the area of Monchy-au-Bois until 29th October, either in the trenches or resting at Bienvillers or Pommier. The battalion's next move was to Millencourt for intensive battle training, returning to Halloy and then Souastre at the beginning of December.

The battalion remained at Souastre until 11th March 1917 and then moved once more up to the line taking over 2,600 yards of frontage from the La Brayelle road to the Hannescamps-Monchy road. On 17th March they moved into Gommecourt for road mending before moving to Bertrancourt, Raincheval and then Rainvillers not far from Amiens.

On 28th March the battalion marched to Saleux, entrained for Lillers in the north, and marched to Laires. Training took place until 13th April and continued for three further days at Manqueville, after which the battalion moved to the western outskirts of Lens. From there they marched to Bully-Grenay and went into the front line trenches where they were heavily shelled. On 29th April the battalion went into rest billets in cellars at Cité St. Pierre until 3rd May when they went into support trenches. On 8th they went into billets at Fosse 10 near Petit Sains for training and on 12th into reserve at Angres. Further trench tours south-west of Lens followed until 26th May when the battalion went into billets at Marqueffles Farm for training in bayonet fighting and bombardment and to practise methods of attack. On 6th June the battalion was back in the line and on 8th June went into the attack, suffering 96 casualties.

Apart from two breaks at Red Mill from 9th-13th and 18th-20th June the battalion was in the trenches until 22nd June. On 21st June C Coy was accidentally gassed by the Royal Engineers, resulting in 94 casualties of whom 22 died. Back at Marqueffles Farm from 22nd June the battalion had Lewis gun and signalling classes as well as attack training over a flagged course. On 27th June the battalion moved up to the line ready to attack on the following day. As they climbed out of the trenches on 28th June they met with the inevitable machine gun fire and over the next two days 60 Ordinary Ranks were killed.

Relieved from the trenches at Lievin on 3rd July the battalion moved to Monchy-Breton for reorganisation and training until 22nd July when they moved to Vaudricourt before going into the line at Hulluch until 28th July. After respite at Noeux-les-Mines the battalion was at Fouquières until 14th August, practising for an attack. Moving to Noyelles the battalion went into the trenches on 15th August.

Herbert is known to have left the Leicesters at some point in 1917 and transferred to the Machine Gun Corps as Private 90989. He would have returned to England to train with the Machine Gun Corps either at Grantham, Lincolnshire, or Clipstone, Nottinghamshire. He would then have been sent to the Machine Gun Corps Depot at Camiers and from there to a unit, which in his case was the 29th Machine Gun Company with the 10th (Irish) Division. Since 1915 the 10th Division had been in Gallipoli, Macedonia, Egypt, and Palestine, but following the March 1918 German Spring Offensive all but one of the 10th Division's British battalions were transferred to the Western Front.

Herbert had only been with the 29th Machine Gun Company for a very short while when he was killed in action, aged 25, on 12th April 1918.

Herbert is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial, Panel 7.

Herbert's brother Cresswell also served with the 1/5th Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment until 1916, when he was discharged.

Rifleman 52844 Edward (Ted) Lacey

2nd N.Z. Entrenching Battalion.

Formerly 2nd Bn. 3rd N.Z. Rifle Brigade.

Killed in Action 13th April 1918, Aged 27.

Commemorated Messines Ridge (N.Z.) Memorial.

Edward Lacey, known to his family as 'Ted', was born on 30th June 1890 in Barrow on Soar. He was the son of George Lacey, a grocer's assistant, and later a bricklayer's labourer, and Elizabeth Lacey (née Bunney) who were married in Loughborough on 8th January 1884. George and Elizabeth Lacey had a large family of eleven children, although one died at a young age, and five of their sons were said to have enlisted during WW1. Ted had seven brothers Thomas, John, William, Ernest, Harold, Bernard and Leonard and two sisters Ellen and Annie. When Ted was born the family lived in North Street, Barrow on Soar, but by 1901 had moved to 3 William Street, Loughborough. In 1911 they were living at 39B Leopold Street and later moved to 157 Meadow Lane.

The Lacey family attended the Baxtergate Baptist Church in Loughborough and the Lacey children went to the Baptist Sunday School. In 1911 Ted, aged 20, was working as a mechanic's labourer for Loughborough Borough Council Electricity Department.

In early 1914 Ted and two of his brothers Ernest and Harold emigrated to the North Island of New Zealand. All three found work as farmhands for the Geary brothers at Manutahi, near Hawera, south Tarawaki, Harold was the first to enlist at Hawera on 13th November 1916, Ted following him on 19th March 1917. Both were posted to the 3rd New Zealand Rifle Brigade (NZRB).

The New Zealand Rifle Brigade (Earl of Liverpool's Own), known as The Dinks, was formed on 1st May 1915 as the 3rd Brigade of the New Zealand Division, part of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force. Following his earlier enlistment Harold sailed for England as part of reinforcements for the New Zealand Expeditionary Force on 6th July 1917.Ted, having started off in H Coy, was posted to B Coy as Rifleman 52844 on 27th September 1917 and embarked on the SS Athenic at Wellington for England on 16th July 1917. While in transit he was admitted to the ship's hospital with a fever.

Ted disembarked at Liverpool on 16th September and went to Tidworth, Wiltshire, to join the 5th Reserve Battalion. By the beginning of November he was at Brocton Camp, Staffordshire. This camp was known as 'The Cannock Chase Reserve Centre' and was where soldiers of the 5th Battalion of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade with valuable combat experience on the Somme trained fresh drafts. While at Brocton Ted forfeited eleven days' pay for being absent without leave for four days. (He had probably slipped away to visit his family in Loughborough.)

Ted was sent to France on 7th December and arrived at Etaples on 9th December. He was sent out to join his Division on 28th December and joined D Coy of the 2nd Battalion, 3rd NZRB, near Ypres on New Year's Eve 1917.

When Ted joined his battalion it was in support at Halfway House and Railway Wood, supplying working parties for the Royal Engineers or the Divisional Salvage Officer. Scattered over the whole Divisional area was a large quantity of valuable material of all kinds, such as rifles, machine-guns, harness, wagons and limbers; cartridges, bombs, shell-cases and live shells of all calibres; coils of barbed-wire, stakes and tools; discarded clothing and web-equipment-the flotsam and jetsam of recent battles. Every officer and man moving towards the rear from any part of the area was expected to carry back to special dumps at least one article of equipment or clothing salvaged from the mud of the Salient. Recreational training was also an important part of the routine so far as it could be developed in view of the number of men required for working-parties.

January 1918 also included trench tours in the Reutel sub-sector. Units in the forward positions worked on improving the defensive lines, and, in spite of adverse conditions, made considerable progress. Enemy air-craft were active, flying low over the battalion's positions. Enemy shelling continued with varying intensity on the trenches and tracks, and carrying- parties moving over the exposed routes suffered severely. Breaks were taken at Otago Camp and Walker Camp. Towards the end of January the battalion was in reserve and continued with salvage work.

On 1st February the battalion returned to the front. On 2nd February there was a two-hour bombardment with gas and high-explosive shells by the enemy. On 4th February, in retaliation for the bombardment on the 2nd, the artillery carried out a heavy and prolonged shelling of the enemy's sector on the battalion's front. The Germans responded with a steady bombardment of 'sneezing-gas' throughout the 5th February, and supplemented this with a series of 'shell-storms' on the 7th. Relieved on the night of the 8th/9th February the battalion went to a hutment camp behind Ypres and the usual programme of work, training and sports was resumed.

On 13th February 1918 Ted was admitted to No. 3 New Zealand Field Ambulance, on 1st March to No. 3 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station and on 3rd March to No. 8 Stationary Hospital, Wimereux. He may have been wounded but there is no record of why he was admitted to hospital. Discharged to No. 1 Canadian Convalescent Depot on 5th March he arrived at the New Zealand Depot at Etaples on 14th March. On 5th April he was posted to the 2nd New Zealand Entrenching Battalion (Labour Corps). Eight days later, on 13th April 1918 he was killed in action in the Battle of the Lys. He was 27 years old.

Ted is commemorated on the Messines Ridge (NZ) Memorial, Ypres. He is also remembered on the memorial of the Baptist Church, Baxtergate, Loughborough, and on the Carillon.

Ted's brother Harold was wounded three times in the war. His brother Thomas served with the Sherwood Foresters, Yorkshire Regiment and Labour Corps and his brother Bernard served with the 2/5th Leicestershire Regiment. All survived the war.

Lieutenant Charles Edward Lancaster

1st Bn. Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 21st March 1918,  Aged 28.

Commemorated Arras, Memorial, Bay 5.

>Charles Edward Lancaster was born in Clitheroe, Lancashire, in 1890. He was the eldest son of Richmond Lancaster, a solicitor, and his wife Mary Florence (née Taylor) who were married at St. Ambrose's Church, Grindleton, Yorkshire, in 1899. Charles had two younger brothers Richmond Elliot and George and three younger sisters Hilda, Kathleen and Edith. When Charles was born his parents were living at 4 Church Brow, Clitheroe, but by 1899 had moved to Highbrake, Chatburn Road, while his father had his practice at King Street in the town. Two years later Charles' father had moved the family to 94 Herrick Road, Loughborough, and opened offices in Loughborough and Coalville. By 1911 the family was living at 6 Forest Road, Loughborough, but later moved to Clyve. 103 Ashby Road. Charles' father became a member of the Loughborough Constitutional Club and was appointed Deputy Coroner for North Leicestershire.

Charles was educated at Loughborough Grammar School and after leaving was articled as a solicitor's clerk in his father's office, frequently attending the Loughborough police court as a student. He clearly intended following his father in his practice as an advocate. He also joined the Longcliffe Golf Club.

Charles enlisted in September 1914 with the 21st University and Public Schools (UPS) Battalion. He was initially sent to Epsom, Surrey and moved to Ashtead in October 1914. Trench digging was practised at Caterham and Woldingham in January 1915. In February 1915 he moved into a brand new camp at Woodcote Park, Epsom. Once men of the UPS had entered camp they became Royal Fusiliers forming the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st (Service) Battalions. Albert was now Private PS/2917 in the 21st (Service) Battalion (4th Public Schools) of the Royal Fusiliers. As well as exercising in Woodcote Park they also used Epsom Downs, Headley Heath and the surrounding countryside in order to attain a level of efficiency that would allow them to go to war. In June 1915 the battalion moved to Clipstone Camp, near Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, as part of the 98th Brigade, 33rd Division. The battalion then moved to Tidworth, Salisbury Plain, on 8th August 1915 and was sent to France on 14th November 1915.

In the following spring Charles returned to England to prepare for a commission. Upon passing through the course he was gazetted on 5th September 1916 as 2nd Lieutenant to the Leicestershire Regiment, part of the Army's 6th Division. Charles joined A Coy of the 1st Battalion of the Leicesters on 13th October 1916. At the time the battalion was being held in reserve at a camp near Le Transloy, Somme.

During part of the Battle of Le Transloy (1st October-5th November 1917) the 1st Leicesters were employed carrying up stores and providing stretcher and other parties for the front line troops. By 21st October the battalion was back in billets at Corbie where it entrained three days later for Sorel. Entraining again at Pont Rémy for Fouquereuil on 29th the battalion marched to Fouquières-lès-Béthune.

Most of November was spent in training with one brief trench tour in the La Bassée sector and December in the trenches at Cuinchy, with breaks at Beuvry and Christmas Day at Noeux-les-Mines.

January 1917 was spent in turns in the trenches and at rest in Mazingarbe. From 1st to 21st February many raids on the enemy were carried out after which the battalion marched via Sailly Labourse to the Montmorency Barracks at Béthune. In March and April the battalion did trench tours on the front line north of the Double Crassier, Loos, before being withdrawn to billets at Maroc on 22nd April. May brought more trench tours in the front line at Loos, with breaks in billets at Les Brebis or Philosophe.

In June the battalion was instructed, while in training at Verquin, to mount a series of small operation to give the enemy the impression that an attack was about to take place. In July Canadian forces took over in the area to attack Hill 70 and the battalion was withdrawn to the area of Monchy-Breton, proceeding by lorries to Magnicourt-en-Compte. After being briefly ordered to assist at the time of the gas shelling of Armentières, a brief period at Fleubaix, and time in the reserve line at La Boutillerie the battalion returned to Magnicourt on August 5th. At the end of August the Division returned to the Hill 70 front and went into reserve at a camp in Houchin.

In September there were front and support line trench tours at Hill 70, Les Brebis and Cité St. Pierre. At the end of September the battalion was in south Maroc and early in October at Noeux les Mines before going into the trenches in the St. Emile sector. From Mazingarbe on 21st October the battalion moved to Ligny-lez-Aire and then to Manin for training until 14th November. On 15th November the battalion entrained at Frevent for Peronne and marched to Moislains. After a couple of days under canvas at Dessart Wood the battalion moved forward to the front line at Beaucamp and on 20th November, the first day of the Battle of Cambrai, successfully attacked part of the Hindenburg Line. The battalion was relieved on 26th November and moved to another section of the front line near Noyelles where they suffered heavy enemy bombardment and shelling but nevertheless helped to achieve an advance to Gouzeaucourt.

On 1st December the battalion was at Nine Wood and was heavily shelled before being relieved and moving to new positions on the Premy-Flesquières Ridge. On 5th December the battalion moved again to positions in the front line on the Hindenburg support system where they remained until 13th December. From 14th December until the end of the year the battalion was at Bellacourt undergoing training.

In the early part of January 1918 the battalion was at Courcelles but on 18th went into the trenches on the Moeuvres front. Rest periods were taken at Luck and Lindop Camps near Fremicourt. On February 19th and 20th the battalion moved to the Lagnicourt area, where, when out of the line, they provided large working parties for work on the defences.

There were now strong rumours that the enemy was preparing a large offensive and great efforts were made to obtain information through patrols and raids. On 15th March the front line company of the battalion managed to capture a propaganda balloon laden with ten copies of the Gazette des Ardennes, a paper published in French by the Germans for distribution among the inhabitants of occupied territory.

On 21st March 1918 the enemy launched their Spring Offensive. Charles, who had now been promoted to Lieutenant and Assistant Adjutant of the 1st Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment, was killed in action near Lagnicourt, aged 28.

Charles is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, Bay 5. He is also remembered on the memorial in the former St. Peter's Church building, Loughborough, on the memorial at Loughborough Grammar School, on the memorial plaque at Longcliffe Golf Club, and on the Carillon. A group of Golf Club members also visited his memorial in France and laid a wreath on behalf of Longcliffe Golf Club.

Private 12089 Francis William Landon

2nd Bn. Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action Mesopotamia 7th January 1916,  Aged 43.

Commemorated Basra, Memorial, Iraq, Panel 12.

Francis William Landon was born in Loughborough in 1873, the only son of William Landon, a labourer and his wife Hannah (née Woodcock) who were married in Loughborough in 1873. The family lived at 84 Freehold Street in 1881. By 1891 they had moved to No. 3 Freehold Street, and Francis' father was now a labourers' foreman.

On 14th April 1894 Francis, who had become an iron moulder, attested for the Leicestershire Regiment (17th Foot). On 2nd January 1896, as Private 4038, he was sent to South Africa where he remained until 11th October 1902. He took part in the 2nd Boer War and was awarded the King's and Queen's South Africa Medals with clasps for Talana, Ladysmith, Laing's Nek and Belfast. On 21st November 1902 Francis was transferred to the Army Reserve. He was reengaged in April 1906 and discharged in April 1910.

Francis' father William died in 1905 and his mother Hannah in 1911. In the same year that his father died Francis married Helen Gorse in Loughborough and by 1912 they had four children Frank, Lillie, Willie and Annie. The family lived at 125 Station Road and Francis had returned to being an iron moulder.

When war broke out Francis, now almost forty, was recalled and joined the 3rd Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment as Private 12089. From 26th August until 8th December 1914 he participated in recruits' training at Portsmouth, after which he was sent to France to join 2nd Leicesters who had arrived in France from India. In 1915 the Battalion was in action at the Battles of Neuve Chapelle (10th-13th March) and Aubers Ridge (9th May), the first day of the Battle of Festubert.

The 2nd Leicesters spent the next couple of months alternately in the trenches or in billets while war training, in the area of Calonne and Vieille Chapelle north-east of Bethune. From July to September they rested in a quiet sector before being deployed for the Battle of Loos.

The initial attack at Loos was made by three divisions, with the Meerut Division leading the attack on the Indian Front. Blackader's brigade, with two Gurkha battalions and the 2nd Leicesters was on its right flank. Whilst the attack successfully crossed no-man's land under cover of the barrage, the right flank of the brigade was caught up in defensive wire and only one battalion successfully made its way into the German trenches. Gas also affected some of the men and the smoke caused a dense fog, making direction difficult. Francis was fortunate to survive the initial attack at the Battle of Loos on 25th September 1915 - from his battalion 72 men were killed, 217 were wounded, 42 were gassed and 96 were recorded as missing.

The 2nd Battalion was rather depleted after the Battle of Loos, but was ordered to the Persian Gulf where Britain was fighting Turkish forces allied to the Germans. On 10th November 1915 Francis embarked at Marseilles and arrived at Basra on 8th December 1915. From there he travelled by boat up the River Tigris to Ali Gharbi, 150 miles south-east of Baghdad.

In Mesopotamia General Townshend and his troops were under siege at Kut. On January 4th 1916 General Aylmer's leading troops, under Major General Younghusband, began to advance from Ali Gharbi towards Sheikh Sa'ad, with the intention of relieving General Townshend at Kut.

The Turkish commander Nur-Ur-Din had, however, effectively blocked any progress by placing approximately 22,500 troops and 72 guns on both banks of the Tigris at Sheikh Sa'ad, about 16 miles downstream from Kut. General Aylmer therefore ordered an attack on the enemy and very heavy fighting ensued on 7th January at the Battle of Sheikh Sa'ad, during which Francis was killed, aged 43.

Francis is commemorated on the Basra Memorial, Iraq, Panel 12 and on the St. Peter's Church Memorial, Loughborough, as well as on the Carillon.

Lance Corporal 14062 Richard Albert Farmer Lane

 

8th Bn.Leicestershire Regiment.                                  

Killed in Action 3rd February 1916, Aged 20.

Buried Berles-au-Bois Churchyard Extension, B. 1.      

 

Richard Albert Farmer Lane was born in 1895 in Loughborough, the son of Richard Farmer Lane, a joiner, and his first wife Sarah Ann (née Shephard) who were married in Loughborough in 1890. Richard's mother Sarah died in 1907, aged 43, and his father was married again in 1909 to Amelia Elizabeth Collins. Richard had two older sisters Amy and Mary and two younger brothers Charles and Frederick. He also had two half-sisters Gladys and Marian and one half-brother Arthur from his father's second marriage. The family lived at 12 Chapman Street, Loughborough.

Richard, who had followed his father into the joinery business, enlisted on 4th September 1914 at Loughborough. He was appointed as Private 14062 to the 8th (Service) Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment. The 8th Battalion was raised at Leicester as part of Kitchener's Third New Army and joined the 23rd Division as Divisional Troops. The units of the Division began to assemble in Hampshire and in December moved into Aldershot and Ewshott. In February 1915 another move was made to Shorncliffe in Kent. In April 1915 the 8th Battalion transferred to the 37th Division and a Divisional HQ was established at Andover. On 28th April 1915 Richard was promoted to Lance Corporal. The troops then concentrated on Salisbury Plain and on 25th June were inspected by King George V at Sidbury Hill. In August Richard was sent to Barnard Castle, Co. Durham, for a couple of weeks before being ordered to sail for France, via Folkestone, on 27th August to join the rest of the 8th Battalion.

The 8th Battalion was sent to the area of Berles-au-Bois, a village south-west of Arras where, after trench warfare training, they were alternately in the trenches or resting in billets for the remainder of 1915. In January 1916 the battalion was clearing out and repairing trenches around Never Ending Street and Nasty Lane while the enemy fired salvoes of high explosives and whizz-bangs at them. On 3rd February the enemy shelled most parts of the village and all troops and civilian inhabitants were ordered to take shelter in nearby caves. One shell fell and exploded near the gateway of a courtyard, killing and wounding, and several other men were killed and wounded in other parts of the village. Nine men from the 8th Leicesters were killed, and two officers and six other ranks were wounded. Richard Lane, aged 20, was one of those killed. He is buried in Berles-au-Bois Churchyard Extension Grave B.1. He is remembered on the memorial at All Saints Parish Church, Loughborough, as well as on the Carillon.

By 1919 Richard's younger brother Frederick was also serving with H. M. Forces, in Egypt.
 
The Lane family

Private 4416 George Lattimore

13th Bn. Royal Scots (Lothian).

Died of Wounds 29th October 1915, Aged 36.

Buried Boulogne Eastern Cemetery VIII. C 53. 

George Lattimore was born in 1880 in Oakham, Rutland, the second son of William Lattimore and his wife Mary Elizabeth Lattimore (née Chamberlain) who were married on 6th May 1873 in Oakham. In 1881 William and Mary were living with their two sons, Tom Harry and George, at Finkey Lane, Oakham, and William Lattimore, who had been a Grenadier Guard before his marriage, was now a bricklayer. By 1891 William Lattimore and his wife had taken over the Royal Oak, High Street, Oakham, and were running it as an inn and lodging house.

George Lattimore, a labourer aged 19 years 7 months, attested at Oakham on 6th October 1899. He joined the 1st Battalion of the Royal Scots (Lothian) Regiment at Glencorse Barracks, Midlothian, on 9th October 1899 as Private 6888. He served at home until 1900. On 16th May 1900 he was sent to Orange River Colony, South Africa, where he took part in the final advance east from Pretoria in the 2nd Boer War. In August 1900 his battalion was concentrated at Belfast and assisted in the fighting which preceded the Battle of Bergendal on 27th August 1900. In September 1900 the Royal Scots seized the mountain called Zwaggershoch and attacked the enemy's main position near Lydenburg. They then returned via Belfast to Koomati Port and Baberton and later were in action again at Bermondsey. At the close of the campaign the battalion was doing garrison work around Balmoral and Middelburg.

George remained in South Africa until 24th December 1902 and was awarded the Queen's South Africa Medal and the King's South Africa Medal. He was discharged from 13th Battalion, on payment of £18, on 24th December 1902. George's mother died shortly afterwards in 1903, his father in 1910. George, meanwhile, was earning his living as a bricklayer.

George married Sarah Jane Burton at Oakham Parish Church on 25th February 1907. They set up home at Dean Street, Oakham and had two daughters: Agnes Dellice born 3rd December 1908 and Sybil Pearl born 13th January 1915.

On 24th October 1914, George, a Reservist and aged 34, re-attested at Loughborough and rejoined his old regiment. As Private 4416 he was posted to the 3rd Battalion of the Royal Scots in Glencorse, Midlothian, on 11th November 1914, then to the 14th Battalion which was in Ripon, Yorkshire, on 26th December 1914. From Ripon he was sent to Stobs, in the Scottish Borders, and then to France on 4th July 1915. On 28th July 1915 he was posted to the 13th (Service) Battalion.

During the early part of the Battle of Loos the Royal Scots were in reserve, two miles back from the firing line. Late in the morning of the first day of the battle they were ordered to move forward to occupy the old firing-line. They remained there until night, when a further journey was made to the captured village of Loos. Later they were ordered to reinforce the firing-line and on the following day were in action around Hill 70.

George was wounded in action on 26th September 1915 and lay injured in no man's land for eleven hours before help arrived. On 30th September he was admitted to No. 11 General Hospital Boulogne with a gunshot wounds to the chest, back and hip and his wife was notified as he was dangerously ill. On 1st October a note was added to his medical record saying 'May be visited'. His wife visited him in hospital and while he was conscious he promised her he would try to come back home again but he died in hospital on 29th October 1915.

George is remembered on the memorial in All Saints Churchyard, Oakham, Rutland, and on the Loughborough Carillon although his connection with Loughborough is unknown.

Gunner 10805 John Charles (Charlie) Lawrence

1st Div. Ammunition Col. Trench Mortar Bty, Royal Field Artillery.

Killed in Action 2nd May 1916,  Aged 24.

Buried Maroc British Cemetery, Grenay, Pas de Calais, L. A. 14. 

John Charles Lawrence, known to his family as 'Charlie', was born in Clifton, York in 1892, the son of Charles Lawrence and Emma Lawrence (née Hick). He was baptised on 29th May 1892 at St. Thomas' Church, The Groves, York. Charlie's parents were married in 1884 in Stockton on the Forest, Yorkshire, but his father, who was a rural postman, died the year after Charlie was born. Charlie's mother was remarried in 1895 to Thomas Barnes, a nightman at a tram stables in Leicester. Charlie had four full-blood sisters Annie, Emily, Lily and Edith Lawrence and three half-blood siblings Mary, Emma and Thomas Barnes. In 1901 the Barnes/Lawence family lived at 20 Linford Street in the Belgrave area of Leicester, but by 1911 they had moved to Rempstone, Nottinghamshire, where Thomas Barnes was employed as a farm labourer and Charlie worked as a groom.

In early 1914 Charlie married Edith Arterton in Loughborough and the couple set up home at 14 Rendell Street. Shortly afterwards their son Charles E. Lawrence was born and another son John F. Lawrence was born in 1915.

Charlie, having previously completed in the Army and subsequently being in the Army Reserve, was recalled when war broke out. He was sent to France on 16th August 1914 as Gunner 10805 with the First Divisional Ammunition Column, Royal Field Artillery. First Division was one of the first British formations to proceed to France and fought on the Western Front throughout the war, taking part in most of the major actions. The task of a Divisional Ammunition Column (DAC) was to collect and distribute ammunition to artillery and infantry units. In 1914 First Division was involved in the Battle of Mons and the subsequent retreat, the Battle of the Marne, the Battle of the Aisne, the 1st Battle of Ypres, and the Winter Operations of 1914-15. In 1915 they were in action at the Battle of Festubert and the Battle of Loos.

First Division, with small groups of men from various batteries, was experimenting with trench mortars from early January 1915. The Trench Mortar Battery was formed later by March 1916 with men selected from the DACs and Field Artillery batteries.

At the beginning of May 1916 Charlie was in the area south-east of Bethune where there was a lot of shelling and he was killed in action on 2nd May 1916, aged 24. An obituary for Charlie noted that:
'He was quickly drafted out to Flanders after being recalled to service in August, 1914, and had only been home on leave once the week before Christmas last for a brief rest, but was expecting coming home again next month. In a letter to his wife, Gunner A. Pringle, Livingstone, a comrade who enlisted with Lawrence says that he died beside his gun in a place of great responsibility, early on the morning of May 2nd. His death had caused much sorrow, as he was a splendid, hardworking, fearless soldier, but amid the grief his death would cause, they must feel proud that he had given his life for his country. He was buried the same evening in a little cemetery called the soldiers cemetery behind the firing line, and the service, which was conducted by the Chaplin, was attended by several of his comrades, who afterwards fixed a cross to mark his last resting place'.

In a letter to Gunner Lawrence's mother (Mrs. Barnes of Thrift House, Knightthorpe), the Chaplin who conducted the burial service, wrote: 'He was killed instantaneously yesterday morning, while serving the gun, and his commanding officer followed his body all the way down from the trenches to do honour to a very gallant soldier. He told me that your son was the most popular man in the battery, and he considered him also to be one of the most efficient'.

Charlie is buried in Maroc British Cemetery, Grenay, Pas de Calais, Grave L.A.14 and is remembered on All Saints Church Memorial as well as on the Carillon.

Private 15163 Ernest Arthur Leavesley

8th Bn. Leicestershire Regiment.

Died of Wounds 29th September 1916, Aged 22.

Buried Heilly Station Cemetery IV. I. 79. 

Ernest Arthur Leavesley was born in 1894 in Loughborough, the son of Frederick Leavesley a framework knitter and his wife Sarah Jane (née Kirk). Ernest's parents were married in 1891 in Loughborough. Ernest had five brothers William, Arnold, Eric, Percy and Reggie and four sisters Laura, Gladys, Ivy and Marjorie. Another sister Doris died aged one in 1905. In 1901 the family lived at 54 Bridge Street, Loughborough, but by 1911 had moved to 74 Gladstone Street. In 1911 Ernest, aged 17, was a trimmer at Messrs. T. Clarke and Sons dye works.

Ernest enlisted in Loughborough on 9th September 1914 and joined the 8th (Service) Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment as Private 15163. From the Depot he was sent firstly to Aldershot for training.

Ernest moved to Shorncliffe in Kent at the end of February 1915. In April 1915 Ernest's battalion became part of the newly established 37th Division of Kitchener's 2nd New Army and the Division began to concentrate on Salisbury Plain. On 25th June the units were inspected by King George V at Sidbury Hill. On 22nd July the Division began to cross the English Channel and Ernest travelled to France on 29th July 1915. Initially the 37th Division concentrated near Tilques.

The 8th Battalion then moved via Watten, Houlie, St. Omer, Eecke and Dranoutre to Wulverghem and Berles-au-Bois, a short distance from the front line. In the months that followed the 8th Battalion did tours in the trenches, alternating with the 6th Leicesters who relieved them. They were Involved in operations in Bailleul, Le Bizet, Armentières, Mondicourt, Beauval and Berles-au-Bois.

In April 1916 Ernest had moved with the 8th Leicesters to the Doullens area for six weeks cleaning up, resting and training. In mid-May the battalion returned once more to the trenches in the Bienvillers-Bailleulmont sector, but nearer Gommecourt. In June there was a series of nightly excursions into No-Man's Land with patrols attempting to gather information on the enemy's dispositions. On other occasions there were working parties out repairing the British barbed wire entanglements. The situation became increasingly hazardous as the month wore on when the Germans began to use a new and more accurate type of trench mortar.

The 8th Battalion did not participate in the first days of the Somme Offensive but was held in reserve. On 6th July Ernest's battalion left billets at Humbercamps and marched to Talmas, continuing on the following day to billets in Soues. On 10th July the battalion marched to Ailly-sur-Somme, entrained for Méricourt and travelled from there by lorry to bivouacs in Méaulte. Between 10th and 13th July the battalion was in the trenches near Fricourt and subjected to fairly continuous enemy fire.

On the 14th July the battalion was in action at the Battle of Bazentin Ridge. After the battle the battalion withdrew to Ribemont and then to Méricourt, and having entrained for Saleux, marched to Soues. Just before the withdrawal to Ribemont Ernest received a gunshot wound and was taken to No. 45 Casualty Clearing Station. From there he was transferred to a hospital in Etaples. He recovered and returned to the Field on 28th July and on 16th August was temporarily posted for five weeks to the 7th Battalion of the Leicesters who were in the trenches at Agnez les Duisans alternating with reliefs in billets in Arras.

Ernest rejoined the 8th Battalion at Lignereuil on 7th September. On 13th September the 8th Battalion marched to Frevent and entrained for Dernancourt. On 15th they reached a point between Fricourt and Méaulte before proceeding to Trônes Wood on 16th.

From 17th-23rd September the battalion was in reserve and supporting the troops in the front line by providing carrying parties. In the evening of 24th September the battalion marched up to take their position ready for an attack but before they reached this point the men were heavily shelled by the enemy. Just after midday on 25th September the 8th Leicesters launched a successful attack in waves on the right of Flers and then pressed on to Gueudecourt, Considerable losses, however, were suffered in this action.

Ernest was wounded in action on 25th September. He died from his wounds in No. 38 Casualty Clearing Station on 29th September 1916, aged 22. He was buried at Heilly Station Cemetery, Méricourt-l'Abbé, south-west of Albert, Grave IV. I. 79.

Ernest's older brother William served in the Navy on the battlecruiser HMS Princess Royal and his younger brother Arnold served in the Norfolk Regiment. Both survived the war.

Private 24416 George Ernest Lee

2nd Bn. South Staffordshire Regiment.

Killed in Action 13th November 1916, Aged 21.

Buried Serre Road Cemetery No 1, I. G. 20. 

George Ernest Lee was born on the 8th May 1895 in the Union Workhouse, Horninglow, Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire. He was the son of Clara Lee, a servant, who was admitted to the workhouse on 17th November 1894 when she was three months pregnant. Clara remained at the workhouse until 28th November 1895. In 1901 Clara was working as a servant in the household of David Page, a rent collector, and his wife and family, in Conery Lane, Enderby, Leicestershire. In the summer of 1901 Clara married Alfred Jalland, a widowed farm labourer twenty years her senior. Alfred Jalland had six children from his first marriage, but they were all adults by the time he married Clara.

Alfred Jalland and Clara had four more children Alfred, Frederick, Elsie and Violet, all half-siblings to George. One source suggests that Alfred Jalland was also the father of George Lee, but this is unproven. In 1911 George was a farm labourer and living in family home at Meeting Street, Quorn, together with his step-father, his mother and his half-blood siblings. In the spring of 1914 he married Minnie Taylor in the Barrow upon Soar registration area and the couple set up home at 38 Duke Street, Loughborough.

When George enlisted is unknown but it seems to have been sometime in the spring of 1916. His service record has not survived so his date of entry into France is also unknown. He joined the 2nd Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment as Private 24416.

The 2nd Battalion had been in France and Flanders since August 1914 and had been involved in most of the major actions. From 15th July until 3rd September 1916 the battalion took part in the Battle of Delville Wood (part of the Somme Offensive), after which they went into the trenches in the Serre sector, with rest billets at Courcelles and Couin.

On 20th September a period of training began at the Bois de Warnimont. This lasted until 30th September when the battalion moved to training trenches at Authie to practise an attack. On 1st October they took over the support trenches at Hébuterne until 7th October when they marched to Puchevillers. Here Divisional practice for the forthcoming attack was carried out. Back in Bertrancourt from 18th-28th October the battalion supplied large fatigue parties day and night. On 28th October the battalion went into the trenches, which were in a very bad state, on the northern sub-section of the Redan (south of Serre) and were subjected to periodic shelling. Relieved on the 30th October they returned to huts at Bertrancourt. Until 7th November the battalion supplied working parties for the roads and unloading parties at Beaussart Station and also enjoyed a boxing match ad football game. A move to billets in Mailly-Maillet came on 7th, amid enemy shelling. On 12th November the battalion moved into the assembly trenches, ready for action.

On 13th October the battalion successfully crossed the German front line and assaulted the second line in spite of heavy mist. The cost to the battalion, however, was high with many casualties among the officers and other ranks. George, aged 21, lost his life in the action. He is buried in Serre Road Cemetery No. 1, Serre, Pas de Calais, Grave I. G. 20. George is commemorated on the war memorial at Quorn as well as on the Carillon.

Private 70432 Samuel Lees

2nd Bn, Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regt.)

Died between 21st and 23rd March 1918, Aged 27.

Commemorated Arras Memorial Bay 7. 

Samuel Lees was born in 1891 at Hillside (or Big Hill), Castle Donington. He was the youngest child of John Lees, a labourer, and his wife Catherine (or 'Kate', née Orton), a seamstress, who were married at St. Michael and All Angels Church, Diseworth, on 8th September 1873. Samuel had four brothers John, Jim, George and William and one sister Martha. In 1911 Samuel, aged 19, was a gardener's labourer.

In late 1915 or early 1916 Samuel married Sarah Lizzie Nicholson in the Loughborough area. About the time the young couple were married Samuel enlisted at Long Eaton, leaving his wife living in Thorpe Acre, Loughborough, and joined the Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment) as Private 70432.

Samuel was sent for training with the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion in Sunderland and subsequently sent to France to join the 2nd Battalion. As his service record has not survived the precise dates of his enlistment and arrival in France are unknown. The 2nd Battalion, however, received a batch of reinforcements from the 3rd Battalion on 23rd June 1916 and it is likely that Samuel was in this group.

On 23rd June 1916 the 2nd Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters was at Camp M, Proven, for tactical exercises and working parties, and that evening was treated to a concert by the 'Merry Macs'. From 2nd-22nd July the battalion was at Bollezeele and then Houtkerque for training, sports, inspections and digging and repairing trenches. A trench tour at Cavan and St. Jean followed before the battalion entrained at Ypres Asylum on 31st July for Camp K, Watou road.

Between 3rd and 5th August the battalion moved to the Somme, entraining at Proven for Candas and marching to Mailly-Maillet, and taking over the trenches west of Beaumont-Hamel. Here they found a large number of British dead and spent several days burying their bodies. Between two short stays at Camp P the battalion then completed another trench tour at Beaumont-Hamel before moving to Flesselles on 29th August for a week's drill and attack practice.

On 5th September the battalion began a three day march to Camp F, near Méaulte, on 11th September moved to Arrow Head Copse in the Longueval area, and on 13th September took up positions for an attack west of Guillemont. A gallant attack was made but half of the battalion became casualties from enemy shells and machine gun fire. On 15th September the remainder of the battalion supported an advance by the 1st Leicesters but was again heavily shelled. On 17th the 226 survivors of the original battalion of 681 men were ordered to move to Maltz Horn Farm and then Ville sur Ancre, where 320 reinforcements immediately joined them.

On 22nd September the battalion moved to the east of Trônes Wood to support an attack on Les Boeufs, on 26th was on the receiving end of gas shells west of Morval, and was shelled again on 30th.

On 1st October the battalion marched to the sandpits at Meaulté for drill manoeuvres and on 9th October began digging assembly trenches south-east of Montauban where they had 'rather a warm time from enemy machine gun fire'. After launching an attack on 15th they moved to Bernafay Wood and then Corbie. On 24th the battalion entrained at Corbie for Airaines and marched to Hocquincourt for training before moving to Fouquerieuil for work on the defences until 24th November. On 25th November the battalion marched up La Bassée Canal and took up the support line trenches, working on trench drainage and carrying trench mortar ammunition. Two trench tours at Cuinchy took up much of December before the battalion moved to billets at Labourse, three miles south-east of Béthune, forcleaning and refitting. On Christmas Day the men played football and attended church services. There was also a concert in the evening.

On 27th December the battalion returned to the trenches in the Quarries sector near Mazingarbe which were in very poor condition. There it was relatively quiet until the New Year. On New Year's Day 1917, however, the trenches were badly strafed by the enemy. Four more trench tours took place in January and early February after which the battalion moved to Beuvry for ten days for reorganisation, inspections and training.

In March there were trench tours in the Hulluch sector where the battalion was troubled by enemy action with aerial darts and on 25th March a heavy enemy barrage, while during breaks the men were billeted in ruined houses in Philosophe. April was no different except for a change of location to Cité St. Elie and then Maroc. In May and June 1917 the battalion did several trench tours near Cité St. Elie, with breaks at Verquin, Vaudricourt and Philosophe. From 9th to 27th June there was musketry training, after which the battalion marched to Calonne and came under the orders of the Army's 46th Division. Three days later the battalion moved to the assembly lines for an operation south of Loos-en-Gohelle.

On 1st July 1917 the battalion was involved in an attack at La Cité St. Théodore, Lens, before being withdrawn into reserve at Verquin and then moved to the trenches in the St. Elie sub-section from 12th-20th July. Working parties at Philosophe followed, after which the battalion marched to Noeux-les-Mines and then to Chelers for one month's training and rest, including brigade sports. Operations in July had cost the battalion 212 casualties.

On 26nd August the battalion went into Divisional Reserve at Braquemont. During September there were trench tours at Bois Hugo during which twenty-nine Ordinary Ranks were gassed, breaks at Les Brebis and a short period in Divisional Reserve for work at South Maroc. From 2nd-8th October the battalion was at Houchin Camp for refitting and training before returning to the trenches near Loos. On 21st October the battalion entrained at Noeux-les-Mines for Lillers and marched to Westrehen for training until 29th October.

For the first two weeks of November the battalion practised attack strategy, including tanks, at Beaufort. On 15th November they marched to Frevent station, entrained for Peronne, and marched to Manacourt and over the next three days prepared for an attack with massed tanks at Beaucamp. The attack began on 20th November and the battalion was continuously involved in the Cambrai Operations until 12th December, incurring over 100 casualties.

The use of tanks took the enemy by surprise as they cut through barbed wire defences which the enemy had previously thought impregnable. The enemy's counter-attack, however, showed the effectiveness of evolving stormtrooper tactics and by the end of the battle, the British retained some of the ground captured in the north and the Germans a smaller amount taken in the south.

On 12th December the battalion was withdrawn to a canvas camp at Etricourt and on 14th taken by bus from Manacourt to Bailleul for a rest and then intensive training with firing rifles and Lewis guns on a range. On Christmas Day there was a special dinner, presents from England and a Notts versus Derby football match.

Training continued until 19th January 1918 at No 2 Camp, Courcelles-le-Comte, after which the battalion marched to Fremicourt and went into the line between Boursies and Demicourt. Here they worked on trench repairs amid intermittent shelling. On 26th January the battalion withdrew to Lindop Camp, Fremicourt, and Lock Camp on the Bapaume road and provided working parties. In February a trench tour at Doignies was followed by musketry practice at Camp No. 10, Favreuil, together with some time on anti-aircraft Lewis gun guard and the training of large group of reinforcements who were mostly only just 19 years old. The month ended with a return to the front at Lagnicourt.

From 1st-6th March the battalion was at Camp No. 12, Favreuil, resting and on working parties. On 7th March two companies moved into close support and on 10th the entire battalion moved to the front line. On 21st March the enemy opened a Spring Offensive, advancing in formation and accompanied by a bombardment of every description. The battalion suffered heavy casualties on the front line for three days and between 21st and 23rd March. Samuel, aged 27, was killed in action.

Samuel is commemorated on the Arras memorial, Bay 7. He is also remembered on the memorial in All Saints Church, Thorpe Acre, Loughborough, and on the memorial in the Church of St. Edward King and Martyr, Castle Donington.

Samuel's widow Sarah married Charles Onions of Loughborough in 1920.

 

Second Lieutenant Alexander William Leslie

1/4th Bn. Leicestershire Regiment.

Died of Wounds 23rd April 1917, Aged 24.

Buried Barlin Communal Cemetery Extension II. A. 4.

Alexander William Leslie was born at 25 Sparrow Hill, Loughborough in 1892, the son of Walter William Leslie, a saddler, and his second wife Harriet Jane Annie (née Peachey) who were married in Sydmonton, Hampshire, in 1888. He was baptised on 16th October 1892 at Holy Trinity Church, Loughborough.

Alexander had two half-brothers from his father's first marriage to Caroline Sarah Harris who had died, aged 27, in 1866 and was buried at All Saints' Parish Church, Loughborough, on 15th October 1886. Alexander also had two full siblings Albert and Ethel. By 1901 the Leslie family had moved to 43 Nottingham Road. In 1911 Alexander, who had attended Loughborough Grammar School, had become a bank clerk at Parr's Bank in Ashby de la Zouch. He later moved to their branch in Leicester.

Alexander enlisted soon after war began but his exact date of enlistment is unknown as his service record has not survived. He joined the 3/4th Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment as a Private and achieved promotion to the rank of Lance Corporal. On 13th January 1916 he received his commission as a Second Lieutenant with the Leicesters. After moving for a brief time to Grantham he was posted to France to the 1/4th Battalion.

Alexander joined his new battalion in the trenches at Foncquevillers on 15th June 1916. On 30th June the battalion moved to billets in St. Amand-les-Eaux in preparation for the start of the Somme Offensive. On 2nd July the battalion transferred to Hannescamps and was heavily shelled. At Bienvillers-au-Bois on 15th July they launched a gas and smoke attack on the enemy. After a short period in training at Pommier and some work on trench improvement they moved into the trenches at Monchy-au-Bois on 1st August and were again shelled. Apart from a week in the trenches at La Cauchie the battalion remained in the Pommier/Bienvillers area until 28th October. November 1916 was spent training at Drucat, Domvast, and Mondicourt prior to a return to the trenches at Hannescamps.

In February 1917 the battalion took over a new front line facing Monchy-au-Bois and experienced a very heavy enemy bombardment of trench mortars and shells. The first two weeks of March were spent on the front line between Hannescamps and La Brayelle before a move over several days to Flechin took place. April began with training at Flechin and Erny St. Julien followed by a move to Lens on 18th April.

Alexander was wounded on 21st April in the trenches north-west of Lens whilst carrying mortar ammunition to the line. He died, aged 24, on 23rd April and is buried in Barlin Communal Cemetery Extension Grave II. A. 4. He is remembered on the Holy Trinity War Memorial, Loughborough, and on Loughborough Grammar School Memorial as well as on the Carillon.

Private 255510 Fred Lester

Leicestershire Yeomanry.

Died of Wounds 22nd June 1917, Aged 21.

Buried Villers-Faucon Communal Cemetery C 32.

Fred Lester was born in Leicester in 1896, the son of Isaac Lester and his wife Maria (née Chester) who were married at All Saints' Parish Church in Loughborough on Christmas Day 1875. Isaac and Maria were both born in Loughborough but during their married life moved from Loughborough to Sheffield and then to 46 Connaught Street, next to 40 Repton Street, and finally to 39 Lorne Road, all in Leicester. Fred's father was a framework knitter. Fred had five brothers William Henry, Arthur, William, Herbert and Albert and one sister Edith. Before he enlisted Fred was employed as a clerk and lived in Loughborough.

Fred joined the 1/1 Leicestershire Yeomanry initially as Private 2573, but later renumbered as Private 255510. The Leicestershire Yeomanry had been formed on the creation of the Territorial Force in April 1908 and placed under orders of the North Midland Mounted Brigade. It was headquartered in Leicester.

Fred was sent to France on 27th May 1915. He was in a draft of 200 ordinary Ranks who joined the Yeomanry in billets at Wittes, Ypres, on 31st May. Throughout June and July 1915 the Yeomanry remained in Wittes, providing working parties for digging trenches at Neuve Eglise, Sailly sur la Lys and Elverdinghe. On 6th August they moved to new billets in villages near Hervarre whole they dug trenches at Armentières, and on 29th September moved on again to Le Nieppe. In mid-October they moved to Noordpeene and then Fruges. Early November was spent digging trenches at Lynde, Ouderdom, Zillebeeke lake and north of Bielen. From there they moved to Wicquinghem on November 16th and dug trenches at Ebblinghem and Lynde. The regiment remained at Wicquinghem until 14th March 1916.

Fred must have been given permission to return to England in November 1915 as he married Doris Winifred Sutcliffe on 20th November 1915 at the Church of St. Michael and All Angels, Knighton, Leicester. Cecil and Doris's son Cecil Fred was born in December 1915.

From 14th March until 6th May 1916 the Leicestershire Yeomanry was in billets at Herly and Rollez before moving to Bourthes. From 15th to 20th may they were in training at Neuilly l'Hôpital, returning afterwards to Bourthes until 24th June. Between 24th June and 4th July the regiment transferred via Crécy en Ponthieu, Berteaucourt-les-Dames and Corbie to Fontaine-sur-Somme, where on 5th July they were sent to clear the battlefield. From 8th July to 1st August and back at Corbie they provided working parties to mend the roads at Henencourt and to clear the battlefield at Bécourt. The first five days of August were spent moving back to Bourthes where they remained until 11th September, providing working parties and sniping parties. From 11th September the regiment was continually on the march, which ended when squadrons moved into billets at Lebiez, Torcy and Rimboval in the Pas de Calais on 24th September. Here a group of 8 Officers and 256 Ordinary Ranks proceeded to form part of the 7th Cavalry Pioneer battalion.

They did not move again until 1st February 1917 when they went into new billets at Merlimont Plage, on the Channel coast south-west of Etaples, where they spent until the beginning of April training men and horses and trialling the comparative effects of rifle and Hotchkiss machine gun fire. Between 4th and 19th April they marched to Arras and then on to Estruval (Somme). Between 12th and 24th May they proceeded to the area east of Epehy. At the beginning of June, at Buire, they provided trench parties in the outpost and support lines of the front.

On 22nd June 1917 the Germans attempted a raid. Three soldiers of the Yeomanry were brought in wounded and all died. Fred was one of them. He was 21 when he died. Fred was buried in Villers-Faucon Communal Cemetery, north-east of Peronne, Grave C 32. He is commemorated on the memorial preserved from St. Michael and All Angels Church Church, Scott Street, Knighton, Leicester, after the church was demolished circa 1997, and on the Carillon in Loughborough.

Private 8645 Isaac Lester

 

2nd Bn. King's Own Scottish Borderers.                                     

Killed in Action 8th September 1914, Aged 30.

Commemorated La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre Memorial.

 

As a reservist with the King's Own Scottish Borderers, Isaac Lester was ordered to Dublin in early August 1914 to join the 2nd Battalion of the regiment. By 15th August he was in France as part of the original British Expeditionary Force of World War One and was almost immediately involved in the First Battle of Mons, the Battle of Le Cateau and then the First Battle of the Marne in which he lost his life.

He left a widow Elizabeth and one small son George who lived at 3 Connery Passage, Loughborough.

Sergeant 26130 Walter Lindsell

16th Bn. Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regt)

Killed in Action 10th October 1916, Aged 27.

Buried Mill Road Cemetery Thiepval XVI. B. 8.

Walter Lindsell was born in Arnold, Nottinghamshire in 1889, the son of Frank and Kate Lindsell (née Boardman). Walter's parents were married on 7th June 1885 at St. Mary's Church, Nottingham and his father was a hosiery warehouseman. Walter had five brothers Harry, Arthur, Frank, Lawrence and Harold and three sisters Rosetta, Hilda and Ivy. Two other siblings Charles and Ruby had died in infancy. The Lindsell family lived at Brookfield in Arnold. Walter's mother died on 23rd October 1903 and one year later his father, who was now a hosiery manager, married Ann Lamb (known as 'Annie') in Nottingham. In 1910 Frank Lindsell was nominated for the position of Conservative councillor on Arnold Urban District Council. By 1911 Walter had left home and was boarding at the home of the Towle family at 42 Johnson Road, Lenton. He was a yarn agent's clerk by trade.

Walter enlisted on 15th May 1915 in Nottingham and joined B Coy of the 16th (Service) Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment) as Private 26130. The 16th Battalion was known as the Chatsworth Rifles as it was formed at Derby on 16th April 1915 by the Duke of Devonshire and the Derbyshire Territorial Force Association.

When Walter joined the battalion it was at Buxton, but it moved to Redmires near Sheffield on 8th June 1915 for training in trench warfare. On 25th May 1915 Walter had been appointed a Lance Corporal and on 18th June 1915 a Corporal. On 4th August, however, he reverted to being a Private at his own request. On 2nd September 1915 there was another move to Hursley near Winchester where the battalion came under the orders of the 39th Division of the Army and on 29th September 1915 Walter was once again appointed a Lance Corporal. On 30th September the battalion moved to Aldershot and on 28th October Walter became an Acting Corporal. On 8th November the battalion moved to Witley Camp on Witley Common, Surrey, for final training. On 12th November 1915 Walter became an Acting Lance Sergeant and on 3rd January 1916 he was promoted to Sergeant.

On 16th December 1915 Walter married Gladys Mary McQuire at Holy Trinity Church, Lenton, but the couple were only briefly together as Walter's battalion embarked at Southampton for Le Havre on 6th March 1916. On arrival the battalion concentrated near Blaringhem, not far from Dunkerque until 13th March when the battalion marched to Estaires. On 19th March front line instruction began at Laventie. This was followed by training in the trenches at Auchy, where the enemy was quite active.

On April 15th the battalion marched to Riez du Vinage and on 23rd took over a section of the trenches near Festubert. In early May, after a short time in Le Touret the battalion returned to Riez du Vinage. On 17th May they went into the trenches at Givenchy where the front was full of craters, and they were attacked by enemy rifle grenades. After a break in Gorre they returned to the Givenchy front line on June 3rd where they carried out a successful raid on the enemy. On 6th June the battalion went into reserve at Essacs before taking over the front line at Richebourg l'Avoué, where on 30th June they supported an attack. While at Essacs Walter had received a severe reprimand for 'highly improper conduct'.

From 1st to 11th July the battalion pushed forward and made some progress, afterwards remaining at Richebourg l'Avoué trenches until 20th July. On 10th August they began moving towards the Somme via Auchel to La Thieuloye where two days training took place. On 28th August they reached Beaussart.

Walter, however, was not with the battalion at this point. On 23rd August at La Thieuloye he had been taken to No. 13 Field Ambulance, suffering from influenza. On the same day he was moved to No. 12 Stationary Hospital at St. Pol-sur-Ternoise, north-west of Arras. He did not rejoin his battalion until 9th September when the Chatswoth Rifles were in the line at Beaumont Hamel, conveying items for the attacking troops and providing trench control posts. This operation continued until 19th September when the battalion marched to Bertrancourt and took over the trenches at Hébuterne on the following day.

The battalion was relieved on 1st October and on 5th October took over a centre section of the trenches at Thiepval including the Schwaben Redoubt. It was very muddy and the enemy put up a vigorous defence. Walter was killed in action, aged 27, during an attack on the Schwaben Redoubt, Somme, on 10th October 1916. He was buried in Mill Road Cemetery, Thiepval, Somme Grave XVI. B. 8. He is commemorated on the war memorial in Arnot Hill Park, Arnold, Nottinghamshire.

Walter's father had predeceased him, dying on 31st March 1916. Walter's wife Gladys, who had remained with her parents at 69 Lenton Boulevard, Nottingham, moved to Loughborough after Walter's death. In 1918 she married Everard Thomas H. Goodman in Loughborough and lived at 24 Burleigh Road. Gladys and Everard Goodman had three children Derek, Rosemary and John.

Walter's brother Harold who served with the 12th Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters was killed in 1917 near Ypres. His brother Lawrence served with the Sherwood Foresters, his brother Arthur with the Sherwood Foresters and the Army Service Corps and his brother Frank with the Machine Gun Corps. Unlike Walter and Harold Lawrence, Arthur and Frank survived the war.
 

Driver 52880 Ernest Lindsey

A Bty. 28th Bde. Royal Field Artillery.

Killed in Action 22nd May 1918, Aged 27.

Buried Cinq Rues British Cemetery D. 20.

Ernest Lindsey was born in the summer of 1889 in Loughborough and baptised on 8th January 1890 at All Saints Church, Loughborough. He was one of sixteen children of George Lindsey and his wife Charlotte (née Sharpe) who were married on 14th November 1880 at All Saints Church, Loughborough. Only four of the sixteen children survived infancy and Ernest had two brothers Tom and Arthur and one sister Elizabeth. He also had a half-brother William Sharpe (afterwards Lindsey), born before his mother married George Lindsey. When Ernest was born his father was a labourer and a boatman and he later became just a brick maker's labourer. Between 1891 and 1901 the Lindsey family lived in John Street, Loughborough, firstly at No. 19 and then at No. 21. Ernest's parents later moved to 13 Fennel Street.

By 1911 Ernest was a Driver with the 81st Battery of the Royal Field Artillery (RFA) and was stationed in Kirkee (now Khadkhi), a town near Pune, Maharashtra, India. By the time war broke out he is likely to have been a Reservist and recalled. His service papers have not survived but it is known that he was sent to France on 5th November 1914 to join the 28th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, as Driver 52880. In 1914 the 28th Brigade, part of the 5th Division of the Army, consisted of 122nd 123rd 124th Batteries and the 28th Brigade Ammunition Column.

Drivers in the RFA cared for and maintained the horses, harness and wagons needed to move the artillery pieces around the battlefield. Each driver controlled a team of (up to) six horses from a mounted position on the lead, offside horse and it was a specialist qualification.

In early November 1914, when Ernest joined the 28th Brigade of the RFA, it was in action in the line at Lindenhoek. Much of the work here was short searching fire on and behind the Messines-Wytschaete Ridge. On 2nd December their gun 'Black Maria' fired at the southern slopes of Mount Kemmel and the brigade continued in action at Lindenhoek and Neuve Eglise until 7th April 1915.

On 8th and 9th April the brigade marched from Dranoutre to Ypres and the guns were registered on the following day. On 17th April the batteries opened heavy fire to support an infantry attack and were subsequently involved in the 2nd Battle of Ypres from 22nd April -25th May. On 16th July the brigade moved into action near Dickebusch and on the night of 25th/26th July transferred to Hondeghem to rest.

On 30th July the brigade entrained at Cassel for Méricourt l'Abbé and marched to billets in Bonnay. On 3rd and 4th August the brigade proceeded to Treux and all batteries were ordered into action. On 27th August the brigade went into Army Reserve at Sailly-le-Sec but returned into action in the area of Bray on 15th September. The brigade remained in that area until 20th January 1916.

From 21st January to 24th February 1916 the brigade was resting at Saint Gratien and at St. Sauveur, near Amiens. On 25th February they marched to Longuevillette, near Doullens in a snow blizzard and on 28th moved to Beaudricourt. The brigade was in continuous action near Arras from 2nd March to 23rd June when it was ordered to Beaumetz.

From 3rd-13th July the batteries were redrilling before moving via Outrebois, Puchvillers and Querrieu to Heilly. On 20th July the brigade moved into action west of Montaubon, south of the Carnoy-Montaubon road and on 21st July heavily shelled Caterpillar Wood. In the following days there was further heavy shelling in the areas of Delville Wood and Longueval. The brigade continued with a programme of firing east of Delville Wood, on the west edge of Ginchy, on Guillemont and on Bernafay Wood and Tr?nes Wood until 5th September.

The brigade then marched to the wagon lines near Albert, and thence to the wagon lines at La Neuville before proceeding to a rest camp at Ault. At the beginning of October, after a few days action north-east of Delville Wood, the brigade moved over five days from Bussy-les-Daours via Beaucourt, Amplies, Boubers-sur-Canche and Heuchin to Locon. They then went into the line at Le Touret, and in the area of Halpegarbe and Neuve-Chapelle. Regular bombardments continued over Christmas until 30th December when the batteries were relieved.

In January 1917 the 28th Brigade, which had now become an Army Brigade, was at Gorre, east of Béthune, before moving into action in the area of La Bassée. In February the brigade, part of the Left Group, 5th Divisional Artillery, was firstly at Gorre and then at Le Touret, east of La Bassée. In March the brigade was mainly south-east of Béthune at Annequin, Loisne and Locon, before moving slightly west to Verdrel.

In April, from Verdrel the brigade transferred to Aux Rietz, north of Lens, before returning south to Bois de la Ville in Maroeuil, north-west Arras. From here they became part of the artillery for the Canadian assault on Vimy Ridge. In the second half of May they moved to Bois de Farbus between Lens and Arras and remained here until August when they transferred to Thieushouck and then to Hallebast, having been attached to the XI Corps of the Portuguese Division. August ended at Canal Lock 7, south of Ypres, and in the area of the Victoria mine shaft.

From 2nd-5th September the brigade was in action on the Ypres to Comines Canal front, bombarding and shelling the canal banks and the Damstrasse, a sunken road south of St. Eloi running east from Rijselstraat to the grounds of White Chateau. After A Battery's position at Arundel and Norfolk Lodge was shelled by the enemy on 5th September the brigade withdrew to the wagon lines at Poperinghe. While they were at Poperinghe the divisional ammunition column was bombed.

On 13th September the brigade returned to action supporting infantry brigades at Klein Zillebeke and on 15th September took part in various barrages. The enemy retaliated by shelling Spoilbank to St Eloi, and bombing Voormezele (between Dickebusch and St Eloi), followed by a gas attack. The brigade shelled Bassevillebeek on 20th September in support of infantry action at Hill 60 and continued with day and night barrages from Lock 7 until 20th October.

On 21st October the brigade withdrew to Poperinghe and for the rest of October and most of November was stationed at Proven, part of the time being used for salvaging guns from the Steenbeck. In early December, while the brigade was in the wagon lines at St. Sixte German bombing killed several men and many horses. On 6th December the brigade moved to Haandekot, west of Poperinghe.

In January 1918 the brigade was at Langemarck and in February at Bixchoote. On 11th March 1918 they transferred to Gournier Farm, near Hazebrouck. In early April they moved from Gournier Farm to Square Farm and then to north of Pradelles. After the Battle of Hazebrouck (12th-15th April) the brigade moved to Borre near Hazebrouck.

Ernest was killed in action near Hazebrouck on 22nd May 1918, aged 27. He was buried in Cinq Rues British Cemetery, Grave D 20.

Gunner 122616 Harry Flavill Littlewood

265 Siege Bty. Royal Garrison Artillery.

Died of Wounds 19th September 1917, Aged 33.

Buried Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery XXI. A. 10.

Harry Flavill Littlewood was born in Loughborough in 1884, the son of George Edwin Littlewood and his wife Ann (née Frost) who were married in Loughborough in 1882. Harry had three younger brothers Stenson, Walter and George. In 1891 the family was living at Forest Road, White Hill, Hugglescote, Leicestershire, and Harry's father was a labourer in a coal mine. By 1899, however, when Harry's father died, the family had moved to Nottingham and in 1901 they were living at 81 Brian Street, Nottingham. Harry's widowed mother was now working as a laundress to support her family and Harry was a stationary engine driver in a colliery. In 1902 Harry's mother was remarried to Frank Turner and one year later Harry married Jane Elizabeth Smith in the Nottingham area.

By 1911 Harry and Jane had six children Florence, Doris, George, Walter, and twins Harry and William. Harry and Jane and the children were living at 21 Cremorne Street, Nottingham, and Harry was a boiler stoker in a lace-making factory. Harry's mother, meanwhile, had become a certified midwife and was living at 11 King's Meadow Road, Nottingham.

Harry enlisted at Clipstone Camp, Nottinghamshire, in the late summer of 1916 and joined the Royal Garrison Artillery as Gunner 122616. He was posted to the 265th Siege Battery. Siege Batteries were equipped with heavy howitzers, sending large calibre high explosive shells in high trajectory, plunging fire. The usual armaments were 6 inch, 8 inch and 9.2 inch howitzers, although some had huge railway- or road-mounted 12 inch howitzers. As British artillery tactics developed, the Siege Batteries were most often employed in destroying or neutralising the enemy artillery, as well as putting destructive fire down on strongpoints, dumps, store, roads and railways behind enemy lines.

The 265th Siege Battery went out to the Western Front in early March 1917 and was attached to the 3rd Heavy Artillery Group (HAG) on 16th March. On 18th April it was transferred to the 66th HAG and to the 59th HAG on 14th May. On 26th May it moved again to the 66th HAG and once again on 10th June to the 57th HAG. On 22nd June the battery was allotted two extra 9.2 inch howitzers, making their number up to six altogether. On 8th September the battery was attached to the 28th HAG.

Harry died of wounds received in action on 19th September 1917. He was 33. He was buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, west of Ypres, Grave XXI. A. 10. He is remembered on the Nottinghamshire County Council Roll of Honour.

Harry's sole legatee was, rather unusually, his mother rather than his wife. Harry's brother Walter also served in France and his brother George served at sea. Both survived the war.

Private 534526 Cecil Ernest Loader

2/4th London Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps.

Previously served as 2182.

Killed in Action 7th November 1917, Aged 23.

Commemorated Jerusalem Memorial Israel. panel 56.

Cecil Ernest Loader was born in Loughborough on 2nd November 1894. He was the son of George Loader, a coal and lime merchant, and his wife Juliette (née Jephson) who were married in Derby in 1881. Cecil had four brothers George, John, Thomas and Sidney and five sisters Annie, Ida, Mabel, Alice and Freda. By 1891 the family was living at 52 Moor Lane, Loughborough, but by 1901 had moved to 79 Toothill Road. Cecil's mother died on Christmas Eve 1908, when Cecil was only fourteen. Cecil was educated at Loughborough Intermediate School and then became a draper's apprentice at Adderly and Co. Ltd, Market Place and Gallowtree Gate, Leicester.

Cecil enlisted in Chelsea, London, in February 1915 and joined the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC). He was posted as Private 2182 to the 2/4th London Field Ambulance, part of the 179th Brigade within the Army's 60th (2/2nd London Territorial) Division. With Cecil in the 2/4th London Field Ambulance was the English composer Private Ralph Vaughan Williams and several other musicians. During their time together they formed a band, with Vaughan Williams as the conductor.



The 2/4th Field Ambulance. Vaughan Williams is on the far right.

Much of Cecil's early training was done in villages and towns on the Hertfordshire/Essex border. In September 1915 he was in Saffron Walden, learning about equipment, light surgical operations and day and night stretcher drill. He also took part at Heydon and Chrishall in rehearsals of military tactical schemes and in bivouac practice at Elmdon. In October there was field work at Saffron Walden and wagon loading drill followed by practice in setting up a receiving and dressing station at Orford House, Manuden. In November there was field ambulance drill as well as lectures on map reading, sanitation, bandaging and the treatment of fractures. In addition the 2/4th Field Ambulance set up a reception hospital for the treatment of all cases of notifiable disease among the troops stationed in the area, in six days dealing with 5 cases of diphtheria, 8 cases of mumps and 2 of chicken pox and 1 of whooping cough.

In late January 1916 the 2/4th Field Ambulance moved with the 60th Division to the Warminster (Salisbury Plain) training area with Divisional HQ being set up at Sutton Veny. King George V inspected the Division there on 31st May and soon afterwards the Division received orders to prepare to leave for France. On 22nd June the 2/4th Field Ambulance entrained at Warminster Station for Southampton and embarked on the SS Inventor and the SS Connaught for Le Havre.

After one night at No. 1 Rest Camp near Le Havre the Field Ambulance entrained for St. Pol and proceeded from there to Maizières, arriving on 25th June. Here they set up in a broken farm with barns.

On 13th July they moved to Ecoivres on the slopes of Vimy Ridge where they found many sick and wounded who were unattended. Their task was evacuating the wounded from the Neuville St. Vaast area. The terrain was largely flattened and there were dead bodies everywhere. The men worked in two-hour shifts and it was dangerous work, the roads being almost impassable from shelling. The Field Ambulance sorted out accommodation and furniture for their treatment area and organised an advanced dressing station. Throughout August and September they were continuously improving the wards, repositioning incinerators and latrines, laying down planks in the trenches and widening the road for improved evacuation.

On 24th October the Field Ambulance left Ecoivres for Prouville where they set up a dressing station in a chateau and evacuated cases to Doullens by horse and wagon. On 3rd November they moved again to Eaucourt-sur-Somme. The hospital accommodation was rather small but they found a chateau in nearby Epagne which they were able to use. They spent much time cleaning up the chateau and by 9th November the number of patients being admitted had risen. An impromptu concert was given at Epagne on 7th November by members of the Field Ambulance to the RAMC and other troops in the neighbourhood.

On 13th November, however, they were advised that the 2/4th Field Ambulance was being sent to Salonika. On 14th November, having evacuated all the patients to No. 2 Stationary Hospital, Abbeville, and loaded the wagons the 2/4th Field Ambulance marched to Longpré and entrained for Marseille. After two days at Camp Carseronne they embarked for Salonika on the HMT Transylvania, travelled via Malta and arrived at Salonika on Christmas Day 1916.

The Field Ambulance remained in Macedonia until June 1917 and was present at the 1st Battle of Doiran (22nd April- 8th May) between the British and the Bulgarians. In early June the 60th Division was reorganised in preparation for a move to Egypt for operations in Palestine. The Division began embarkation at Salonika on 12th June, sailed for Alexandria and by 4th July had completed concentration at Moascar in the Southern Suez Canal Zone. The Division began to advance to Palestine and by 23rd July was at Deir el Balah (8 miles south-west of Gaza). At some point around this time Cecil was attached to the 303rd Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery which was with the 60th Division at the time.

The Sinai and Palestine Campaign had not been going well. The Egyptian Expeditionary Force had been defeated by the Ottoman forces in the 1st and 2nd Battles of Gaza earlier in the year. When the 3rd Battle of Gaza took place from 30th October - 7th November 1917, however, the Egyptian Expeditionary Force was under the command of the newly appointed General Allenby and was much more successful. They captured Beersheba on 31st October and Sheria, in the centre of the Gaza to Beersheba line, on 6th November.

Cecil was killed at Sheria with Corporal John Lewis on 7th November 1917while attending the wounded under heavy shell fire. He was 23. Cecil is commemorated on the Jerusalem Memorial, Israel, Panel 50. He is also remembered on the memorial in All Saints Church, Loughborough, and on the Carillon.

Captain Thornton, RAMC, wrote to Cecil's family as follows: "Private Loader was with me in Macedonia, both on water duty and as voluntary helper in my medical tent. We had a very hard winter out there, and often so isolated that we could not readily send our sick into hospital. In Jan., Feb, and March, therefore, we ran a sick tent, and it was there that I learnt the real value of your son, for he was a born nurse, and, as I have heard from man after man 'as gentle as a woman'. I don't think I ever met a man with such a gentle touch - a touch that never hurts. I am writing officially to the 3rd [sic] London Field Ambulance to express what I feel to the Officer Commanding, and I have already mentioned this by word of mouth. Both your son and Corpl. Lewis belonged to the same ambulance, and only attached to our brigade. I wish that I could say more in the way of comfort - that is impossible at present, but it is all well when a young soldier leads the life I know your son led - an example to us all for straight living, and making the best of every opportunity the Chaplain could give us of Holy Communion Services, and at the last forgetting self."

Gunner 93140 Frederick Harry Le Marchant Lovell

Royal Horse Artillery, Y Battery. Previously served as No. 425 Royal Horse Artillery (Notts.) (T.F.).

Died of Wounds 11th November 1916, Aged 37.

Buried Heilly Station Cemetery Somme V. E. 17.

Frederick Harry Le Marchant Lovell, known as 'Harry', was born in 1879 in St. Peter Port, Guernsey, to Harry and Ellen Ann Lovell (née Popplestone). His parents were married at Buckland, Dover, Kent, on 7th February 1875. His father was a Sergeant and Master Gunner in the Royal Regiment of Artillery and in 1881 Harry and his parents were living with his maternal grandparents Henry and Charlotte Popplestone in army accommodation at Hougham, Dover. Harry's grandfather Henry Popplestone was a Sergeant in the Royal Artillery Militia. Harry had one sister Charlotte Passmore Daisy Lovell, born in Portsmouth, in 1882.

In 1886 Harry and Charlotte's mother died, aged 32, and in 1891 Harry, Charlotte and their widowed father were living as boarders in the household of the Smith family at 318 London Road, Dover. Harry's father had joined the Kent Militia and was now Chief Master Gunner at Dover Castle. On 17th November 1891 Harry's father was married again to Mary Alice Huckstep at Holy Trinity Church, Dover. Harry's father died in 1908 in Dartford, Kent.

Where Harry was between 1891 and 1913 is unrecorded but his 425 service number indicates that he joined the Nottinghamshire Battery of the Royal Horse Artillery (a territorial force) in April, May or June 1913. In the early summer of 1914 he married Eva M. Williams, a cycle maker's daughter, in Loughborough.

It is likely that in January 1915 Harry joined Y Battery, part of the XV Brigade assigned to the 29th Division of the Army, at Leamington, Warwickshire. In March 1915 the brigade embarked at Avonmouth and sailed for Alexandria (via Malta) arriving from 28th March. Records differ regarding Harry's date of arrival in Egypt, one record quoting 11th April 1915, another the 25th April 1915. On 7th April, the division had begun re-embarking at Alexandria for Gallipoli.

From 16th August to the night of 19th/20th December 1915 the bulk of the division served at Suvla but the brigade remained at Helles. On the night of 7th/8th January 1916, the division was evacuated from Helles. In March 1916, it was transferred to France, landing at Marseille and reaching the Somme area (near Pont-Remy) between 15th and 29th March. The first action on the Western Front was the Battle of the Somme. On 1st July 1916, the brigade took part in the Battle of Albert as part of VIII Corps, Fourth Army. From the 1st -18th October the brigade was involved in the Battle of Le Transloy.

Harry appears to have been transferred to the regular army battery, the 1/1st Battery of the Notts Royal Horse Artillery in the latter half of 1916 as his service number was changed to 93140. It is not known when Harry was wounded but he died of wounds in No. 36 Casualty Clearing Station at Heilly on 11th November 1916, aged 37, and was buried at Heilly Station Cemetery, Méricourt-l'Abbé, Grave V. E. 17. Harry shares a grave with an Australian soldier Boyce Thomas (21st Battalion, A.I.F.) who died of wounds on the same day. The headstone on the grave bears Harry's former service number of 425.

Harry is remembered on the war memorials in Dover and Barrow on Soar as well as on the Carillon. He is additionally remembered on the Rolls of Honour in Holy Trinity Church, Barrow on Soar (on which his date of death is incorrectly inscribed as 1914), the Roll of Honour in the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, Charlton, Kent, and on the Guernsey Roll of Honour.

Private 62558 Richard Gordon Lovell

8th Bn. Royal Fusiliers.

Formerly 3821 City of London Imperial Yeomanry.

Killed in Action 25th June 1917, Aged 21.

Buried Monchy British Cemetery I. I. 16.

Richard Gordon Lovell was born in 1896 in Loughborough and baptised on 2nd August 1896 at All Saints Parish Church, He was the son of Charles Henry Robert Lovell and his wife Ada Ellen (née Moore) who were married at St. Giles' Church, Northampton on 3rd August 1891.Richard's' father was a commercial traveller in the boot trade. In 1901 the Lovell family lived at 15 Park Road, Loughborough, but by 1911 had moved to 143 Colwyn Road, Northampton. Richard had two brothers Raymond and Sidney and two sisters Hilda and Kathleen. Another brother Charles had died aged 2.

Nothing is known about Richard between 1911 and 1915 except that he appears to have moved to London. When he enlisted at Putney to join the City of London Imperial Yeomanry in early November 1915 he gave his address as 2 Wray Crescent, Tollington Park, London. Richard joined the Yeomanry as Trooper 3821 in the same year that his father died. The City of London Imperial Yeomanry was based at Finsbury Square, not far from where Richard was living in Tollington Park. It appears that Richard was sent to the 3/1st Battalion which was formed in 1915 as a 'third line' (training, draft-supplying reserve for the 1/1st and 2/1st Battalions).

On 5th January 1917 Richard, with others from the Yeomanry, was transferred to the 8th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers as Private 62558 and immediately sent to France. The 8th battalion was part of the Army's 12th (Eastern) Division. As early as January 1917, the Division received notice that it would take part in an offensive at Arras. It moved to the front in the Arras sector on 14th January and did not leave other than for periods of rest until towards the end of 1917. The position held at Arras was not affected by the German withdrawal from the Somme to the Hindenburg Line in March.

The 8th Battalion was first in action at Arras in the 1st Battle of the Scarpe. The task of their Division was to capture the enemy's "Black Line" (forward position) then go on to the "Brown Line" (the Wancourt-Feuchy trench including the strong point at Feuchy Chapel). The artillery bombardment opened on 4th April 1917 and the infantry - many of whom had been able to approach the front line in the long tunnels and subways reaching out from Arras itself - advanced behind a creeping barrage on 9th April. Resistance was rapidly overcome; fine counter-battery work had stifled the German guns. The leading troops quickly captured the Black Line, but German fire increased as successive waves came through to advance on the Feuchy Switch trench. In places, the German soldiers were seen retreating at a run and Monchy le Preux was captured. The 12th Division remained in position, as snow and sleet fell until ordered to move back to the area between Arras and Doullens.

After a ten day rest the Division re-entered the Arras battlefield in the Battle of Arleux, the 8th Battalion going into the forward position between the north east of Monchy and the River Scarpe. On 28th April the battalion took part in an operation to capture Roeux but owing to heavy enemy shellfire and machine guns firing from Roeux - which was not captured - fell back to its start point.

A second stronger attempt to capture Roeux was made in the 3rd Battle of the Scarpe on 3rd May 1917. The 8th Royal Fusiliers were involved in a preliminary attack the day before the battle began. This was not entirely successful but apparently caused considerable casualties to the enemy.

The 12th Division was relieved on 16th May and moved to the area of Le Cauroy, having suffered a total of 141 officers and 3380 other ranks in casualties since 25th April 1917. They remained in the Arras sector until the 30th of October 1917. During this time the Division held positions east of Monchy le Preux, mounting several raids and small scale attacks and beating off some made against them. Much manual work took place as the position held in May was of shell holes and disconnected parts of trenches, with few dugouts and no communications. When out of the line, units took part in training at Beaurain.

Richard was killed in action on 25th June 1917, aged 21. He was buried in Monchy British Cemetery, Grave I. 1.16.

Richard's brother Raymond served with the Leicestershire Regiment and the Lincolnshire Regiment. He was wounded in 1915 but survived the war.

Trooper 1843 John Jesson Lucas

Leicestershire Yeomanry.

Killed in Action 13th May 1915.

Commemorated Ypres (Menin Gate) panel 5.

John Jesson Lucas was born in 1895 in Quorn. He was the eldest son of Thomas and Sarah Jane Lucas (née Jesson) and he had three sisters Nellie, Hilda and Dorothy. His parents were married in Quorn in 1885 and the family lived at 18 High Street, Quorn (the Old Bull's Head). John's father was a watchmaker, jeweller and publican and in 1911 John, aged 16, was assisting in the business.

John was killed in the Battle of Frezenberg Ridge. He is also commemorated on the war memorial in Quorn.

Private 31284 John Thomas Ludlam

7th Bn. South Lancashire Regiment.

Formerly 28261 Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 1st November 1916,  Aged 20.

Commemorated Thiepval Memorial Somme pier & face 7A - 7B.

John Thomas Ludlam was born in 1896 at Hugglescote, Leicestershire. He was the son of William Ludlam, a bricklayer, and his wife Frances Ann (née Wain) who were married in Leicester in 1879. John had five brothers William, Leonard, Percy, Bertie and Horace and five sisters Frances, Edith, Mabel, Pearl and Doris, His sister Mabel died, aged 17, in 1907. In 1891 the family lived at 20 Cobden Street, Loughborough, but by 1901 had moved to 108 Station Street and by 1911 to 56 Broad Street. Before the war John was employed at Paten and Co., wine and spirit merchants of 12 -13 Market Place, Loughborough.

John's service record has not survived and his date of enlistment in Leicester is unknown but he initially joined the Leicestershire Regiment as Private 28261. His date of transfer to the 7th (Service) Battalion of the Prince of Wales's Volunteers (South Lancashire Regiment) as Private 38214 is also unknown. It is reasonable, however, to assume that he was not in France or Flanders before 1916 as he was not awarded the 1914-15 Star Medal. The War diary of the 7th South Lancashire Regiment notes that between 10th and 19th July 1916 'a draft of 78 men was received, chiefly from the West Yorks and York and Leicester battalions' so it is possible that John joined the 7th Battalion at that point.

In mid-July 1916 the 7th Battalion of the South Lancashire Regiment was in the rest camp for troops going to and from the trenches on the outskirts of Hénencourt Wood west of Albert. While the battalion was there training in physical exercises, bayonet fighting, bomb throwing and Lewis gun handling took place. On 19th July the battalion went into front line trenches on either side of Mametz Wood where they suffered nightly gas shelling by the enemy.

On 31st July lorries transported the battalion to billets in Franvillers as the men's feet were in poor condition after being in the trenches. Between 3rd and 8th August the battalion moved by lorry and train to Kemmel, six miles south-west of Ypres where they went into the trenches.

Between 4th and 21st September the battalion was alternately in the support and front line trenches at Ploegsteert Wood and on 21st moved back to camp at De Seule and to billets in Outtersteene on the following day. The battalion remained in Outtersteene until 5th October when they entrained at Bailleul for Doullens and moved into billets at St. Léger lès Authie. On 7th October the battalion went into the front line trenches until 11th October, coming under enemy shellfire and bombing. From 12th-17th October the battalion was in Coigneux preparing for and practising an attack, after which they moved to Contay. When the proposed attack was cancelled the battalion moved into the trenches.

Here there were heavy bombardments from both sides on 23rd and 24th October, after which the battalion withdrew to Aveluy. On 27th the battalion moved to the reserve trenches at Wood Post and Leipzig Redoubt. In the afternoon of the 1st November the enemy shelled the communication trenches very heavily and it is likely that John, aged 20, was killed at this point (rather than on 31st October as one Army record states).

John is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Pier and Face 7A -7B, and on the memorial in the former St. Peter's Church building, Loughborough, as well as on the Carillon. In a letter to the parents his Lieutenant said that he was killed while on duty, adding that 'He was quite a good lad, and his loss would be felt very much'. John's four brothers also enlisted but, unlike John, all survived the war.

Private 49558 Lawrence Cyril Ludlam

3rd Bn. Leicestershire Regiment.

Died  Scarborough Hospital 16th July 1918 Aged 19. 

       
Buried Loughborough Cemetery 42/216. 

Lawrence Cyril Ludlam was born in Loughborough in the summer of 1898 and baptised on 28th February 1907 at All Saints Church, Loughborough. He was the son of Thomas Ludlam and his second wife Elizabeth (née Shrive) who were married in Nottingham in late 1893 or early 1894.

Lawrence's father was a bricklayer and builder and his first wife Agnes Emma Huskinson had died from epilepsy exacerbated by addiction to alcohol in 1891. Lawrence had two brothers Thomas and Archibald. His sister Constance had died aged three in 1907. He also had two step-brothers Arthur and Albert and one step-sister Ethel from his father's first marriage. Between 1901 and 1911 the Ludlam family lived at 153 Meadow Lane, Loughborough. They later moved to 33 Howard Street.

Lawrence enlisted in the summer of 1917, but the exact date of his enlistment is unknown as his service papers have not survived. As Private 49558 he was posted to the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment. The 3rd Battalion was a training unit and remained in the UK throughout the war. It carried out duties at the Humber Garrison.

In the summer of 1918 Lawrence was at Scarborough Camp and while he was there he fell ill. He died, aged 19, in Scarborough Military Hospital, on 16th July 1918. It is likely that he was a victim of 'Spanish' flu. The war poet Wilfred Owen who was also at Scarborough Camp at the time while awaiting orders that would return him to the Front, wrote to his mother warning her about a new disease as follows: STAND BACK FROM THE PAGE! and disinfect yourself, Quite 1/3 of the Batt and about 30 officers are smitten with the Spanish Flu. The hospital overflowed on Friday, then the gymnasium was filled, and now all the place seems carpeted with huddled blanketed forms ... The boys are dropping on parade like flies in number.

Lawrence was buried in Loughborough Cemetery, Grave 42/216.

Lawrence's step-brother Arthur served with the Lincolnshire Regiment, Durham Light Infantry and the Labour Corps. He survived the war.