Surnames Q - R

 

Private 42642 Hubert William Reynolds

 

1st Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 23rd September 1918, Aged 19.

Buried Trefcon British Cemetery, C. 21. 

 

Hubert was the son of Francis Arthur & Annie Louisa Reynolds of 29 Southfield Road Loughborough.

Sergeant 17224 Horace Richards

 

7th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Died a Prisoner of War late 1917 [exact date unknown], Aged 29.

Commemorated Arras Memorial bay 5. 

 



Family portrait of Sgt Horace Richards with his father T. F. (Freddy) Richards, Grandma Richards (or Grandma Brookes) and Kathleen Richards (later Mrs. Onions)

Horace Richards was born in 1888 in Leicester, the second son of Thomas Frederick ('Freddy') Richards and Emma Richards (née Mee) who were married on 2nd December 1883 at St. Margaret's Church, Leicester. Horace was baptised at St. Margaret's Church on 15th July 1888. At the time he was born his father was a shoe riveter and his parents lived at 8 Foundry Lane. By 1891 the family had moved to 26 Wand Street and Horace's mother was also working as a hose linker. The family moved again the following year to 3 Liverpool Street. By 1901 the family was living at 181 Belgrave Gate, Leicester, and Horace's mother was a sweet shop manager while young Horace was an engineer's teller on boot machinery.

In 1893 Horace's father had begun his career as full-time union official, taking up a post with the Leicester Branch of the Boot and Shoe Operatives. From 1894-1903 he was also a member of Leicester Borough Council. He was M.P. for Wolverhampton West from 1906-1910, after which he returned to trade union work and local politics. He was later a Labour councillor for Braunstone West, Leicester, from 1929-39.

By 1911 the Richards family had moved to Uppingham Road, Leicester and Horace, aged 22, was an unemployed clerk. Horace's parents later moved to 65 Hill Rise, Birstall. Horace had one older brother Charles Frederick Richards and a younger sister Annie. Two other siblings John and Frances had died under the age of three.

Horace married Mary Lizzie Brookes in Leicester in 1913 and their daughter Kathleen was born in Leicester in the early summer of 1914. Mary Brookes came from Thurlaston but in 1911 her family lived at 9 Rectory Place, Loughborough. Horace and his wife subsequently moved to Loughborough. Horace's mother had died in 1915 and his father had remarried in 1916 to Mary Jane Charlton Bell, secretary of the Leicester Women's Branch of the Boot and Shoe Operatives.

Freddy Richards supported the war: "I advised both my boys to join up and should have done so myself if I had thought that by doing so I could have done more good. I have sung the 'Red Flag' and was prepared to fight for it and kill militarism in this or any other land."

Horace enlisted in Loughborough in 1916. He joined the Leicestershire Regiment as Private 17224. His service record has not survived and the precise dates of his enlistment and when he was sent to France to join the 7th Battalion are unknown.

The war diary for the 7th Battalion, however, notes that between 16th November 1916 and 20th February 1917 nine drafts of Ordinary Rank soldiers (amounting to 327 replacement men) joined the battalion. It is reasonable to assume that Horace was in one of these drafts.

Throughout this time the battalion was in the Hohenzollern Sector firstly in the front line or support trenches with rest billets at Mazingarbe, Philosophe, or Vermelles and then in training at Cauchy-à-la-Tour and Houtkerque. Back in the trenches in March 1917 they experienced what one soldier called 'the bombardment of our lives'. Records reveal that Horace was twice promoted, to Corporal and then Sergeant, while he was with the 7th Battalion.

On 29th March the battalion entrained at Noyelles for Saulty-Larbret and marched to La Cauchie and on to Moyenneville. On 4th April the battalion went into the front line at St. Leger Croisilles. On this day Horace went missing and two sources assume that he was killed in action on that date. There is strong evidence, however, from press reports towards the end of 1917 that Horace was captured by the Germans. Information given in the Birmingham Daily Gazette (10th December 1917) which is repeated elsewhere was as follows:

'Mr. T.F. Richards of Leicester, President of the National Union of Boot and Shoe Operatives and formerly M.P. for Wolverhampton West, has been notified that his son, Sergeant Horace Richards, has died in Germany where he had been for some time a Prisoner of War.'

His date of death is therefore unknown, but it was probably in the summer/autumn of 1917. Horace was aged 29 when he died.

He is commemorated on the Arras Memorial Bay 5 and on the memorial in the former St. Peter's Church building, Loughborough, as well as on the Carillon.

Lance Corporal 241441 Henry Arthur Richardson

 

1/5th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Died of Wounds 13th May 1917, Aged 27.

Buried Noeux-Les-Mines Communal Cemetery, I. R. 23. 

 

The chaplain of a casualty clearing station sent Mrs. Richardson, of Thorpe Acre a letter that conveyed the sad intelligence that her husband, Lance-Corp. Henry Arthur Richardson. Leics reg, died of wounds. The letter stated: "It is with very deep regret I have to tell you that your husband passed away in this hospital to-day. He was brought in so badly wounded that his case was hopeless, and he gradually became weaker and passed away quite peacefully. You may rest assured everything was done to save his life. Please accept my sincere sympathy in your terrible trouble." Richardson was 27 years of age, and enlisted 1915, at which time he was employed as a Gardner by Mr. Albert Chapman, Roseby House. 

Poem by L/Cpl Henry Arthur Richardson of A Company 1/5th Bn, written at Christmas 1916. The Plough Inn of the poem is at Thorpe Acre, Loughborough and is still used by members of the Richardson family. 

The gentleman 'Marston' in the second verse was the grandfather of RSM 'Tommy' Marston of the Royal Leicesters'. A legend within the regiment. 

Tippit is game that involves guessing which of the opposing team is holding a coin in his clenched fist.

 

It is in the Plough Inn crowded, on a cold and winters night.

You can see the old boys faces, brimming with delight.

 

The old king pin of course was there, telling all he knew.

And Marston, still on politics, until his nose went blue.

 

I often sit and wonder, what the taproom is like.

Now Hallams gone and left it, to join the Wymeswold tykes.

 

I fancy I can see you, in the taproom bright.

With Gaunty playing 'Tippit', with Smithy on his right.

 

And Crossy sits a wondering, which side will have to pay.

So he can have a drink, out of the winnings (that's his way)

 

I expect that Perrys busy, mopping down the Brown.

Though I hope he won't go bald-headed, and show a shining crown.

 

I can see old Teddy smiling, as he rakes his shekels in.

So he reddens up his dewdrop, with a little drop of gin.

 

Lets hope there will be meetings, of faces old and new.

And so I send this greeting, from across the sea to you.

 

I hope you all will think of me, when mopping down the Brown.

Of  times when we got slotted, in old Thorpe Acre town.

 

I will close this little story, from across the water blue.

To wish you all a Jolly Christmas, and a Happy New Year to.  

 

Private 11507 Samuel Robbins

 

2nd Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 25th September 1915, Aged 18.

Commemorated Loos Memorial panel 42-44. 

 

Samuel Robbins was born in 1898 at Barrow Street, Quorn, the son of Edward Robbins and his wife Florence (née Butler) who were married in Loughborough in 1884. At the time Samuel was born his father was a stone quarryman, but he later moved to Loughborough and became a striker in an electrical engineering firm. Samuel was originally one of thirteen children, his surviving brothers being John, Edward and Cyril and his surviving sisters being Mary, Sarah, Annie, Ellen, May, Dorothy and Gertrude. In 1911 the family were living at 23 Sparrow Hill, Loughborough.

Samuel, a 17 year-old labourer, enlisted on 14th August 1914 and joined the 3rd (Reserve) Leicestershire Regiment. He was almost immediately sent to Portsmouth for seven months training, and then, on 19th March 1915 embarked from Southampton for France, having been instructed to join the 2nd Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment. On 9th May he was involved in the second wave of the first attacks in the Battle of Aubers Ridge and on the night of 15th May in the beginning of the Battle of Festubert.

After this Samuel was alternately in the trenches or in billets while war training, in the area of Calonne and Vieille Chapelle north-east of Bethune. From mid-June to mid-July Samuel was hospitalised for a month with a fever. He then rejoined his battalion which was resting in a quiet sector until it was deployed for the Battle of Loos.

The initial attack at Loos was to be 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. From the 2nd battalion 72 men were killed, 217 wounded, 42 were gassed, and 96 were recorded as missing. Samuel aged 18, was one of the missing.

 
 
Sam's last letter

Private 12294 George Roberts

 

2nd Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Died of Wounds 20th May 1915, Aged 41.

Buried St. Vaast Post Military Cemetery I. D. 1. 

 

George Roberts was born in 1874 in Nottingham, the son of Robert Roberts, a dropper maker for lace making, and his wife Lucy (née Turner) who were married in Nottingham in 1862. George had an older brother John and a sister Eliza as well as four other siblings who died young. The family lived at 8 Meynell Court, Nottingham.

In 1891 George, aged 17, was a fitter and living at home but soon afterwards he joined the 2nd (Derbyshire) Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters, with whom he served for over ten years. The battalion was serving in North India and in 1894 moved from Umballa (now Ambala) to Solon (now Solan) in Himachal Pradesh. In 1897 they moved again, this time to Sitapore (now Sitapur) to counter the continuing unrest on the North West Frontier with Afghanistan. Despite this activity, the British lost control of an alarming amount of territory including the Khyber Pass. The response to this encroachment by the tribesman was the organisation of the Tiral Expedition, in which the 2nd Derbyshires took part in the successful attack on the Dargai Heights and the Khyber Pass was recaptured. In April 1896 the 2nd Derbyshires returned to Sitapore and prepared to depart for Aden. After a brief spell there the battalion moved to Malta, returning to Britain in 1902. Just before leaving Malta some soldiers from the 2nd Battalion volunteered to join the 1st Battalion of the Derbyshires in South Aftrica, but there is no evidence that George Roberts was among them.

In 1902 George married Nellie Hazard in Nottingham and they had two children, their daughter Ivy May being the only one to survive. In 1911, George, now a dropper maker for lace machines, was living with his family at 37 Nathaniel Road, Long Eaton. By 1914 the family had moved to 50 Cobden Street, Loughborough. On 2nd September 1914 George, aged 40, reenlisted at Loughborough and joined the 3rd Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment. He was transferred to the 2nd Leicesters and embarked for France on 19th March 1915.

Less than two months later on 20th May 1915 George died, aged 41, in No. 19 BF Ambulance from wounds received in a military operation near Bethune. He is also commemorated on the Roll of Honour at St. Mary's Church, Nottingham.

Private G/15055 Albert Robey

 

11th Bn, Royal Sussex Regiment, previously Pte 2905 1/5th Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 21st October 1916, Aged 23.

Commemorated Thiepval Memorial pier & face 7 C. 

(His brother Thomas Robey also fell see below) 

Albert Robey was born in Searle Lane, Kingston on Soar, Nottinghamshire, in 1892 and was baptised on 3rd July 1892 at St. Helena's Church, West Leake, Nottinghamshire. He was the son of John (known as Jack) and Caroline Robey (née Unwin) who were married in Loughborough in 1867. Albert's father was a brickmaker.

By 1901 the Robey family had moved back to 45 Rosebery Street, Loughborough, Jack Robey being at the time unemployed. Albert had five brothers John, Joseph, Samuel, Frederick, and Thomas and four sisters Elizabeth, Emma, Bridget and Jane. Albert's mother died in 1902 and his father in early 1910. In 1911 Albert was employed as a tile maker at a brickworks and was living with his brother Frederick and his wife and family at 46 Lower Cambridge Street, Loughborough. Later that year Albert married Clara Bertha Hawley in Loughborough. The couple settled at 8 Buckhorn Square, Loughborough and their son George was born in 1912.

Albert's service record has not survived so it is not possible to tell when he enlisted but he joined the 1/5th Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment as Private 2905. At some point he was transferred to the 11th Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment as Private G/19055 but again the date is unknown. What is certain is that he did not go to France before 1916 as he was not awarded the 1914/15 Star medal.

On 4th March 1916 the 11th Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment left Witley Camp, Surrey, and entrained for Southampton where they sailed for Le Havre. Albert may or may not have been with them at this point. On 7th March the 11th Battalion arrived at Morbecque. From there they marched via Estaires to Fleurbaix where they went into the trenches.

The battalion remained at Fleurbaix until 23rd March via Estaires to billets at Merville and Regnier le Clerc. Training was carried out at Merville until 14th April when they moved to Hingette and then Gorre. On 22nd April they took over the trenches at Givenchy. On 1st May they went into billets at Hingette for more training until 8th May when they moved to Le Touret. On 13th May they took over the trenches at Festubert until 25th May. After a short rest in billets at Hingette they moved to the village line at Cuinchy where they suffered considerable shelling. From 2nd-5th June they manned the front line trenches before withdrawing to Annequin on 8th June. The rest of June was taken up with trench tours at Ginchy and Ferme du Bois with breaks in billets at Hingette and Croix Barbée.

The beginning of July was spent in Le Touret, with a move to Beuvry on 6th and the Auchy sector on 7th. After a break in Le Touret from 15th-21st July the battalion went into the trenches until 24th at Ferme du Bois. They then marched to Richebourg-St.- Vaast and took over the trenches at Festubert until 28th July, followed by a rest at Le Touret and then Béthune. On 2nd August they took over the line at Givenchy, followed by a rest in Auchel from 12th-14th. This was followed by a period of training at Monchy Breton and the Bois de Warnimont. On 28th August, at Mailly Wood, the battalion began preparations for an attack.

The attack began at Beaumont Hamel on 3rd September. The enemy's lines were penetrated, but at a cost of 299 casualties. The battalion regrouped in billets at Engelbelmer. From 7th until 14th September a programme of training was carried out at Beaussart, during which a draft of 94 ordinary ranks arrived from East Anglian Company Cyclists and the Leicesters. It is possible that Albert was in this group of reinforcements if he was not with the Royal Sussex Regiment when they first came to France.

On 14th September the battalion went into the trenches at Beaumont Hamel where the enemy artillery was very active. With additional reinforcements they remained in this area until 16th October when they marched to the Reserve Lines at Authville Wood to form working parties. On 21st October the battalion captured the German first line in the Redoubt Sector, but at the cost of 276 casualties. Albert, aged 23, was one of those killed in action.

Albert is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Pier and Face 7C, on the memorial at Emmanuel Church, Loughborough, and on the memorial in the former St. Peter's Church building, Loughborough, as well as on the Carillon.

Albert's older brother Thomas (7th Leicesters) had been killed four months previously near Hannescamps on the Somme. Albert's widow Clara had a daughter Annie in 1919 (father unknown) and married Charles H. Eslick in Loughborough in 1927. The marriage, however, was shortlived as Charles Eslick died in 1932.

Private 15215 Thomas Robey

 

7th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 8th June 1916, Aged 29.

Buried Bienvillers Military Cemetery I.A. 36. 

(His brother Albert Robey also fell see above) 

Thomas Robey was born in Loughborough in 1888. He was the son of John (known as Jack) and Caroline Robey (née Unwin) who were married in Loughborough in 1867. By 1891 Jack and Caroline Robey had moved from Loughborough to Searle Lane, Kingstone, Nottinghamshire, and Jack Robey was a brickmaker. By 1901 they had moved back again to 45 Rosebery Street, Loughborough, Jack Robey being at the time unemployed. Thomas had five brothers John, Joseph, Samuel, Frederick, and Albert and four sisters Elizabeth, Emma, Bridget and Jane. Thomas's mother died in 1902 and his father in early 1910.

Four months later, on 30th July 1910 Thomas Robey married Elizabeth Hallam in Loughborough and they had a daughter Elizabeth born in January 1911. In 1911 Thomas and his wife Elizabeth initially lived at 35 Pinfold Street, Loughborough, but by 1914 had moved to 11 Bridge Street. Thomas was employed as a labourer at the Great Central Brickyard before he enlisted at Loughborough on 3rd September 1914.

Thomas joined the 7th (Service) Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment as Private 15215 and was sent to Aldershot.

In April 1915 the 7th Battalion became part of the 37th Division of the Army and concentrated at Cholderton on Salisbury Plain. On 25th June the 37th Division was inspected by King George V at Sidbury Hill. On 22nd July 1915 the Division began to cross the English Channel and by 2nd August all units were concentrated near Tilques not far from St.Omer in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais. In September the 7th Battalion was sent to the area of Berles-au-Bois, south-west of Arras. The battalion remained in this area around Bienvillers and Bailleulmont until July 1916 and was engaged in localised operations seeking a tactical advantage.

Thomas's time with the Leicesters was not entirely trouble-free. He was deprived of seven days' pay on 25th June 1915 for misconduct and on 4th October 1915 in France he was punished for drunkenness when on active service.

On 27th November 1915 he was admitted to 48th Field Ambulance with dental caries. He was transferred to No. 3 Stationary Hospital in Rouen and on 4th December 1915 was sent to England on the hospital ship HS St. Andrew as he was suffering from dyspepsia and gastritis. He spent a month at Netley Military Hospital near Southampton where his problem was found to be due to missing teeth and he was fitted with a dental plate. On 9th January 1916 he was posted to the 10th Leicesters at Rugeley Camp, Cannock Chase. While Thomas was there he forfeited nine days' pay for unauthorised absence and it seems likely that he may have slipped away to visit his family in Loughborough.

On 26th February 1916 he returned to France to rejoin 7th Leicesters who had taken over trenches from Bailleulmont to Hannescamps in the area of Berles-au-Bois which was being continuously shelled by the enemy.

When not in the trenches the 7th Leicesters received intensive training in bombing, Lewis gunnery, visual signalling and a host of other activities. In April they were moved to the Doullens area and formed working parties to cut down trees and prepare brushwood for the front line as well as preparing the support trenches in the area. In May they worked on building a new railway line between Le Bret and Bienvillers-au-Bois. Towards the end of May the battalion returned to the trenches in the Bienvillers-Bailleulmont area. Thomas was killed in action on 8th June 1916, aged 29, while digging advanced trenches and fixing wiring near Hannescamps.

Thomas is buried in Bienvillers Military Cemetery, Grave I. A. 36. He is remembered on the memorial at Emmanuel Church, Loughborough, as well as on the Carillon.

Thomas's widow Elizabeth subsequently moved to 36 Craven Street, Leicester.

Thomas's younger brother Albert was killed four months later in the Somme Offensive.

Private 36950 Frederick Henry Robinson

1st Bn, Northumberland Fusiliers.

Formerly TR/55061 Terr, Reserve.

Died of Wounds 16th May 1918, Aged 36.

Buried Loughborough Cemetery 34/216

Frederick was the son of Thomas Robinson of Stafford, husband of Beatrice A. Robinson of 3 Chestnut Street, Loughborough.

Private 40686 Walter George Robinson

 

1st Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 24th April 1917, Aged 19.

Commemorated Loos Memorial panel 42-44. 

 

Walter George Robinson was born on 13th October 1897 in Hamilton, Lanarkshire, the son of George Robinson and his wife Mary Martha (née Lovett) who were married in Sandgate, Kent, on 22nd November 1881.

Walter was born six months before his father, a Regimental Sergeant Major with the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), was finally discharged from military service after twenty-five years with the Colours in England, Ireland, Scotland, India and Malta. Walter had three brothers Frank, Herbert, and Sidney and two sisters Emily and Annie. In 1898 the family lived at 10 Carleton Avenue, Garngadhill, Glasgow, but by 1911 Walter's mother had been widowed and she was living with Annie and Walter at 19 Cambridge Street, Loughborough, not far from relatives. (Mary Martha's father had been a coffee tavern keeper in Frog Island, Leicester.) Walter joined the Bible Class at All Saints' Parish Church and when he left school got a job at the London Central Meat Company's shop as a trainee butcher.

On 19th August 1914 Walter attested at Loughborough to join the Leicestershire Regiment for six years and was sent to the Depot on 24th August, He became Private 12682 but was speedily discharged twelve days later 'having made a mis-statement of age on enlistment' - he had said he was 17 when he was actually 16. His second attestation in late 1915 was accepted and he was eventually posted to the 1st Battalion of the Leicesters in France sometime in 1916. (His later service record has not survived.) It is possible that Walter was among five batches of reinforcements of Ordinary Ranks sent to the battalion in the Ypres Salient in April and May 1916, or that he was with a further batch sent in January 1917.

On 1st August 1916 the 1st Leicesters left the trenches at Potizje on the Ypres Salient and entrained at Proven for France. They reached billets at Léalvillers, Somme, on 4th August and on the following day marched to camp in Mailly-Maillet Wood. A period of training and working parties followed. On 14th August they went into the trenches opposite Beaumont-Hamel, where they remained until 19th when they returned to the Mailly Wood camp. On 27th August they left for Flesselles. Here additional training took place. On 8th September they occupied former German trenches in the area of Trônes Wood on the northern slope of the Montaubon Ridge while in the following days the build-up for a series of major battles took place.

The battalion took part in the Battle of Flers-Courcelette (15th- 22nd September) incurring grievous losses. They were also in action in the Battle of Morval (25th-28th September), and had a supportive role in the Battle of Le Transloy (1st-18th October). By 21st October the battalion was back in billets at Corbie before moving over several days to Fouquières les Béthune in the La Bassée sector. Most of November was spent in training with one brief trench tour and December in the trenches at Cuinchy, with breaks at Beuvry and Christmas Day at Noeux les Mines.

January 1917 was spent by turns in the front line and at rest in Mazingarbe. During February there was considerable activity on both sides and many trench raids were carried out. On 21st February the battalion marched to Sailly Labourse and Béthune where the men were accommodated in Montmorency Barracks. At the end of February the battalion was transferred to a front extending north from the Double Crassier at Loos. A carefully planned night trench raid took place on 17th/18th April, and on 22nd the battalion was withdrawn into billets in Maroc. On the following day the battalion was ordered back into the front line.

On 24th April Walter, aged 19, was killed in action while on sentry duty. Another Loughborough soldier wrote in a letter that he met his death instantaneously, and was buried beside the railway, a cross being fixed over the grave. Walter is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, Panel 42-44 and on the memorial at All Saints' Church, Loughborough, as well as on the Carillon.

Walter's elder brother Sergt. Herbert Robinson of the Highland Light Infantry was decorated on 1st May 1917 with the Military Medal for bravery in the field. He survived the war.

Private 30013 Alfred Rodgers

2nd Bn, East lancashire Regiment.

Formerly 38289 Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 9th September 1917, Aged 29.

Buried Ramscapelle Road Military Cemetery II. C. 32.

His Wife lived at 28 Wharncliffe Road, Loughborough. Prior to enlisting he was employed by Messrs. W. Armstrong & Sons, Market Place.

Corporal 7372 William Arthur Routledge

 

1st Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 22nd October 1914, Aged 28.

Commemorated Ploegsteert Memorial, panel 4, and on the War Memorial, Castle Eden, County Durham.

 

William Arthur Routledge was the son of William and Grace Routledge of 12 Ratcliffe Road, Loughborough. He had three brothers and three sisters.

William had enlisted in about 1903, trained with the Leicestershire Regiment, and subsequently become a Reservist when he joined the Durham County Constabulary in May 1912. He was recalled to the colours at Glen Parva on 4th August 1914.

His battalion landed at St Nazaire, Brittany, on 10th September and travelled by train to Mortcerf, east of Paris, arriving early in the morning of 13th September and then began a long march to the British Army in the line at Courcelles, on far side of the Aisne.

On 14th September the 1st Leicesters relieved the Worcesters and Royal Irish Rifles in the trenches at La Fosse Marguel where they came under constant shell fire and sniping until they in turn were relieved on 12th October by 106th French Infantry Regiment. On 13th October the Battalion entrained at Fismes, 40 men crammed to each horse box. Some slept on the roof, although it was bitterly cold. They detrained on 17th October at Cassel and marched to take up defensive positions at Croix Blanche. From there, two days later, they marched to Rue de Bois, Armentières, and Bois Grenier, the day on which the First Battle of Ypres began. On 22nd October, when they were defending the chemical factory at Rue de Bois they were heavily shelled by shrapnel and Howitzers and William Routledge lost his life.

Lance Corporal 18318 Albert Rowbotham

 

1st Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 15th September 1916, Aged 17.

Commemorated Thiepval Memorial panels 2C - 3A. 

 

Albert Rowbotham was born in Loughborough in 1898, the only son of Herbert Rowbotham, a steam engine fitter, and his wife Mary Ellen (née Cheshire). Albert's parents were married in 1895 in Leicester. Albert had two sisters Ethel and Dorothy. In 1901 the family home was at 44 Russell Street, Loughborough. After Albert's mother died in 1910 Albert's father moved the family to 12 Boyer Street. Albert's sister Ethel became housekeeper for the family and Albert was sent to Loughborough Grammar School. His younger sister Dorothy spent a lot of time with their grandparents William and Eliza Rowbotham of 101 Russell Street.

When Albert enlisted in May 1915 he was aged 16 and working for Loughborough Corporation in the Sanitary Inspector's Office. Albert joined the Leicestershire Regiment as Private 18318. He was sent to France to join the 1st Battalion of the Regiment on 8th December 1915 when he was just 17.

In December 1915 the 1st Leicesters were occupying trenches in the Potijze sector or trying to get rest and shelter by the canal bank near Ypres. Between January and July 1916 the 1st Leicesters were still on the Ypres Salient.

On 1st August 1916 the 1st Leicesters left the trenches at Potizje and entrained at Proven for France. They reached billets at Lealvillers, Somme, on 4th August and on the following day marched to camp in Mailly-Maillet Wood. A period of training and working parties followed. On 14th August they went into the trenches opposite Beaumont-Hamel, where they remained until 19th when they returned to the Mailly Wood camp. On 27th August they left for Flesselles. Here additional training took place. On 8th September they occupied former German trenches in the area of Trônes Wood on the northern slope of the Montaubon Ridge while in the following days the build-up for a major battle took place.

Albert was killed in action on the 15th September, the first day of the Battle of Flers-Courcelette. He was still only 17 but had already been promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial Panels 2C and 3A.

Private 144841 George Rue

32nd Bn, Machine Gun Corps. (Inf.)

Formerly 43628 Yorks Regiment.

Killed in Action 1st November 1918, Aged 19.

Buried St. Souplet British Cemetery I. C. 4.

 

Driver M/394796 Harold Russell

201st Siege Bty. Ammunition Col., Army Service Corps.

Formerly 30224 Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 29th May 1918, Aged 32.

Buried La Kreule Military Cemetery, Hazebrouck, I. B. 12.

Harold was the husband of Edith Russell of 15 Cumberland Road, Loughborough.