The WW1 Roll of Honour:
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. 

 

Henry Arthur Richardson was born in 1890 in Derby and baptised at St. Chad's Church, Derby, on 20th April 1890. He was the son of Arthur Evans Richardson and his wife Kate (née Dryden) who were married in 1882 in Aston, Birmingham. Henry's father was a boiler maker. In 1891 the Richardson family was living at 14 Northumberland Street, Derby, while Henry's father was lodging in Ravenstone with Snibston while working. By 1901 they had moved to Thorpe Acre, Loughborough. Henry had three brothers William, Charles and Howard and one sister Ethel. Two other siblings Florence and Robert had both died aged one. Henry's brothers William, Charles and Howard all went to Canada to join their uncle William Richardson in Brandon, Manitoba, in 1900, 1905 and 1911 respectively. Henry, meanwhile, became a gardener, and worked for Mr. Albert Chapman of Roseby House, Loughborough. Henry's father died in 1916 and his mother subsequently lived at One Ash Farm, Thorpe Acre.

The precise date of Henry's enlistment is unknown but he joined the 1/5th Leicestershire Regiment in 1915 as Private 4127. He was later re-numbered as Private 241441 and sent to France on 28th October 1915. When Henry joined 'A Company' of his battalion they were at Drouvin on route marches and parades. After a move to Calonne-sur-la-Lys the battalion did two trench tours between Neuve Chapelle and Festubert . They then moved on to billets at Merville for training.Training continued at Thiennes from 19th December until Boxing Day when the battalion moved into billets at Aire.

In early January 1916 the battalion was sent to Marseilles to await transport to Egypt. They had only just embarked on H.M.T. Andania when orders came that they were to disembark and travel back to the Somme area of Picardy - Gallipoli had been successfully evacuated and they were no longer needed in Egypt. In mid-February orders came for the battalion to take 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, Pas de Calais, 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. Henry survived this battle and on 3rd July went with his battalion into billets at Bienvillers. On 7th July they 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. At some point Henry, now a Lance Corporal, was wounded and he died of his wounds on 13th May 1917, aged 27.

The chaplain of a casualty clearing station sent his wife a letter that conveyed the sad intelligence that her husband 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'.

Henry was buried in Noeux-les-Mines Communal Cemetery, Grave I. R. 23. He is remembered on the memorial at All Saints' Church, Thorpe Acre, as well as on the Carillon.

Henry's brothers Charles and Howard both served with the Canadian Expeditionary Force. Both survived the war.


Poem by Lance Corporal Henry Arthur Richardson of A Company, 1/5th Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment, 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, a legend within the Leicestershire 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 winter's 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 Hallam's 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 Perry's 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.



Let's 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 too.

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/5/1822 Training Reserve.

Died of Wounds Stoke on Trent 16th May 1918, Aged 35.

Buried Loughborough Cemetery 34/216

Frederick Henry Robinson was born in Alverstoke, Hampshire, in 1882. He was the elder son of Thomas Robinson and Emma Birtles who were married in Alverstoke that same year. Frederick's parents both came from Rickerscote, Staffordshire, and in 1881 were both working in the household of William Gawthorne, a ship owner, at Alver Cottage, Alverstoke, his father as a domestic attendant, and his mother as a serving maid. After Frederick's parents were married they left the Gawthorne household and Frederick's father took a position as an attendant at a local asylum. The couple set up home at 2 Verity Terrace, near Stoke Road, Alverstoke and in 1883 had a second son William John.

Between 1883 and 1885 the Robinson family moved back to Staffordshire, Frederick's father having obtained employment as an attendant at Coton Hill Lunatic Asylum, Stafford. When Frederick was three years old his mother died and Frederick and his brother William were placed as boarders in the household of James and Emma Heath at 91 Wolverhampton Road, Stafford. Frederick's father remained working at Coton Hill Lunatic Asylum for the rest of his life and in 1900 married Frances Searson, a nurse, in a civil ceremony at Stafford. He died in 1906, leaving three sons. The third son, John Joseph Robinson, half-brother to Frederick and William, was from a relationship in the late 1870s with Ann Hewitt.

Frederick learnt about the grocery business from his foster-mother Emma Heath who ran a grocery shop on Stafford. In 1901 he was working as a grocer's assistant for Sarah A. Surridge at 10 Midland Road, Rushden, Northamptonshire. He became a grocer's manager and married Beatrice Alice Ludlam from Loughborough at St. Leonard's Church, Scarcliffe, Derbyshire, in 1906. In 1911 Frederick and Beatrice were living at 98 Selwyn Street, Hillstown, Bolsover, Nottinghamshire, and their only daughter Brenda was born that year.

Frederick attested on 16th February 1917 and was with the Training Reserve as Private TR/5/1822 until he was posted to France on 29th May 1917. From No. 32 Infantry Base Depot at Etaples he was then transferred to the 1st Battalion of the Northumberland Fusiliers as Private 36950 on 16th June 1917. When Frederick enlisted his wife and daughter came to live at 3 Chestnut Street, Loughborough, to be near her family.

When Frederick joined the 1st Battalion it was in the Arras area. On 20th June the men were taken by bus to Gouy-en-Artois for training until 29th June. On 30th June they travelled by bus to Achiet-le-Petit and from there marched to bivouacs in Velu Wood, in the forward area near Hermies. After a week in the front line half of the battalion returned to Velu Wood Camp and the other half proceeded to the Reserve line at Beaumetz village. The following few days included garrisoning the catacombs at Hermies, working parties, training and a concert party by the Balloonaties. Between 14th July and the beginning of August the battalion completed two trench tours in the front line at Hermies, during which the enemy was quite active and aggressive,

On 7th August the battalion marched to camp at Frémicourt, before moving to the support trenches at Lagnicourt. After another trench tour at the beginning of September the battalion moved to a camp at Le Transloy where they spent twelve days training, practicing an attack and field firing. On 17th September the battalion entrained at Miraumont for Hopoutre and marched to Clyde Camp, near Watou. After moving to Toronto Camp, Brandhoek for three days the battalion entrained at Brandhoek level crossing for Ypres Asylum and marched to the front line. Between 24th and 29th September the battalion took part in the Battles of the Menin Road and Polygon Wood (phases of the 3rd Battle of Ypres, or Passchendaele) and incurred 148 casualties.

Relieved on 29th September the battalion moved to Scot Camp, Brandhoek, and from there to a camp near Winnezeele. On 4th October they were taken by bus to Wizernes and entrained for Bapaume. After four days training at camps near Ytres and Noreuil the battalion did two trench tours in the Noreuil sector. On 24th October the battalion moved into Brigade reserve at Vaulx and was occupied with working parties, training and clearing the Vaulx-Noreuil road. Further training followed at Mory until 17th November, after which the battalion returned to the line in the Bullecourt sector. After launching an attack on the enemy on 20th November the battalion gained some ground.

December 1917 included a front-line trench tour in the Lagnicourt sector, six days in Brigade support at Noreuil, training at No. 5 Camp, Courcelle-le-Comte and Christmas at No. 8 Camp, Mory. On 27th December the battalion moved to the Northumberland Lines near Mercatel and remained there in training and providing working parties until 24th January 1918.

During February the battalion was mainly in the trenches, front line, support or reserve, and was on the receiving end of enemy trench mortars, gas shells and artillery activity. For the first ten days of March they were in the Denham Lines, refitting, reequipping and training in counter-attack work before returning to the trenches on 11th March. Between 12th and 20th March they were on constant alert near Guémappe for an enemy attack which finally took place on 21st March, the opening day of the German Spring Offensive.

After an opening barrage the enemy attacked repeatedly and eventually the battalion was ordered to evacuate from Hénin-sur-Cojeul to the Northumberland Lines, having suffered 122 Ordinary Rank casualties. On 27th March the battalion returned to the front lines at Neuville-Vitasse and on the following day the enemy attacked again in very large numbers, taking the allies' front line. The battalion was again ordered to evacuate to brigade support. On 29th March the enemy heavily shelled all lines and the battalion was ordered back to Monchiet.

From Ivergny on 1st April the battalion moved by march and bus to Houdain. The next move was to a camp at Hersin for training and to dig a defence line. On 10th April the battalion was sent by bus to Béthune and into the front line near the Canal de la Lawe. Here, on 13th April, one company suffered severe casualties. On 18th April the enemy opened another heavy barrage and released phosphene gas before the battalion was relieved and went into reserve at Vendin-lès-Béthune. After a further tour in the front line the battalion was sent to billets in Chocques. On 4th May the enemy shelled the billets, causing another 36 casualties.

At some point between the last days of March and early May Frederick was wounded in action. He was brought back to a military hospital in Stoke on Trent and died there from his wounds, aged 35, on 16th May 1918.




Wymeswold Memorial Hall Roll of Honour


Frederick was buried in Loughborough Cemetery Grave 34/216. He is remembered on the memorial in the former St. Peter's Church building, Loughborough, and on the memorial in the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Wymeswold. He is also remembered on the roll of honour in Wymeswold Memorial Hall.

Frederick's half-brother John Joseph Robinson served with the 10th Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment and survived the war.

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 30043 Alfred Rodgers

2/5th Bn. East Lancashire Regiment.

Formerly 38289 Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 9th September 1917, Aged 29.

Buried Ramscapelle Road Military Cemetery II. C. 32.

Alfred Rodgers was born in Loughborough in 1888, the son of William Henry Rodgers and his wife Rhoda (née Marriott) who were married at All Saints Church, Loughborough, on 19th March 1879. Alfred's father was a steam machine framework knitter in the hosiery trade. Alfred had four brothers John, Herbert, William and Harry and one sister Emma. In 1891 the Rodgers family lived at 102 Ashby Road, Loughborough, but by 1901 had moved to 79 Regent Street. By 1911 Alfred, who was still living at home, had become an upholsterer and was employed by W. Armstrong and Son, house furnishers, 2 Market Place, Loughborough.

Alfred enlisted with the Leicestershire Regiment as soon as war broke out in 1914 and became Private 38289. His service record has not survived but at some point he was transferred to the 2/5th (Territorial) Battalion of the East Lancashire Regiment as Private 30013. Whether Alfred was transferred from the Leicesters to the East Lancashires in the UK or France is unknown, but what is known is that he did not go to France until after the beginning of 1916. In addition, in the early summer of 1915 Alfred was married to Clara Black in Loughborough and after Alfred went abroad his wife Clara lived with her parents Arthur and Rose Black at 28 Wharncliffe Road, Loughborough.

The 2/5th Battalion had been formed in Blackburn in 1914 and then moved to Southport to join the 198th Brigade of the Army's 66th (2nd East Lancashire) Division. In May 1915 the battalion moved to Burgess Hill, Sussex and then to Pease Pottage, Crawley, and on to Crowborough. In March 1916 they moved to Colchester and had some responsibility for the defence of part of the east coast. On 11th February 1917 they were mobilised for war and received orders for embarkation for France and they landed at Le Havre on 2nd March.

From 26th June to 25th September 1917 the battalion was involved in the Operations on the Flanders Coast, including offensive preparations prior to Operation Hush. Operation Hush was a British plan to make amphibious landings on the Belgian coast, supported by an attack from Nieuwpoort and the Yser bridgehead, but which was postponed several times and ultimately cancelled.

In this area in 1917 the Allies were defending the line from Sint-Joris to the sea. Operation Hush was intended to begin when the main offensive at Ypres had advanced to Roulers, Koekelare and Thourout, linked by advances by the French and Belgian armies in between. The German Marinekorps-Flandern, however, on 10th July carried out Operation Strandfest (Operation Beach Party or the Battle of the Dunes) a spoiling attack supported by a mass of heavy artillery, in anticipation of an Allied coastal operation and captured part of the bridgehead over the Yser. The Allies were also subjected to German use of chemical weapons such as Yellow Cross (mustard gas) and Blue Cross (Blaukreuz). Operation Hush was finally abandoned on 14th October 1917.

Alfred was killed in action in the front line near Nieuwpoort on 9th September 1917 and buried in Ramscapelle Road Military Cemetery, east of Nieuwpoort, Grave II. C. 32. He is commemorated on the Carillon, Loughborough.

Alfred's widow Clara was remarried in 1921 in Loughborough to William J. Fairbanks.

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

604 Machine Transport Company, Army Service Corps,
attached to 201st Siege Bty., XV Corps.

Formerly 30227, Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 29th May 1918, Aged 32.

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

Harold Russell, known to his family and friends as 'Harry' was born in late 1885 in Derby and baptised when he was seven years old, on 24th February 1892, at All Saints Church, Loughborough. He was the only son of William Sidney (or Sydney) Russell and his partner Eliza Ann Foulds. Harry had two sisters Lizzie Pearl Cassandra and Lilian Beatrice. Harry's father was variously employed over the years: in 1876 he was a hotel manager in Liverpool, in 1881 he was a stockbroker and ganger and by 1892 he was the manager of a restaurant in London.

Harry was brought up in Loughborough, and lived with his mother and sisters at the home of his grandparents George and Sarah Foulds, No. 2, Dead Lane. In 1891, when Harry was only five or six years old his mother died, aged 37, and his grandmother Sarah Foulds died the following year. After this his older sister Lizzie looked after him and the Russell children remained with their grandfather in Dead Lane until he died in 1901. Harry's father also appears to have died prior to 1901.

Harry became a compositor at a printing firm in Leicester and in 1911 was boarding in the home of

Charles and Fanny Hubbard at 113 Upper Kent Street, Leicester. On 20th May 1914 he married Edith Kirk at Swan Street Primitive Methodist Church, Loughborough, and the young couple moved to 15 Cumberland Road.

Harry enlisted in Loughborough on 3rd December 1915 and joined the Leicestershire Regiment as Private 30227. After initial training at Leicester he was sent on 2nd June 1916 to join the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion at Patrington, near Hull, for duty with the Humber Garrison. On 13rd April 1917, when he was stationed at Easington, County Durham, he received notice of his first overseas posting.

On 3rd May 1917 Harry left Folkestone for No. 12 Infantry Base Depot in Calais. Initially he was posted to the 8th Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment at St. Leger. Between 9th and 11th May the battalion did a brief trench tour before marching to Berles-au-Bois on 11th May. Musketry training, practice in tactical schemes, brigade sports and inspections took place here until the end of May.

Harry was transferred to the 9th Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment on 28th May and joined them at B Camp, Moyenville, on 3rd June. Between 3rd and 6th June the battalion was in training and also constructing latrines and cookhouses. On 7th June the battalion went into the right sub-sector of the Divisional front trenches in the Burg line. Here the enemy was very active with trench mortars. On 11th June the battalion was relieved and moved back from the front trenches and provided working and carrying parties. On 14th June the battalion prepared to support an attack by the 12th and 13th Northumberland Fusiliers and carried ammunition to the front including Mills grenades, rifle grenades and petrol bombs. The action continued until 18th June. On 20th June the battalion was relieved and proceeded to B Camp, Moyenville, having suffered 110 casualties.

Between 21st June and 7th July the battalion was at rest in Blairville and also took part in a special course in bayonet fighting. Between 8th and 13th July the battalion was in reserve and provided working parties and on 14th July they returned to the front line for a week.

Harry's service record has been quite severely damaged by fire but it is known that around the middle of July 1917 he became a victim of trench fever. Trench fever is caused by the bacterium Bartonella Quintana which is spread by body lice. This bacterium was not isolated until the 1960s by J. W. Vinson in Mexico City and although soldiers in the trenches may not have been aware of the cause of the disease they did spend a lot of time trying to get rid of the lice that infested their clothing. Symptoms included a sudden fever, pain in the eyes, dizziness and constant severe pain in the shins. The fever had a peculiar characteristic in that it would break after five or six days, but then climb again several days later. This cycle might be repeated as many as eight times. Recovery could be slow, taking several months. Complications included relapses of the illness, heart problems, fatigue, anxiety, and depression.

Harry was admitted, firstly to No. 63 Field Ambulance, then to No. 6 General Hospital in Rouen and finally brought back to England on HMAT Warilda. On 26th July he was admitted to the 1st Southern General Hospital, Stourbridge Section (Wordsley Infirmary), Stourbridge, Worcestershire, where he remained until 24th September. When he left hospital he was granted ten days leave to Loughborough.

The exact details of Harry's whereabouts between the beginning of October 1917 and early March 1918 have been lost from his service record although there are residual notes on his record which suggest that that he may have been at the Depot in Leicester, and then for a few weeks with the 4th Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment. On 11th March 1918 he was transferred from the Leicestershire Regiment to the Army Service Corps at Grove Park, Lewisham, and on 24th March sent for training at the Machine Transport Depot in Sydenham, Kent.

Harry, now Driver M/394796, returned to France in May 1918. He embarked at Portsmouth on 20th May and arrived at Rouen two days later. From Rouen he was posted to 604 Machine Transport Company attached to 201 Siege Battery of the XV Corps and sent to Hazebrouck. He had only been there a few days when, on 29th May 1918 he was killed in action, aged 32.

Harry was buried at La Kreule Military Cemetery, Hazebrouck, Grave I. B. 12. He is remembered on the war memorial in the former St. Peter's Church building, Loughborough. and on the Carillon.

Harry's widow was remarried in 1922 to George E. Adey and went to live in Ashby de la Zouch.