Surnames S - T

 

Sergeant G/4439 George Frederick Sales

 

4th Bn, Royal Fusiliers.

Died 21st March 1918.

Commemorated Arras Memorial, bay 3. 

 

Private 40240 Cecil Edward Screaton

 

9th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 15th June 1917, Aged 26.

Buried Croisilles British Cemetery, I. E. 9. 

(his Brother Herbert Spencer Screaton also fell see below) 

Cecil was the son of John & Zillah Screaton, of 13 Rutland Street Loughborough.

 

Private 235043 Herbert Spencer Screaton

 

1/4th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 11th July 1918, Aged 22.

Buried Fouquieres Churchyard Extension, III. G. 10. 

(his Brother Cecil Edward Screaton also fell see above) 

Herbert standing far left.
Herbert was the son of John & Zillah Screaton, of 13 Rutland Street Loughborough.

 

Gunner 161964 Thomas Thorold Screaton

 

68th Bty, Royal Garrison Artillery.

Died India 25th December 1918, Aged 28.

Commemorated Delhi Memorial (India Gate) face 1. 

 

Thomas was the son of Thomas & Florence Screaton of Willoughby on the Wolds, husband of Edith Screaton of 50 Howard Street, Loughborough.
need photo

Company Sergeant Major 10217 Walter Sellars

 

6th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in action 27th May 1918.

Commemorated Soissons Memorial.

 

Walter lived at 41 Hudson Street, Loughborough.

Private 10175 Thomas William B. Sharp

 

2nd Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 15th May 1915, Aged 42.

Commemorated Le Touret  Memorial panel 11.

His half-brother Walter Sharp also fell see below.

Thomas William B. Sharp [Sharp being the official spelling of his surname rather than Sharpe] was born in 1873 in Loughborough, the son of Thomas Sharp, an iron founder, and his wife Hannah (née Priestley) who were married in Leicester in 1870. Thomas's mother died in 1878 and his father was remarried in Loughborough in 1879 to Sarah Rose. Thomas had two full sisters, Ada and Rebecca, two half-sisters Agnes and Florry, and two half-brothers Walter and Herbert.

'Tom Willie' Sharp married Phoebe Pratt at Loughborough Parish Church on 16th November 1895 and they had ten children (one dying in infancy). In 1901 Tom, an iron foundry worker like his father, and Phoebe lived at 36 Pinfold Street, Loughborough, but by 1911 they had moved to 21 Salmon Street.

Tom reenlisted at Loughborough on 15th August 1914 with his surname recorded incorrectly as Sharpe. He had already been with the 3rd Battalion Leicestershire Regiment territorial force. He rejoined the 3rd Battalion on 7th September and was sent to France on 19th March 1915 to join the 2nd Leicesters. He was killed in action in a military operation north-east of Bethune on 15th May 1915. He is commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial with his surname again spelt as Sharpe, the version of the name also used on his service record and war medals.

Tom's oldest son Leonard also enlisted and served in the 1/5th Leicestershire Regiment and then the Royal Defence Corps. Unlike his father he survived the war. Thomas's half-brother Walter Sharp who served with 7th Leicestershire Regiment was killed in 1918.

 

Private 26652 Walter Sharp

 

7th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Died of Wounds 9th June 1918, Aged 38.

Buried Choloy War Cemetery Meurthe-Et-Moselle, 148.

His half-brother Thomas William B. Sharp also fell see above.

Walter Sharp was born in Loughborough in 1880, the son of Thomas Sharp, an iron founder, and his second wife Sarah Rose, who were married in Loughborough in 1879. Walter had a brother Herbert, two sisters Agnes and Florry, a half-brother Thomas and two half-sisters Ada and Rebecca. In 1901 the family lived at 2 Wellington Street, Loughborough, and Walter's father was a wheelwright. Walter was an iron moulder in a foundry. By 1911 the family had moved to 27 Rendell Street, but without Walter's father who had died in 1906.

Walter enlisted in Leicester on 23rd March 1916, aged 36, and served as a Private with the 7th Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment. He went to Etaples, France on 6th July 1916. He was posted to the 9th Battalion on 13th July and sent to the Somme on 2nd August. On 26th September [or 8th October, sources vary] he received gunshot wounds in the chest and arms and was transferred via Rouen per 20 Ambulance Transport to the UK on H.S. Asturias. In March 1917 he returned to France only to be shot in the arm on 17th June 1917 and sent back to England again. He again returned to France on 19th November 1917. On 27th May 1918 he was again wounded in action, exact location unknown, but these wounds proved fatal and he died on 9th June 1918. He is buried in Choloy War Cemetery, near Toul, Meurthe et Moselle.

 

Private 8863 Arthur Sharpe

 

1st Bn, Northumberland Fusiliers.

Died 8th November 1914, Aged 25.

Commemorated Ypres Menin Gate, panel 8 & 12. 

 

Arthur Sharpe came from the relatively large family of six children of Frederick Sharpe, a framework knitter, and his wife Sarah Jane who lived at 2 Court A, Dead Lane, Loughborough.

Arthur joined the Northumberland Fusiliers in October 1906 and served in India. When war broke out in 1914 his battalion was in Portsmouth and was sent to France on 14th August 1914. The battalion was in action at Mons, Solesmes, Le Cateau, the Marne, the Aisne, La Bassée, Messines and the First Battle of Ypres. Arthur died in the First Battle of Ypres.

 

Private 3708 Herbert Sharpe

 

2/4th and 1/4th Bn, Northumberland Fusiliers.

Died of Wounds 19th September 1916.

Buried St Sever Cemetery, B. 22. 43. 

 

Herbert Sharpe was born in Loughborough in 1884, the son of John Sharpe, a framework knitter of 70 Russell Street. Herbert had two brothers Alfred and Arthur and one sister Harriet, all born in Loughborough. According to Commonwealth War Graves Commission records Herbert's mother was called Elizabeth but by 1901 his father, brothers Alfred and Arthur and sister Harriet were living with their father and his wife called Mary at 59 All Saints Road, Leicester. Herbert was not at home on 1901 census night and whether Mary was the mother of the children is not known.

By 1911 all the Sharpe children had left home. Herbert and Alfred were lodging in Meadow Lane, South Normanton, Derbyshire, and both were working as colliery labourers above ground. Arthur had joined the Army and was serving in India with the 1st Northumberland Fusiliers and Harriet, a comb winder for a wool spinning factory, was lodging at 59 Oxford Street, Leicester. Another lodger at 59 Oxford Street was Arthur Bott, a van man for a baker, whom Harriet married the following year, in the same year that John Sharpe died.

The date when Herbert enlisted at Alfreton, Derbyshire, is not known but he joined the Northumberland Fusiliers as Private 3708. He appears to have been posted firstly to the 2/4th Battalion and subsequently to the 1/4th Battalion.

The 2/4th Battalion of the Northumberland Fusiliers was formed at Blyth in late November 1914 and was placed under orders of 63rd (2nd Northumbrian) Army Division in January 1915 and as a 'Second Line' Infantry unit remained at home and took responsibility for coastal defences of the sector Seaham Harbour - Sunderland - Newcastle. King George V inspected the Division at Newcastle on 20th May 1915.

On 26th July 1915 orders were received that 600 was the minimum strength for any 'Second Line' infantry battalion and any men in excess of that number could be taken for overseas service. On 30th November 1915 men in the 2/4th Battalion who had not yet been sent abroad were posted to York. Whether Herbert was sent abroad in July 1915 or sent to York is unknown but if he was sent to France before November 1915 it is likely that he transferred to the 1/4th Battalion at this point.

The 1/4th Battalion was part of the Army's 50th (Northumbrian) Division and between July and October 1915 was in the trenches near Armentières, and subjected to regular enemy shelling and phosphorous bombs. Between trench tours the battalion was in billets at Armentières. At the end of October the battalion moved to Strazeele east of Hazebrouck for machine gun and grenade instruction and attack practice. On 20th December the battalion entrained at Strazeele for Poperinghe and from there marched to Canada Huts near Dickebusch. Between 23rd and 28th December 1915 the battalion was in the trenches near Hill 60 and from January to April 1916 in trenches at Maple Copse and Sanctuary Wood with relief at Poperinghe.

On 1st April 1916 the battalion left the Ypres Salient and marched to Locre, going into the trenches there, with relief periods spent at La Clytte. At the beginning of May training in bombing, gas and bayonet fighting commenced at Méteren in France until 29th May when the battalion returned to the trenches near Locre. At the beginning of July the battalion proceeded to a camp at Brulooze and supplied working parties for laying cables near Vierstraat before returning to La Clytte for further trench tours until mid-August. On 11th August the battalion moved out of 5th Corps Reserve at Méteren and entrained at Bailleul for Doullens. From Doullens the men marched to Naours. Training ensued at Henecourt Wood until 9th September when they left for Becourt Wood two miles east of Albert. A further move to Mametz Wood took place on 13th September.

The date on which Herbert was wounded in action is unknown but it was probably on 15th September at the start of the Battle of Flers-Courcelette. He died from his wounds on 19th September 1916, aged 32. It is likely that he died in a hospital in Rouen as he is buried in St. Sever Cemetery, Rouen, Grave B. 22. 43. His effects were divided between his two brothers and sister.

 

 

 

Private 20070 William Shephard

 

11th Bn, Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regt.)

Killed in Action 29th June 1918, Aged 34.

Buried Barenthal Military Cemetery, Italy 3 - A. 7.

 

William was the son of Mr & Mrs Shephard of Pinfold Gate Loughborough. His Wife & three children lived at 81 Gordon Road, Nottingham.

Private 2646 Thomas Joseph Sherriff

 

Leicestershire Yeomanry.

Killed in Action 13th May 1915, Aged 19.

Commemorated Ypres (Menin Gate) panel 5.

 

Thomas Joseph Sherriff was born in Grantham, Lincs. in 1895, the only child of Edward Sherriff, grocer and provision dealer, and Fanny Sherriff (née Whaley) who were married in Grantham in 1894. In 1901 the family lived at 25 and 26 North St, Little Gonerby, Lincs., and by 1911 had moved to 27 Watergate, Grantham (now in 2015 Sergio's Hair Studio). In 1911 Thomas Joseph was a grocer's assistant and between 1911 and 1914 moved to Leicester. Before he enlisted at Leicester he was a cleaver forward of the Loughborough Wednesday Half-Holiday Club.

Thomas Joseph was in the Leicestershire Yeomanry and Corps of Hussars. He was sent to France on 16 February 1915 and killed at the Battle of Frezenberg. He is also commemorated on the war memorial inside the church of St. Wulfram, Grantham.
 

Trooper Sherriff is seen here on the front row, 2nd from right. This picture was taken on mobilisation.

Lance Corporal 53731 Allen Simmons

 

18th Bn. Canadian Infantry (Western Ontario Regt.)

Killed in Action 2nd October 1916,  Aged 26.

Commemorated Vimy Memorial.

 

Allen Simmons was born on 10th December 1889 in Loughborough. He was one of fourteen children of John Caleb Simmons and his wife Maria (née Ward Noon). Allen's parents were married in Loughborough in 1872 and his father was at various times a carpenter's labourer, a road labourer and a labourer for Loughborough Borough Council. Allen had six brothers John, Caleb, George, Thomas, Fred and Arthur and six sisters Mary, Elizabeth, Amy, Maria, Ethel and Florry. Another sibling had died young.

Between 1891 and 1911 the Simmons family lived at 7 Granville Street, Loughborough, but in 1909 Allen, now a labourer, left home when he married Florence Hawley in Loughborough. The couple set up home at 56 Sparrow Hill and by 1911 had two children Arthur and Florence. Allen became a gardener.

It appears that Allen left his wife and young family in May 1913 and sailed from London to Quebec, Canada, on the SS Sicilian. Whether it was his intention that his wife and family would join him later in Canada is unknown but when he enlisted on 2nd October 1914 at St. Thomas, Elgin County, Ontario, he stated that he was unmarried and gave his next-of-kin as his mother. Given that his wife Florence unsuccessfully sued Charles Smith for breach of promise of marriage in June 1914, her action having failed when it transpired that she already had two children for whom she received ten shillings per week, it would appear that that Allen and Florence had separated.

Allen joined the 18th Battalion (Western Ontario) of the Canadian Infantry as Private 53731. The 18th Battalion trained in Canada until 18th April 1915 when they left for England. The battalion disembarked at Avonmouth on 29th April 1915 and arrived at West Sandling Camp near Folkestone the same day. Active training began on 17th May with the emphasis on trench digging skills and continued until 14th September 1915 when the battalion sailed from Folkestone to Boulogne.

By the end of September and throughout October 1915 the battalion was in the trenches at Dranoutre and Wulverghem, south of Ypres. In November the battalion was in Divisional Reserve and in December moved to Vierstraat and then La Clytte, south-west of Ypres. The battalion remained in the Vierstraat area until May 1916 when they moved to Vormezeele, near Ghent. From 2nd to 14th June 1916 they were in action in the Battle of Mount Sorrel near Ypres, defending an arc of high ground on the Salient.

In August 1916 the battalion was again in the La Clytte area but at the beginning of September moved to Albert, Somme. On 14th September the battalion successfully attacked the German front. On 19th September, after resting at Vadencourt, they marched to La Vicogne and on 21st to St. Léger-lès-Domart. On 24th September they were in billets at Vadencourt before moving back to Albert on 25th. At some point in 1915 or 1916 Allen had been promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal.

On the night of the 1st/2nd October 1916 the battalion took over a section of the front line at Courcelette. Allen was killed in action on 2nd October 1916, aged 26. He is commemorated on the Vimy Memorial and on the Carillon.

Allen's daughter Florence emigrated to Portland, Oregon, USA, with her husband Reginald Tomlinson and daughter Pamela in 1947 and took American citizenship.

  

Lance Corporal 11799 Frederick Simmons

 

1st Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Died a Prisoner Germany 23rd October 1918.

Buried Hamburg Cemetery, Germany II. F. 13. 

(his Brother Harold Simmons also fell see below) 

Frederick was the son of Mr & Mrs Simmons of 7 Cross Street, Loughborough.
need photo

Lance Corporal 10201 Harold Simmons

 

6th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 7th October 1917, Aged 21.

Commemorated Tyne Cot Memorial panel 50 -51.                     

(his Brother Frederick Simmons also fell see above) 

Harold was the son of Mr & Mrs Simmons of 7 Cross Street, Loughborough.  He enlisted in 1914 at the outbreak of war, when he was 18 years of age, in Kitchener's Army, at which time he worked at the Britannia foundry. The officer commanding his platoon wrote that Lance Corporal Simmons death took place on Sunday evening October 7th. A shell burst only a few yards away from him and death was instantaneous. The writer adds "I had known your son for a considerable time and found him at all times an excellent soldier and a very conscientious non - commissioned officer. He was always very popular with his companions in the company, and will be greatly missed by all and I am personally very sorry to lose him.

Private 12318 John Adrian Simmons

 

7th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 22nd March 1918, Aged 23.

Commemorated Pozieres  Memorial panel 29 -30.                     

 

John was the son of John Henry & Martha Adeliza Simmons of The Post Office, Beacon View, Nanpantan, Loughborough.

Private 10003 Gerald Horace Austin Simpkin

 

2nd Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Died of Wounds 26th August 1915, Aged 22.

Buried Merville Communal Cemetery, III. U. I. 

 

Gerald Horace Austin Simpkin was born at 27 King Street, Loughborough on 22nd May 1893. He was the only surviving son of Thomas Simpkin, a framework knitter, and his wife Catherine (née Taylor) who were married in Loughborough in 1888. Gerald had two sisters Edith and Teresa - a brother Leonard and another sister Rosetta had died in infancy. The family later moved to 3 Market Place, and then to 10 Mills Yard, Cattle Market. By 1901 Gerald's father had changed his job to that of engineering packer.

Gerald enlisted on 13th August 1914, aged 21, giving his trade as 'Basket Maker'. He was appointed Private 10003 in the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment and after one week at the Depot in Leicester moved to Portsmouth for training. On 19th March 1915 he was transferred to the 2nd Leicesters and sailed from Southampton to France to join his new Battalion.

When Gerald reached his battalion they were recovering from their efforts at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle. The battalion spent the following months alternately in the trenches and involved in military operations (such as a night attack during the Battle of Festubert) or in billets while war training, in the area of Calonne, Vieille Chapelle, and Estaires north-east of Bethune.

On 26th August 1915 Gerald was killed in action at Merville, having received a gunshot in the head. He was deeply mourned by his parents and his two sisters, Mrs. Edith Mee of Regent Street, Loughborough, and Mrs. Teresa Beesley of Armitage Road, Whitwick.

Private 8331 Horace Charles Slater

 

2nd Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 15th May 1915, Aged 23.

Commemorated Le Touret Memorial panel 11.

 

Charles Horace Slater, more commonly known as Horace Charles Slater, was born in Loughborough in 1892, the son of John and Serina Slater (née Little) who were married in Portsea, Hampshire, in 1883. Horace originally had three brothers Frederick, Harry and Reuben and one sister Ruth. Reuben, however, who had been a professional soldier with the Sherwood Foresters, died in India in 1912. Horace had also lost his mother who died in 1893. Horace's father at one time had been a Gunner in the Royal Navy's Royal Marine Artillery on the navy vessel Blanche but by 1891 he had become a hosiery dyer and had settled at 8 South Street, Loughborough with his wife and family. His father later moved to 5 Dog and Gun Yard, Loughborough.

Horace joined the army at 18 years of age and was assigned to the 2nd Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment. 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 left Karachi on 21st September and arrived at Marseilles on 12th October 1914. Having travelled north, Horace's battalion went into the trenches at Calonne, near Bethune in the Pas-de-Calais, on 28th October. Between then and 22nd November, when they were relieved, the 2nd Leicesters suffered 90 casualties, of whom 15 were killed.

In a letter to his brother Bill in Spring 1915 Horace wrote: 'Well Bill you say you would like to exchange places, but you would soon want to get out of it as it is murder, but still I go about in the trenches as if there is nothing on, in fact it is no use being any other how, of course they [the enemy] are only 150 yds in front of us'.

The next notable action in which Horace's battalion was involved was the Battle of Neuve Chapelle (10th-13th March 1915) when the British broke through the German lines but were unable to exploit their advantage. The battalion also took part in a night attack during the Battle of Festubert on 15th May during which Horace lost his life.

Private 12833 Harry Smalley

 

8th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 30th July 1916,  Aged 22.

Buried Guillemont Road Cemetery, XII. M. 2.

 

Born in June 1894, Harry Smalley was the son of John Smalley a mechanical engineer from Shepshed, and Maria Smalley (née Wootton) of Loughborough. Harry's parents were married in Loughborough in 1890.

In 1901, when Harry was six, the family was living at number 5 Wards End, Loughborough. Harry had an older brother John, an older sister Dorothy known as 'Dolly', and a younger brother, William. Harry was educated at the Loughborough Grammar School and in 1910 began a period of apprenticeship with Bailey and Simpkin, outfitters, in Loughborough. His apprenticeship was due to expire on the 21st May 1915. By 1911 the Smalley family had moved to 39 Market Place, Loughborough and Harry's father, no longer an engineer, was now a confectioner.

Harry enlisted for short service (three years with the colours) in Loughborough on the 3rd September 1914. He joined the 8th (Service) Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment on the 24th September 1914 as Private 12833. From the Depot he was sent firstly to Aldershot for training and then to Shorncliffe in Kent at the end of February 1915. In April 1915 Harry'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 Harry 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 September 1915 Harry was admitted to No. 49 Field Ambulance with scabies and just over a month later to the same field ambulance with influenza. On 2nd November he was transferred to the Convalescent Depot in Rouen (No. 8 General Hospital). On 8th December he moved to the 37th Infantry Base at Etaples, a holding and training camp. He appears to have stayed at Etaples until 10th July 1916 when he was attached to the 20th Battalion of the King's (Liverpool) Regiment, joining the battalion in the field on 12th July. At the time the 20th King's Liverpool was in the area of Maricourt, south-east of Amiens. On 14th July the battalion was ordered to proceed to Corbie, east of Amiens, and then to nearby Vaux-sur-Somme. On 29th July the battalion was ordered to the assembly trenches near Maurepas amidst heavy gas shelling by the enemy. On 30th July an attack on the enemy was launched in thick mist.

On 5th August 1916 Harry was reported as having gone 'missing' in action on the 30th July by the Officer Commanding the 20th King's Liverpool. His body was recovered; he had died of wounds on or shortly after 30th July 2016, aged 22. Harry's identity disc was returned to his father on the 1st March 1918. Harry Smalley is buried at Guillemont Road Cemetery, Guillemont, Picardy, Grave XII. M. 2. He is remembered on Emmanuel Church's Memorial and Loughborough Grammar School's Roll of Honour as well as on the Carillon.

Harry's brother William joined the RAF on 14th May 1918, aged 17, and served with 153 Squadron. He survived the war.

Private 9835 Thomas Smalley

 

2nd Bn, Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)

Killed in Action 10th March 1915,  Aged 25.

Commemorated Le Touret Memorial panel 15 & 16.

 

Thomas Smalley was a cook with the 2nd Battalion, the Scottish Rifles (the Cameronians). Born in Hucknall, Nottinghamshire, in 1890, he was the youngest son of John Smalley, a coal miner, and his wife Catherine (known as 'Kate'), latterly of 31 Myra Street, Loughborough. Thomas had one older sister Emma and two older brothers John Henry and William who were also both coal miners.

Thomas had been with the military for at least three years when war was declared in August 1914. The 2nd Battalion of the Cameronians, which in 1914 was in Malta, was ordered back to England, landing at Southampton on 22nd September 1914, and came under the orders of the 23rd Brigade, 8th Division. The Division moved to France in November 1914, a badly-needed reinforcement to the BEF.

On 10th - 13th March 1915 the Cameronians took part in the Battle of Neuve Chapelle This battle was originally intended to comprise part of a wider Allied offensive in the Artois region with the aim of reducing the German Salient, but the attack on Neuve Chapelle became a distinct action in its own right. In the initial bombardment more shells were discharged in 35 minutes than in the whole of the Boer War.

This was followed by carefully co-ordinated attacks of hand-to-hand fighting and in four hours the village was secured. The Cameronians, however, suffered terrible casualties. On the first day of the battle 149 of their men died, three of wounds and the rest (146) killed in action. Only three of those who died have a known grave and the rest are commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial (Panel 15 and 16), including Private Thomas Smalley.

Sergeant 1395 Bertie Joseph Smith

 

5th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Died of Wounds 3rd September 1915, Aged 37.

Buried Vlamertinghe Military Cemetery, II. A. 2.

 

Bertie Joseph Smith was born on 29th October 1877 in Belgrave, Leicester, to William Smith, a shoe trade pressman and Eliza Ann (née Headley), who were married at St. Margaret's, Leicester, on 8th September 1874. Bertie was the third eldest of nine siblings (Henry, William, Bertie, Charles, Ellinor, Frederick, Alfred, Jessie and Edwin) and spent his young life at 4 Leire Street, Belgrave, Leicester. Ten years later the family had moved to 64 Leire Street and Bertie, aged 13, was employed as a shoe finisher.

Bertie married Loughborough girl Kate Beck on 26th December 1907 in Loughborough, and they set up home at Asfordby Hill, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, where they had a son, Bert Smith, born on 20th July 1909. While living here Bertie worked as Stationary Engineman at the blast furnaces.

Bertie enlisted at Melton Mowbray and joined the 1/5th Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment as a Sergeant. When he went to fight in the war, his wife Kate and son Bert went to live with her family at 37 Paget Street, Loughborough. All six of Bertie's brothers also joined up to the war effort serving with the army during WW1.

Bertie's battalion set off for France landing at Le Havre on 28th February 1915.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, 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. On 22nd June the battalion was moved back to Zillebeke in the Ypres Salient where they were shelled at least three times a day. Throughout July and August the battalion did several tours in the trenches and also received instruction in the throwing of various kinds of grenades. At the beginning of September the battalion was again on a trench tour, suffering scattered shelling and trench mortaring, when the enemy increased the bombardment, causing many casualties. It was at this point that Bertie Smith of 'B' Company received a severe wound 'to which he succumbed a few hours later'.

Bertie died in Belgium on 3rd September 1915, aged 37. He is commemorated on on St. Peter's War Memorial, Loughborough, and on the Carillon.

On 7th September 1917 the Melton Mowbray Times & Vale of Belvoir Gazette published the following: 'IN MEMORIAM SMITH - In loving memory of Sergt. Bert Smith, of 1/5 Leicesters, the beloved husband of Kate Smith, killed in action September 3rd 1915. Too dearly loved to be forgotten. Ever in our thoughts. From Wife and Son Bertie'.

 Bertie and possibly 3 of his Brothers 1914.

 

Bertie back row far left 5th Leicesters 1915.

 

Corporal L/29119 Charles James Smith

 

160th Bde., Royal Field Artillery.

Died of Wounds 12th May 1918, Aged 24.

Buried Les Baraques Military Cemetery, III. B. 4A. 

 

Charles was the son of Mrs Annie Smith of 57 Cumberland Road, Loughborough. Charles died of shell gas poisoning. Before enlisting he was a constable stationed at Loughborough.
 

Private 5128 Frank Smith

 

4th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Died of Wounds 22nd April 1916,  Aged 19.

Buried Aubigny Communal Cemetery I. A. 55.                      

 

Frank Smith was born in Loughborough in 1896. He was the son of William Smith, a brickyard manager, and his wife Emma (née Bexon) who were married in Chellaston, Derbyshire, on Christmas Day 1879. Frank had thirteen brothers and sisters, only eight of whom were still alive in 1911 (George, Sarah, Ellen, Jane, Hilda, Doris, Olive and Kate). From 1891 to at least 1916 the Smith family lived at Brickyard House, Park Lane, Loughborough.

Frank, who was employed at Cotton's Ltd., enlisted with the Leicestershire Regiment in August 1915 and joined the 1/4th Battalion as Private 5128. He was sent to France in the early spring of 1916. At this time the 1/4th Leicesters were in a support trench in the area of Talus de Zouaves, near Vimy Ridge. On 27th March the battalion relieved the 5th Lincolnshires in the front line trenches until 2nd April when the Lincolnshires relieved the Leicesters, a pattern which was repeated over the following weeks. The front line trenches were subject to heavy enemy bombardment.

On 21st April 1916 Frank was wounded in the legs by a shell, which fell in his dugout, and died the next day, aged 19, at 30 Casualty Clearing Station, Aubigny-sur-Artois. The officer commanding his company wrote to his parents: "The officers and the men of A Company were deeply grieved at his death. He was splendid fellow, and an excellent soldier. Always cheerful under the most trying circumstances, he kept up the spirits of his fellow-men wonderfully. He was wounded in both legs rather badly by a shell, but when he left the trenches he seemed so cheerful that we hoped he would survive his wound, but he succumbed the following day. Please accept from me on behalf of all his friends out here our deepest sympathy on the loss of so cheerful and popular a boy as your son proved to be. It is such men as he that make a name for the regiment."

The battalion captain also wrote: "Your son died at the post of duty, in a very dangerous line of trenches, and was and is an example to the young who shirk in England. You have every reason to be proud of him."

Frank is buried in Aubigny Communal Cemetery, Aubigny-sur-Artois, Grave I. A. 55.

Lance Sergeant 241119 Frederick Augustus Smith

 

2/5th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Formerly 3349 Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 1st April 1917,  Aged 23.

Buried Roisel Communal Cemetery Extension II. G. 1.

 

Frederick Augustus Smith was born in Leyton, Essex, in 1894, the son of James and Emma Smith (née Thornley) who were married in Nottingham in 1881. Frederick’s father, who was born in Loughborough, became a police constable in Essex, and in 1901 the Smith family lived at 13 Netley Terrace, Netley Road, Ilford. Frederick had five brothers Sidney, Reginald, William, Bertram and Frank and four sisters Ada, Kate, Gertrude and May. By 1911 James Smith had retired from the police force but the family was still living in Essex at 10 Perkins Road, Newbury Park, Ilford. It appears, however, that Frederick’s parents subsequently moved to 4 Bampton Street, Loughborough.

Frederick enlisted at Loughborough and joined the 2/5th (Territorial) Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment as Private 3349, later renumbered as Private 241119.

The 2/5th Battalion had its HQ in Loughborough as part of the Lincoln and Leicester Brigade, North Midland Division and was mobilised in September 1914. In January 1915 the battalion moved to Luton being billeted in private homes, in February and March they 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. Frederick was killed in action on 1st April 1917, aged 23. He had been promoted to the rank of Lance Sergeant by the time he was killed.

Frederick was buried in Roisel Communal Cemetery, east of Peronne, Grave II. G.1.

Private 39238 Herbert Smith

 

2nd Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Died of Pneumonia 12th Nov. 1918,  Aged 20.

Buried Alexandria War Cemetery, Egypt. E. 167.

 

Herbert was the son of Ernest & Margaret Smith of 29 Hartington Street, Loughborough.

Private 44913 John Smith

 

Machine Gun Corps.

Formerly 4167 Leicestershire Regiment

Died of Wounds 13th May 1917,  Aged 20.

Buried Aubigny Communal Cemetery Ext. III. J. 16. 

 

John was the son of Albert & Hannah Smith of 8 South Street, Loughborough.

Driver 166514 J. W. Smith

 

9th Ammunition Col., Royal Field Artillery.

Died at Home 21st September 1919,  Aged 40.

Buried Loughborough Cemetery  7/257. 

 

Son of John & Harriet Smith; husband of Martha Smith of 31 Pinfold Gate, Loughborough.

Private 13287 R. Smith

 

5th Bn. Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby).

Killed in Action 21st September 1918.

Buried Bellicourt Britiash Cemetery Aisne, I. J. 12. 

 

Husband of A. M. C. Smith of 13 Bedford Square Loughborough.

Private 12881 Walter Albert Smith

 

8th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Died of Wounds 13th July 1916,  Aged 23.

Buried Heilly Station Cemetery, II. B. 59.           

 

Walter Albert Smith was born in Market Bosworth, Leicestershire, in 1893, the son of William Smith a railway platelayer and his wife Bessie. Walter had two brothers William and Thomas and four sisters Margaret, Harriet, Ada, and Annie. In 1891 the family lived at Hinckley Road, Dadlington, Market Bosworth, but by 1901 had moved to 55 Station Street, Loughborough, and by 1911 had moved again to 77 Oxford Street, Loughborough. By 1919 most of Walter's family were living at 111 Derby Road.

Walter, a framework knitter, enlisted at Loughborough on 2nd September 1914 and joined the 8th (Service) Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment as Private 12881. Two days later he was promoted to an unpaid Lance Corporal and sent firstly to Aldershot for training. He moved to Shorncliffe in Kent at the end of February 1915. In April 1915 Walter'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. Walter, who had now been confirmed in the position of paid Lance Corporal, was billeted at Perham Down. 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 the 8th Leicesters moved to the Doullens area for six weeks for 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 they 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 and at some point Walter was wounded. He died from his wounds on 13th July 1916, aged 23, and is buried in Heilly Station Cemetery, Grave II.B.59.

Walter is commemorated on the memorial at the former St. Peter's Church, Loughborough, and on the Carillon.

Private 15777 George Thomas Smythe

 

7th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 22nd March 1918, Aged 32.

Commemorated Pozieres  Memorial panel 29 -30.                     

 

George was the husband of Mrs Dorothy Elsie Isabel Manderfield (formerly Smythe) of 10 Chappel Street Shepshed.

Private 40904 Frederick Snow

 

8th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 11th April 1917,  Aged 24.

Buried St. Ledger British Cemetery, C. 18.   

 

Frederick Snow, known as ‘Fred’ was born in 1892 in Quorn, the son of Albert Thomas and Eliza Jane Snow (née Stent) who were married in Alton, Hampshire, in 1872. Fred was the second youngest in a family of twelve children. His father was a blacksmith who later became a gamekeeper and finally a carpenter. In 1891 the Snow family lived at Brickyard Cottages, Normanton on Soar. By 1901 the family had moved to 5 Bath Lane, Loughborough, and in 1911 lived at Maplewell Road, Woodhouse Eaves.

In 1911 Fred was a fitter at the Leicester Water Works and in 1912 he married Jane Collier at Ashby. Fred and Jane settled at 4A Pleasant Place, Factory Street, Loughborough, and Fred took a position working on the Beaumanor Estates. By 1916 they had three children Frederick, Gladys and Ivy.

Fred enlisted at Coalville but the precise date of his enlistment is unknown as his service record has not survived. It is likely, however, that he enlisted sometime in 1916. He joined the 8th Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment as Private 40904.

The 8th Battalion did not participate in the first days of the Somme Offensive but was held in reserve, but on 14th and 15th July the battalion was in action at the Battle of Bazentin Ridge. After the battle the battalion went into the trenches near Arras where they were on the receiving end of trench mortar bombs and heavy shells until 2nd September. They were relieved on 2nd September, marched to Duisans and on the following day proceeded to Lignereuil. On 13th September they 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 1916 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.

In October 1916 the battalion moved to the Hohenzollern Sector where they were in the front line, reserve and support trenches until mid-December. From 20th December until 26th January 1917 the battalion was at Auchel on a training programme. In December and January two reinforcement drafts of ordinary rank soldiers joined their number and it is possible that Fred was in one of these groups if he was not already in France.

Further training followed in early February at Winnezeele before the battalion moved into the trenches near Sailly-Labourse. Here the battalion stayed throughout March, with breaks at Noyelles-sur-Mer and Mazingarbe. At the end of March the battalion moved to Hamelincourt where they went into the trenches on the Henin-Croisilles Road. On the night of 10th/11th April 1917 fifteen soldiers, including Fred, were killed by enemy shellfire here. Fred was 24 years old.

A returning comrade of Fred’s informed his widow Jane that the shellfire explosion had snapped her husband’s neck and that he had died instantly, near to the village of Croisilles during an action against the Hindenburg Line. Fred was buried at St. Leger British Cemetery, Grave C. 18.

Fred is remembered on Woodhouse Eaves War Memorial, on the St. Paul’s Churchyard Memorial and on the Wesleyan Chapel Memorial (both in Woodhouse Eaves) and on the Loughborough Carillon.

Jane Snow had another daughter Winifred in 1918 and in 1919 married George Smith in Loughborough. Jane and George subsequently had twin daughters Edna and Phyllis and a son Malcolm.

Fred Snow’s only son, Frederick Thomas Edwin Snow, served in the Regular Army with the Leicestershire Regiment, and in the Second World War with the Worcestershire Regiment.

Private 16175 Bramford Sparrow

 

2nd Bn, Grenadier Guards.

Died of Wounds 28th January 1917,  Aged 21.

Buried Grove Town Cemetery, Somme, II. M. 27.                 

 

Bramford Sparrow was born in 1895 in Fiskerton, Lincolnshire, the only son of William Henry Sparrow and his wife Harriett Ada (née Flintham) who were married in 1894 at St. Clement's Church, Fiskerton, Lincolnshire. Bramford's father worked as a wheelwright in his youth but by the time he was married he had become a joiner and later specialised in cabinet making. Bramford's mother was a dressmaker. Between 1895 and 1901 the Sparrow family moved from Lincolnshire to Brook Street, Wymeswold, and by 1911 to Far Street, Wymeswold. Bramford had two sisters: Beatrice (born in 1894 in Fiskerton) and Lenora (born in 1907 in Wymeswold). His mother later moved to High Street, Loughborough.

In 1911 Bramford was employed as a farm boy in Wymeswold but towards the end of 1912 he enlisted at Nottingham and joined the 2nd Battalion of the Grenadier Guards as Private 16175. It is known that Bramford was wounded at least twice between 1914 and 1917 but the details are not known as his service record has not survived.

In August 1914 when war broke out Bramford's battalion, part of the 4th (Guards) Brigade, 2nd Division, was at Wellington Barracks, London. The battalion was one of the first of the British Expeditionary Force to be sent to France, arriving at Le Havre from Southampton on the Cawdor Castle on 15th August 1914.

Shortly after arrival the battalion was engaged in the Battle of Mons on 23rd August, followed by the subsequent Retreat with fierce rearguard actions at Landrecies and Villers Cottérêts in the Forest of Retz. The battalion also took part in the Battle of the Marne, being heavily involved at Polygon Wood, and the 1st Battle of the Aisne. After being in action in the 1st Battle of Ypres (19th October-22nd November 1914) only 4 officers and 140 men remained of the Battalion.

In early 1915 the 2nd Grenadiers were in the trenches at Annequin, known as the 'Valley of Death'. In May the battalion took part in the second phase of the Battle of Festubert where it was subjected to considerable enemy shellfire for little gain. At the end of May the battalion was in billets at La Pugnoy and Vendin before moving to Noeux les Mines. In June they were alternately in billets at Sailly-la-Bourse and in the trenches at Auchy then Vermelles. In July they returned to the 'Valley of Death' with billets in Annequin before moving to the trenches at Guinchy with billets in Béthune. The first two weeks of August were spent at Givenchy where they took part in large scale mining operations in spite of being heavily bombed and shelled by the enemy.

In mid-August 1915 the battalion left the Army's 2nd Division and became part of the newly-formed Guards Division, marching to Campagne-les-Boulonnais to join the 1st Guards Brigade. The battalion was in action again at the Battle of Loos, attacking Hill 70 on 27th September and holding the left flank opposite Hulluch. On 3rd October the battalion returned to the trenches east of Vermelles and on 19th October moved to trenches near Sailly-la-Bourse, being heavily shelled in both places. On 22nd October they moved to billets in Lapugnoy until 10th November when they marched to La Gorgue and took over trenches opposite Pietre.

In January 1916 the battalion moved from the trenches near Riez Bailleul to the trenches at Arrewage. On February 7th the battalion was ordered to Poperinghe and then Cassel, entraining for Calais and Rest Station No. 6. Returning to Herzeele and Poperinghe by mid-March they took over the front line near Potidje village. On 24th March they moved to A Camp, Vlamertinghe. On April 10th, after ten days rest at Poperinghe, they moved to Ypres, taking over the front line between Railway Wood and the Menin Road. On 5th May they moved to trenches near Wieltje, with breaks in dug-outs at Ypres. On 19th May they entrained for St. Omer and marched to Tatinghem where they rested until 7th June. Ten days cable-laying near Poperinghe followed and then a move to the trenches at Elverdinghe. For much of July the battalion was in very dangerous trenches near Ypres before leaving the Ypres Salient on 27th and moving to Sarton, south-west of Arras.

On 10th August the battalion proceeded to Bertrancourt and marched to trenches in the Beaumont-Hamel line which were being heavily shelled. Five days later the battalion was in Courcelles for a week before marching to Méaulte where they remained until the end of August.

Between 12th and 15th September the 2nd Battalion successfully held part of the Ginchy Line and on 15th was in a planned advance despite heavy rifle fire from the enemy and a constant barrage of heavy shells. After a short respite the battalion was back in the line at Lesboeufs on 21st September and on 25th were once again sent into the attack in which they successfully captured Lesboeufs and took many prisoners. Casualties in both actions were, however, heavy. The end of September was spent at Morlancourt, followed by six weeks training at Aumont.

In November the battalion was only in the line for a few days, the rest of the month being spent at Citadel Camp, H.I Camp, Montauban, and Méaulte for training. December included trench tours at Sailly-Sallisel and Combles, with breaks at Maltz Horn Camp and Camp 15.

From 2nd-25th January 1917 the battalion was in Méaulte for training before moving to Priez Farm (between Combles and Rancourt). On 25th an enemy shell pitched among the cookers killing two men and wounding four; another shell fell in the water-cart, wounding two men. It seems that Bramford was one of those wounded. He died, aged 21, at Grovetown Casualty Clearing Station near Bray-sur-Somme the following day. He is buried at Grove Town Cemetery, Somme, Grave II. M. 27.

Bramford is remembered on the memorial in St. Mary's Church, Wymeswold and on the Roll of Honour in Wymeswold Memorial Hall.



Roll of Honour, Wymeswold Memorial Hall


Private 14961 Sydney Spencer

 

8th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 22nd March 1918.

Commemorated Pozieres Memorial panel 29 -30.                     

 

Sydney was married with one Son.

Private 38259 Timothy Spencer

2/6th Bn, Gloucestershire Regiment. Previously 38259 7th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Missing, presumed dead 2nd December 1917, Aged 31.

Commemorated Cambrai Memorial, Louverval Military Cemetery, Panel 6. 

Timothy Spencer was born in Thorpe Acre in 1886 and grew up there. He married Annie Moore on 8th August 1911 at the Parish Church in Thurcaston.

He enlisted at Leicester. He was firstly with the 7th Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment as Private 38828. He later transferred to the 2/6th Battalion of the Gloucestershire Regiment as Private 38259.

His death was presumed on 2nd December 1917. He is remembered on the Cambrai Memorial, Louverval, Panel 6.

His widow Annie was married again in 1920 to George H. Johnson.

 

Private 24369 David Spicer

 

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

Killed in Action 2nd November 1916, Aged 34.

Buried Faubourg d' Amiens Cemetery, Arras I. H. 47. 

 

David Dexter, afterwards Spicer, was born in Wymeswold in 1882, the son of Elizabeth Dexter. In 1883 Elizabeth Dexter married Thomas Spicer, a farm labourer, and David thereafter took the Spicer surname. Whether Thomas Spicer was David's father is unknown. By 1891 David had two sisters (or half-sisters) Harriett and Annie, and the Spicer family lived in accommodation at Brook Hall, Wymeswold. By 1901 the family had moved into Loughborough, to 19 Salmon Street and Thomas Spicer and David, now 18, were both employed as a bricklayer's labourers. There were now four more children in the family: Thomas, Frederick, Percy and Ernest. By 1911 the Spicers had moved to 22 Salmon Street and David was now employed as a chauffeur. David's family later moved to 4 Court, Pinfold Gate.

David's service record has not survived but it is recorded that he enlisted at Loughborough and joined the 15th (Service) Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) as Private 24369. The 15th Battalion was formed in Nottingham in February 1915 by the Mayor and a committee and it was a 'Bantam' battalion formed of troops who were under the normal regulation minimum height of 5 feet 3 inches.

After early training near home the battalion moved to the Masham area of North Yorkshire in June 1915, coming under the orders of the Army's 35th Division. In August 1915 the battalion transferred to Salisbury Plain.

The battalion was sent to France on 1st February 1916, travelling via Folkestone to Boulogne, and onwards by train to St. Omer. Throughout February 1916 they were in billets at La Rougie, La Lacque, Robecq and Paradis. During March the battalion did trench tours at Laventie and in mid-April moved to trenches at Ferme du Bois with breaks at Le Touret, La Couture and Croix Barbée. From mid-May to mid-June 1916 they were in trenches in the Neuve Chapelle sector after which they moved to billets in Mont-Bernanchon. For the first two weeks of July the battalion was on the march through Sus-St-Léger, Beauval, Bus-les-Artois, Warloy-Baillon, Heilly and Bray to bivouacs at Bois de Billon which they reached on 15th July.

From 16th to 20th July the battalion was in the trenches south-east of Trônes Wood, being very heavily bombarded and subjected to gas and tear shells. For the rest of July the men mainly rested in bivouac at Talus Boise whilst helping with trench improvement work and supplying the occasional trench relief. On 5th August they entrained at Méricourt for Saleux and went into billets at Molliens-Vidame. Returning to Méricourt on 10th August they marched to bivouac at The Citadel, Méricourt and supplied working parties for the Royal Engineers until 19th August. On 23rd August, while in the Maltz Horn trenches they were again heavily shelled. On 30th August they entrained at Heilly for Candas, marched to Lucheux on 1st September and from 3rd to 27th September were in the front line trenches near Arras. Most of October and early November was spent in the Arras trenches where on 2nd November they were heavily bombarded by the enemy.

David Spicer was killed in action, aged on 2nd November and buried in Faubourg d'Amiens Cemetery, Arras, Pas de Calais, Grave I. H.47.

David is remembered on the memorial at St. Mary's Church, Wymeswold, on the Roll of Honour in Wymeswold Memorial Hall, on the memorial at All Saints' Church, Loughborough, and on the Carillon.

David's brother Percy who served with the 6th Leicestershire Regiment was wounded on 18th October 1918 but survived the war. His brother Thomas had attested for the 3rd Leicestershire Regiment in 1907 but was turned down as being 'medically unfit for service'.

The Reverend William H. Spinks

 

Y.M.C.A

Died of Wounds 29th May 1918,  Aged 45.                

Buried Estaples Military Cemetery XXVIII. M. 7.  

                                

Rev. W. H. Spinks was severely wounded on Sunday, May 19th, when a hospital in France in which he was engaged in ministerial duties was bombed, there was received the news during the weekend that the rev. gentleman had succumbed to his injuries on May 29th. His wife who had reached Folkestone on her way to visit him in France received the news. The Rev. W. H. Spinks was a student pastor at Coventry at the beginning of his ministerial career, and after being at Kirkcaldy for five and a half years; he came to Loughborough in October 1905. Here he held the pastorate of Woodgate Baptist chapel for 11 years, till July 1916, when he obtained three months leave of absence from the church to go in for Y.M.C.A.  work, but before that time expired he sent in his resignation of the pastorate in order that he might devote himself entirely to the work. Afterwards his health broke down and he returned from France and after recovering he went into a business occupation at Leicester for a time, until he was again accepted for Y M C A work. He had only been out in France a few days when he received the severe wounds, which caused his death.

Private 202929 James Henry Squire

 

2/4th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 27th September 1917,  Aged 19.

Buried Tyne Cot Cemetery XXXVI F. 2.                    

After serving abroad only six weeks Pte. James Henry Squire Leicestershire Regiment was killed in action. His widowed mother lived at 40 Pinfold-gate Loughborough. He enlisted in 1914 and at one time after leaving church-gate school was employed as a telegraph messenger at the post office. In a letter to the mother, Pte Squire's captain writes: "He has left behind the memory of a brave lad, liked by everyone and quite prepared to do his bit at all costs, for his king and country."

Private 26610 Charles Edward Squires

 

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

Killed in Action 8th October 1916, Aged 38.

Buried Connaught Cemetery Thiepval, Somme  X. F. 7. 

 

Charles Edward Squires was born in Loughborough in 1878, the son of Edward Squires and his wife Ellen (née Harrison) who were married in Loughborough in 1876. When Charles was born his father was an ostler and waiter and the Squires family lived at 55 Russell Street, Loughborough. By 1891 Charles's father had become a house painter and the growing family had moved to 7 Rutland Street. Charles had four brothers Alfred, Daniel, Herbert and Wilfred and four sisters Florence, Ellen, Elizabeth and Isabella.

Charles married Emily Bastock in Warwickshire in 1898 and the couple set up home at Far Bridge, Shardlow, Derbyshire. Charles was employed as a waggoner at a brewery. In 1901 Charles's brother Daniel, who was a stableman at the brewery, was also living with them. Charles's wife unfortunately died in 1906 and Charles's whereabouts until he enlisted are unknown. His parents, meanwhile, moved firstly to 123 Ratcliffe Road, Loughborough, and then to 65 Clarence Street.

Charles enlisted on 27th May 1915 at Staveley, near Chesterfield, Derbyshire, giving his address as the Midland Café, Loughborough. He joined the 16th (Service) Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment) as Private 26610. 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 Charles joined the battalion it was at Buxton, but it moved to Redmires near Sheffield on 8th June 1915 for training in trench warfare. 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. On 30th September the battalion moved to Aldershot but under two months later moved to Witley Camp on Witley Common, Surrey, for final training.

The battalion embarked at Southampton for Le Havre on 6th March 1916 and on arrival concentrated near Blaringhem, not far from Dunkerque. On 13th March the battalion marched to Estaires and 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. 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.

On 2nd September 1916 the battalion took up a position in the line at Beaumont Hamel. An attack was about to take place on the German front just north of the River Ancre and the Chatsworth Rifles were to be in reserve, 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 particularly on 7th and 8th October. Charles was killed in action on 8th October 1916, aged 38. He was buried in Connaught Cemetery, Thiepval, Somme, Grave X. F. 7.

Corporal 2192 Thomas William Squires

 

1/5th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 13th October 1915, Aged 22.

Commemorated Loos Memorial, panel 42 - 44. 

Thomas William Squires was born in Loughborough in 1893, the son of Herbert Squires and Martha Squires (née Woolley) who were married in Loughborough in 1877. Thomas had a twin sister Hilda and three other sisters Florence, Mary and Alice and three brothers Herbert, Charles and George. Their father Herbert was a coachman who became a horseman for the Borough Council. The family started off living at 43 Pinfold Gate, Loughborough, but later moved to 27 School Street and then 2 Moor Lane. The parents finally went to live at 22 York Road.

When he left school Thomas became a butcher's apprentice and by the time he enlisted, on 31st August 1914 at Market Harborough, he was a fully-fledged butcher. He joined the 1/5th battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment as Private 2192.

Thomas's battalion was based at Bishops Stortford in November 1914 but were soon moved to Luton to practise marching and night work. On 25th February 1915 they were ordered to entrain at Harlow for Southampton. They landed at Le Havre three days later. They went by train to St. Omer, and then marched to Hardifort. The battalion spent the first few months in France in the Armentières sector, training and doing tours in the trenches. In June they moved to the Salient, near Zillebeke, where they remained until the beginning of October when they were ordered to move towards Loos. Thomas had been promoted to Lance Corporal (unpaid) on 1st June 1915 and to Corporal on 10th August 1915.

On 12th October 1915 the battalion travelled to the Hohenzollern Redoubt, arriving in Vermelles at 10.00pm. They spent the next eight hours in communication trenches. On 13th October 1915 during the attack on the Redoubt, part of the final stages of the Battle of Loos, the 1/5th Battalion was in reserve until just after midday, when they 'went over the top' and came under intense machine gun fire. After the attack on the Redoubt Thomas was reported missing and on 29th November 1915 was recorded as killed in action, aged 22.

Private 17106 Albert Stanford

 

2nd Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 25th September 1915,  Aged 16.

Commemorated Loos Memorial, panel 42 - 44.                     

Albert was born in late 1898 or early 1899 in Loughborough, the only son of Samuel and Jane Ann Stanford (née James) who were married in Loughborough in 1896. In 1901 the family lived at 31 Paget Street, and Albert's father was an agricultural implement fitter. Albert had one younger sister Alice; another sister Ellen had died aged 1. By 1911 the family had moved to 40 Rotten Row, Lichfield, and Albert's father was employed as an ironmonger's fitter but by 1915 they had returned to Loughborough and were living at 11 Grange Street.

Albert was only fifteen or just sixteen when he enlisted and cannot have stated his true age at the time. He joined the Leicestershire Regiment and, after a period of training joined the 2nd Battalion of the Leicesters in France on 27th May 1915.

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. The corps was then rested in a quiet sector until it was deployed for the Battle of Loos. Young Albert was deprived of two days pay for misconduct on 2nd September 1915 and was killed, aged only 16, at the Battle of Loos not long afterwards.

A local newspaper recorded the following:

'Youthful Loughborough Hero

'Mr and Mrs S Stanford of 11 Grange Street, Loughborough, received on Sunday the news that their only son, Private Albert Stanford, of the second battalion Leicestershire Regiment, had been killed in action on September 25th. He had been previously posted as missing, and enquiries at Lichfield failed to elicit any further news, although unofficially they have since heard, that after the fighting was over a dug out, in which some of the 2nd Leicesters were, had been blown up by a high explosive shell, young Stanford being among those who were buried amidst the debris. Private Stanford had been in France about three months before meeting his death. He was educated at the Higher Elementary School under Mr. J. Upton, B. A. and had begun work with Messrs William Moss and Sons, Ltd. A bright lad, he had written home from the trenches that he was only doing his duty in playing his part in keeping his own country from the possibility of such scenes as he seen in the rear of the firing line - a reference to the devastated villages in France.' 

Private 53721 George Staniland

 

12th Bn. Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby).

Killed in Action 4th April 1917, Aged 23.

Commemorated Arras Memorial, bay 7. 

 

George Staniland was born in 1893 in Loughborough, the son of George Augustus Staniland and Mary Staniland (née Osgodby) who were married in Nottingham in 1882. George was baptised at All Saints Parish Church in Loughborough on 10th May 1893. At that time his parents lived at 67 Gladstone Street and his father was a milkman. By 1901 the family had moved to The Cedars, Swing Bridge Lane, Knightthorpe. George’s father was now a farmer and dairyman and ran Piper Farm, Long Whatton. George had four brothers Frederick, Leonard, Richard and Jonathan and two sisters Dora and Sarah. After George’s father died in 1909 George’s older brother Frederick took over the running of the farm and George and Jonathan assisted him.

George enlisted at Loughborough in the early summer of 1916 and joined the 12th (Service) Battalion (Pioneers) of the Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment) as Private 53721. Pioneer battalions were used for various types of labouring work including deepening trenches, clearing out drains, digging tunnels and cable-laying. They underwent basic military training including firearms, but were also supplied with the necessary additional tools required for the work they were assigned to do in the field as Pioneers.

The 12th Sherwood Foresters received a draft of men on 29th September 1916 and it is likely that George was in this draft. At the time the battalion was based at Villers-au- Bois eight miles north-west of Arras and working on the railway in the Zouave valley. On 28th October the battalion moved to Loos to work on the defences there, amid shelling, gas alerts and some bombardment. They remained at Loos until 14th February 1917 when they moved to Allouagne (west of Béthune) for a period of training in trench digging, bombing, musketry and bayonet fighting. On March 10th the battalion marched via Sains-en-Gohelle to Fosse 10 to clean and deepen trenches. Nearly every day there were casualties from enemy action and on 4th April 1917 George was killed in action by shellfire, aged 23.

George is commemorated on the Arras Memorial bay 7 and on the memorial in the former St. Peter’s Church building, Loughborough, as well as on the Carillon.

Corporal 32922 Joseph Francis Starbuck

 

10th Bn. Lincolnshire Regiment.

Died of Wounds 14th April 1917, Aged 37.

Buried Mont Huon Military Cemetery, Le Treport, IV. F. 9A. 

 

Joseph Francis Starbuck was born on 12th August 1879 in Liverpool and baptised on 26th October 1879 at St. Paul’s Church, Princes Park, Toxteth, Liverpool. He was the son of Joseph Francis Starbuck, a provision merchant, and his wife Emma (née Goodwin) who were married at All Saints’ Church, Loughborough, on 29th October 1878. His father came from Skegby, Nottinghamshire, and his mother came from Loughborough. Joseph Junior had one younger brother Thomas but both boys would hardly know their father who died in 1883 in Derby. After her husband died Joseph’s mother moved to Aigburth, Garston, Liverpool, and made a small living as a dressmaker.

On 11th April 1889 young Joseph was admitted to Ripley Hospital School in Lancaster as his mother was poor. He did well there, his character and attainment being good, and when he left in June 1894 he was employed as a page-boy at Abbotts Wood, Barrow-in-Furness, the home of Sir John Ramsden, engineer, industrialist and civic leader. Later that same year Joseph was apprenticed to be a joiner with Watson and Lovatt in Loughborough. After his 5 year apprenticeship was completed he enlisted on 24th October 1898 at Derby to join the Derbyshire Regiment.

Joseph joined the 1st Battalion as Private 6050 ‘Francis Starbuck’ and on 10th February 1899 was posted to Mtarfa Barracks, Malta. On 21st November 1899 he was sent to South Africa where he remained until 7th September 1902. He was awarded the Queen’s South African Medal with clasps for Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Johannesburg and Diamond Hill and the King’s South African medal with two clasps.

A two-year posting to China in the aftermath of the Boxer Rebellion ensued, followed by a two-year posting to the Straits Settlements. In 1905 Joseph had been promoted to Lance Corporal. He returned to England on 30th January 1906 and was posted to the 2nd Battalion, reverting to Private at his own request. In October 1906 Joseph was transferred to Army Reserve and in November 1906 he obtained employment as a tram conductor in Liverpool.

On 27th January 1907 Joseph married Mary Ann Whiteley-King at St. Bride’s Church, Liverpool. He was finally discharged from the Army on 23rd October 1910 and in 1911 Joseph and Mary Ann were living at 2 Tottington Street, Clayton, Manchester. Joseph was now employed at a rubber works. By 1914 Joseph and Mary Ann had three daughters Josephine, Annie and Bessie and had moved to 14 Stanton Street, Manchester.

On 1st September 1914 Joseph attested at Manchester and joined the 10th (Service) Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby) Regiment as Private 6723. His medical report noted that he had an eagle and flag tattooed on his right shoulder. He was unfortunately discharged at Lulworth three months later, however, having been admitted to hospital with tertiary ulcers. His health must have improved as he next appears with the 8th (Service) Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment. He was subsequently transferred to C Coy of the 10th (Service) Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment, often known as the ‘Grimsby Chums’, as Corporal 32922.

As Joseph’s service document relating to the Lincolnshire Regiment has not survived it is not known exactly when he joined the Lincolnshires but his service number indicates that it was likely to have been towards the end of 1916. Whether he was initially sent to France as a soldier of the 8th or 10th Battalion is also unknown.

In spring 1917 the Chums were prepared for action in the Arras sector in support of the diversion for the French Army attack on the Aisne. This action, known as the 1st Battle of the Scarpe, began on 9th April. By the morning of 10th April the Chums’ total casualties were ‘2 officers killed, 5 wounded and about 100 other ranks’ (War diary). Joseph was wounded and he died from his wounds in No. 16 General Hospital, Le Treport, on 14th April 1917, aged 37. He was buried in Mont Huon Military Cemetery, Grave IV. F. 9A.

At the time of his death Joseph’s wife was living at 34 John’s Road, Wembley, Middlesex. Joseph’s mother moved back to Loughborough sometime after 1891 and in 1911 was living at 8 Albert Street with Joseph’s brother Thomas and his family. Thomas, who like Joseph joined the Army, served in the First World War with the Sherwood Foresters. He survived the war and spent the rest of his life in Loughborough.

Signalman Bristol Z/3033 Edward Start

 

H.M.S. "Kale" Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve.

Killed in Action 27th March 1918,  Aged 18.

Commemorated Plymouth Navel Memorial 30.                       

 

Edward was the younger son of Mr. Joseph and Mrs. Alice Start of 16 Fearon street, Loughborough. Edward was drowned at sea through the mining of a destroyer. Signaller Start volunteered for the navy when only 16 years of age.

Able Seaman J/25584 Harry Stenson

 

Royal Navy HMS Queen Mary.

Killed in Action 31st May 1916,   Aged 20.

Commemorated Portsmouth Naval Memorial panel 13.                       

 

Harry Stenson was born on 28th October 1895 in Loughborough, the eldest son of Henry and Fanny Stenson (née Wardle). Harry's father was a carpenter and joiner in the building trade and he was married to Harry's mother in 1893 in Loughborough. Harry had two younger brothers Albert and Arthur and one younger sister Lily. Harry lived with his family at 7 Catherine Street, Loughborough, and then at 8 Hume Street. He was a member of the Emmanuel Church Lads Brigade and attended the Emmanuel Bible Class. In 1911 Harry, aged 15, was an apprentice carpenter with his father.

Harry enlisted into the Royal Navy to serve a twelve year engagement on 12th July 1913 and was allocated the service number J/25584 in Portsmouth. His record of service began on 28th October 1913 when he joined HMS Vivid I (the Navy training barracks at Devonport) as a Boy 2nd Class. He subsequently served on HMS Donegal (a Monmouth-class armoured cruiser) followed by the HMS Russell (a Duncan-class pre-dreadnought battleship). Promoted to Ordinary Seaman he moved to the HMS Victory I (a naval depot in the Portsmouth area). This was followed by six months (March - September 1914) on HMS Iron Duke (a dreadnought battleship) at the end of which he was again promoted, this time to Able Bodied Seaman. He stayed with HMS Iron Duke until May 1915 when he was transferred to HMS Excellent (the Royal Navy's gunnery training establishment on Whale Island, near Portsmouth). From August to November 1915 he was again with HMS Victory I, after which he moved to HMS Queen Mary (the last battlecruiser built by the Navy before the First World War).

Like most of the modern British battlecruisers HMS Queen Mary never left the North Sea during the war. On 28th August 1914 she participated in the Battle of Heligoland Bight as part of the Grand Fleet. In December 1914, as part of the 1st Battlecruiser Squadron, she attempted to intercept a German force that bombarded the North Sea coast of England but was unsuccessful. Following a refit in early 1915 she participated in the largest fleet action of the war, the Battle of Jutland on 31st May 1916. Here she was hit twice by shells from the German battlecruiser Derfflinger during the early part of the battle and her magazines exploded shortly afterwards, sinking the ship. Of HMS Queen Mary's crew 1,266 were lost while only 20 were rescued. Harry was among those lost.

The wreck of HMS Queen Mary was discovered in 1991 and rests in pieces, some of which are upside down, on the floor of the North Sea. Queen Mary is designated as a protected place under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986 as it is the grave of 1,266 officers and men.

Harry was only 20 when he was killed. He is remembered on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Panel 13, and on the memorials of All Saints' Church and Emmanuel Church, Loughborough, as well as on the Carillon.

HMS Queen Mary was a battlecruiser built by the British Royal Navy before World War I, the sole member of her class. She was similar to the Lion-class battlecruisers, though she differed in details from her half-sisters. She was the last battlecruiser completed before the war.

Sapper 207783 Albert Edward Stevens

 

248th Field Coy, Royal Engineers.

Formerly S/5171 R.M.L.I.

Killed in Action 5th June 1918,  Aged 19.

Buried Englebelmer Communal Cemetery  Ext, Somme, D. 15. 

 

Albert was the son of Mr. Samuel and Sarah Jane Stevens, 124, Station Street, Loughborough. He joined H.M. Forces in August 1915, at which time he was apprenticed to the tailoring with Messrs, Bailey and Simpkin, Market place. Writing to the parents, his Major, on behalf of the Company and himself, regretted the loss of one who had been a long time with them, and who had done much good work. At the time of his death he was in a shallow dugout when a shell struck the roof, and he was killed instantaneously. He was buried the same day in a little cemetery at the edge of the village, where several of his comrades who fell towards the end of 1916. He is in the same place. The Lieutenant to whom Sapper Stevens for sometime acted as servant, also wrote a message of condolence and sympathy with the family, in which he said; " You will miss his cherry letters, and my thoughts go out to you in this sad loss. One can only trust that when the daybreaks and the shadows flee away we shall all be reunited once more. May God bless and keep you and yours at this time."& lt; /span>

Private 292136 Arthur Stevenson

 

13th Bn, Cheshire Regiment.

Killed in Action 10th August 1917, Aged 19.

Commemorated Ypres (Menin Gate) panel 19 - 22.

 

Arthur was the son of Arthur & Mary Stevenson of 12 Granville Street, Loughborough.

Private  240146 Frank Bradley Stevenson

 

1/5th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 30th June 1917, Aged 19.

Buried Loos British Cemetery, XIX. B 23. 

(his Brother George Harry Bradley Stevenson also fell see below)  

Frank was the son of Samuel & Mary B. Stevenson of Thorpe Acre, Loughborough. He was mobilised with the Territorials in Aug. 1914 and going out with his battalion in February of the following year. At that time he was an apprentice to the joinery with Messrs W. Moss and Sons, Queens road. The Captain of his company, writing to the parents, says: -"It is with the greatest regret I have to inform you that your son Frank has been killed in action. Ever since he has been out I have known him and he was one of the best company runners for 18 months. His captain who is now in England used to say he was worth his weight in gold. Truly he was a fine little fellow. Mr and Mrs Stevenson had two other sons on active service in France, while another son, George was killed in action July 1916.

Private 15565 George Harry Bradley Stevenson

 

6th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 14th July 1916, Aged 23.

Commemorated Thiepval Memorial, Somme, pier & face 2c & 3a.

(his Brother Frank Bradley Stevenson also fell see above) 

George Harry Bradley Stephenson was born in 1892, the son of Samuel Bradley Stevenson and his wife Mary (née Cross) of Thorpe Acre, Loughborough. George's parents were married in Loughborough in 1882 and George's father was a bricklayer's labourer. George had three brothers Samuel, Frederick and Frank and three sisters Lizzie, Florence and Violet. Another brother William died aged one.

George, a labourer, enlisted on 28th August 1914 at Loughborough. He joined the 6th (Service) Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment, part of Kitchener's First New Army, as Private 15565. George was then sent to Bordon, near Aldershot, Hampshire where the emphasis was on individual training, squadron and platoon drill. In March 1915 the battalion went into billets in Liphook.

In April 1915 the 6th 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. George embarked for France on 29th July 1915.

In September George's battalion moved via Watten, Houlie, St. Omer, Eecke and Dranoutre to Wulverghem and Berles-au-Bois, a short distance from the front line south-west of Arras. In the months that followed the 6th Battalion did tours in the trenches, alternating with the 8th Leicesters who relieved them. The battalion was engaged in localised operations seeking a tactical advantage and remained in the area around Bienvillers and Bailleulmont until July 1916.

On 1st July 1916 the 6th Battalion moved from Saulty to Humbercamps, where it was held in reserve for the Somme Offensive which had just begun. On 6th July the battalion marched to Talmas to join the Army's 21st Division. From 7th to 10th July the battalion was in Hengest-sur-Somme, and from there on 10th marched to Ailly, entrained for Méricourt, took buses to Méaulte, and then proceeded to Fricourt. On 14th July the battalion took part in an attack on and successfully captured Bazentin-le-Petit Wood and village. George, aged 23, was killed in action in this battle.

George is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial Pier and Face 2C and 3A and on the memorial at All Saints Church, Thorpe Acre, as well as on the Carillon.

George's brother Frank, who was serving with the 1/5th Leicestershire Regiment, was killed in 1917.

Private 8361 Silas Stevenson

 

1st Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Died of Wounds 15th September 1916,  Aged 28.

Buried Serre Road Cemetery No. 2, X111 G. 6.

 

Silas Stevenson was born in Quorn in 1887. He was the second son of William Stevenson, a framework knitter, and his wife Catherine, known as 'Kate' (née Tuckwood) who were married in Quorn in 1876. Silas had three brothers George, Willie and Percy and three sisters Fanny, Kate and Clara. Silas, who in 1901 and aged 13 was a waggoner's boy, lived with his parents and family in New Quorn until his father died in 1905. His mother then moved to Station Road, Quorn, with her two youngest children Percy and Clara and took a position as a cook in an elastic web factory. Silas was now a farm labourer and no longer living at home.

On 18th May 1908 Silas enlisted in Loughborough, signing up for twelve years' service, seven in the Colours and five in the Reserve. He joined the 1st Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment as Private 8361 and trained at Leicester until 18th November 1908 when he was posted to Shorncliffe Army camp near Cheriton in Kent. He remained at Shorncliffe until January 1910 when he was posted to Aldershot. After eighteen months at Aldershot he was sent to the Army Barracks in Fermoy, County Cork, Ireland. He remained in Fermoy until the end of March 1914 when he was posted back to Leicester.

Silas went with the British Expeditionary Force to France on 9th September 1914, landing at St. Nazaire, Brittany, on the following day. From St. Nazaire the battalion 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.

In the spring of 1915 the 1st Leicesters were stationed near Armentières, and were involved in an attack intended to divert the enemy from the area of Neuve Chapelle. Silas was made a Lance Corporal in March 1915 but went back to being a Private on his own request at the end of May. In June and July 1915 the 1st Leicesters were fighting again at Hooge. On the 4th October 1915 Silas received a gunshot wound in his left hip. He was taken to No. 17 Field Ambulance and transferred to No. 8 Stationary Hospital at Wimereux three days later. He rejoined his battalion on 20th November 1915.

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 battalion remained 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.

Tragically Silas was killed in action, aged 28, on 15th September 1915, the first day of the Battle of Flers-Courcelette. When the 1st Leicesters attacked Morval Mill the battalion was slaughtered by machine gun fire and 410 men and NCOs and 14 officers were killed and wounded.

Silas is buried at Serre Road Cemetery No. 2, Somme, Grave XIII G. 6. He was the fiancé of Elizabeth Teagle of Barrow Road, Quorn. His mother, who had married again in 1911 to Charles W. Gifford, an widowed engine fitter, had moved to 29 Selbourne Street in Loughborough and then, by 1920, to 60 New King Street. Her unmarried son Percy and daughter Clara still lived with her and her married daughter Fanny Clarke lived in Queen Street, Loughborough.
 

Corporal 11784 Albert Edgley Stockwell

 

8th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 25th September 1916,  Aged 23.

Commemorated Thiepval Memorial, Somme, pier & face 2c & 3a.

Albert Edgley Stockwell was born in Loughborough in late 1892 or early 1893. He was the eldest son of Frederick Stockwell from Woodhouse Eaves, a stoker of stationary engines, and his wife Sarah (née Hand) from Barrow on Soar. Albert's parents were married in Barrow on Soar in 1885 and came to live in Loughborough. They first lived at 72 Frederick Street, but by 1901 had moved to 24 Leopold Street and by 1911 to Nanpantan where Albert's father was employed as a pump driver in a stone quarry. Albert had three brothers Francis, Frederick and Kenneth and two sisters Florence and Alice. In 1911 Albert, aged 18, worked in the elastic web textile trade but between 1911 and 1914 he moved to a job in the Great Central Railway goods yard.

Albert enlisted on 2nd September 1914 and joined the 8th (Service) Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment as Private 11784. From the Depot he was sent firstly to Aldershot for training. He moved to Shorncliffe in Kent at the end of February 1915. In April 1915 Albert'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 Albert travelled to France on 29th July 1915. Initially the 37th Division concentrated near Tilques. On 12th August 1915 Albert was promoted to the rank of Corporal, a position confirmed two months later.

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.

On 26th March 1916 Albert was posted to the 110/1 Trench Mortar Battery attending the 8th Leicesters. In April 1916 he 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. 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 Albert'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. From Soues the battalion moved to Longeau, Gouy-en-Ternois, Lattre St. Quentin and then to Arras where they went into the trenches on 29th July. Casualty figures for the battalion in July had been high: 17 officers and 415 other ranks had been killed, wounded or were missing.

The battalion went into Divisional Reserve at Agnez-les-Ouisans on 8th August but went back into the trenches at Arras on 18th August where they were on the receiving end of trench mortar bombs and heavy shells until 2nd September. They were relieved on 2nd September and marched to Duisans and on the following day proceeded to Lignereuil. On 13th September they 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.

Albert was killed in action on 25th September, aged 23. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial Pier and Face 2C and 3A, on the memorial at Emmanuel Church, Loughborough, and on the Carillon. He is also remembered on two memorials at St. Mary's in Charnwood Church, one in the churchyard and one inside the church. In addition he is commemorated on the Great Central Railway war memorial in Sheffield Victoria Railway Station forecourt and on the Roll of Honour produced by the Great Central Railway Society and displayed in the Royal Victoria Holiday Inn Hotel, Sheffield.

Albert's brothers Francis and Frederick also served in the war, Francis with the 8th, 9th and 11th Leicesters and Frederick with the Lancashire Fusiliers. Both survived the war.

Private 204171 Wilfred Stokes

 

21st (Tyneside Scottish) Bn, Northumberland Fusiliers.

Formerly 9/15190 Leicestershire Regiment.

Died of Wounds 24th August 1917,  Aged 21.

Buried Roisel Communal Cemetery  Ext, Somme, III. C. 10. 

 

Wilfred was the youngest son of Mr J. Stokes of Nanpantan
 

Private 27907 Herbert Thomas Stone

 

1st Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 19th September 1916,  Aged 26.

Commemorated Thiepval Memorial, Somme, pier & face 2c & 3a.

Herbert Thomas Stone was born in Tottenham, Middlesex, in 1890. He was the only child of Thomas Stone, a grocer's assistant, and his wife Louisa (formerly Smith, née Rogers). Herbert's mother had been widowed when she married Thomas Stone by Licence on 23rd May 1889 at St. Peter's Church, Regent Square, Camden, London. She already had one son Robert Smith from her first marriage. When Herbert was born Thomas, Louisa and Robert were living at 68 Olinda Road, Hackney, and Louisa was a dressmaker.

By 1901 the family had moved to 88 Grange Walk, Bermondsey but by 1911 appeared to have split up. Herbert had moved to Loughborough where he earned his living as a polisher and was lodging at 143 Burder Street with the Whitcroft family. His mother was with him and her occupation was given as 'Housekeeper'. Herbert's father, meanwhile, was living at Rowton House, 55 Fieldgate Street, Whitechapel - a hostel for low-paid working men in London.

In the spring of 1913 Herbert married Mary Elizabeth Corah, a wheelwright's daughter, in Loughborough and the couple set up home at 80 Station Street.

Herbert appears to have enlisted in the spring of 1916 and joined the Leicestershire Regiment as Private 27907. The precise date when Herbert was sent to France to join the 1st Battalion of the Leicesters is unknown but it is likely that he joined his battalion on the Ypres Salient sometime in the spring or early summer of 1916.

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.

The Battle of Flers-Courcelette began on 15th September and Herbert Stone was killed in action, aged 26, on 19th September. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial Pier and Face 2C and 3A, and on the memorial in the former St. Peter's Church building in Loughborough as well as on the Carillon.

Herbert's widow was married again in 1924 in Loughborough to Herbert Wakefield.

Sapper 184938 William Storey

 

Royal Engineers.

Died 23rd October 1919,  Aged 43.

Buried Washington Cemetery, Durham, D. C. 76.

 

William was the son of William and Margaret Storey; husband of Ada Hannah Storey of 19 Oliver Rd. Loughborough.
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Gunner 83447 John William Stubbs

 

C" Bty, 11th Bde, Royal Field Artillery.

Died of Wounds 28th November 1918,  Aged 29.

Buried Solesmes British Cemetery, I. E. 1. 

 

John was the husband of Violet Stubbs of 8 Bedford Street, Loughborough.

Private 241837 Walter Stubbs

 

1/5th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 11th October 1918, Aged 22.

Buried Busigny Communal Cemetery Ext, IV. C. 18.

 

Private 255965 Benjamin William Sturgis

 

18th Bn, (Queen Mary's Own) Hussars.

Died of Wounds 19th August 1918, Aged 23.

Buried St Sever Cemetery Extension, R. III. F. 17. 

 

Benjamin was the son of Joseph & Elizabeth Sturgis of Market Harborough, Husband of Hilda Sturgis of 38 Morley Street, Loughborough.

Private 270191 Bernard Sutton

 

15th Bn, Royal Scots.

Formerly 5038 Highland Light Infantry.

Killed in Action 22nd October 1917.

Commemorated Tyne Cot Memorial, panel 11 - 14 & 162. 

 

Private 22822 Thomas Sutton

 

6th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 11th August 1916,  Aged 38.

Commemorated Arras  Memorial bay 5.                     

 

Thomas Sutton was born in Loughborough in 1878, the son of Joseph Sutton and Emma Sutton (née Lakin) who were married in Loughborough in 1871. Thomas's father was a framework knitter and his mother a cotton hosiery seamer. Thomas had three younger brothers Ernest, Arthur and Walter, and one younger sister Sarah Ellen; six other children had been born to Thomas's parents but all had died young. In 1881 the family lived at 6 Buckhorn Square, Loughborough, but by 1901 had moved to 5 Buckhorn Square and Thomas, aged 22, was a general labourer. In 1911 Thomas, now a labourer at Messrs. H. Coltman and Sons Boiler Works in Meadow Lane, was still living at home with his parents at 5 Buckhorn Square. His two nephews Charles and Frederick Spencer, the sons of Sarah Ellen, were also in the household. By 1915 Thomas's parents and Thomas had moved back to 6 Buckhorn Square. The family belonged to the Primitive Methodist Church.

Thomas enlisted at Loughborough on 6th November 1915, giving his occupation as 'Striker'. He joined the 10th (2nd Reserve) Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment as Private 22822. He was sent to Rugeley Camp, Cannock Chase, Staffordshire for training and remained there until 4th July 1916 when he was sent to France. From Etaples he was posted to the 6th Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment in the field on 13th July and sent to attend the 9th Battalion of the Essex Regiment who were training in Bois de Mornimont, not far from Varennes. Training continued until 20th July when the 9th Essex Battalion moved to Bertrancourt and then Mailly Maillet. Further training ensued at Bus-lès-Artois and Varennes until 30th July when the battalion moved to Bouzincourt. On 7th August the battalion moved into the Bouzincourt-Albert line as Brigade Reserve and on 9th August there were working and carrying parties to the front line. On 10th August the battalion relieved the 5th Royal Berkshires in the front line itself north-east of Ovillers and for the next two days suffered bombardment by the enemy.

Thomas went missing on 11th August and was later regarded for official purposes as having died, aged 38. He is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, Bay 5.

Private 39476 William Sutton

 

6th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Died of Wounds 25th August 1918,  Aged 31.

Buried Bagneux British Cemetery, VI. C. 34. 

 

William was the son of James & Harriet Sutton of Loughborough, Husband of Mary Emily Sutton of 36 Leopold Street, Loughborough. William was killed by gunshot wound to the abdomen and was buried the next day. The flag at Messrs Hanford and Miller was floated at half-mast. He worked there since a lad, and previous to joining the colours had been the manager of the firm's branch at Whitwick. He had a daughter named May

Lance Corporal 14053 Archibald David Swann

 

8th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 15th July 1916,  Aged 22.

Commemorated Thiepval Memorial, 2c & 3a.

(his brother John Henry Potter Swann also fell see below)

Archibald David Swann (known as 'Archie') was born in Loughborough in 1894, the son of John Henry Potter Swann and Clara Swann (née Squires) who were married in Loughborough in 1889. John Henry Potter Swann was a framework knitter (cotton) in 1891 but he subsequently became a plasterer, while Clara Swann was a hosiery machinist.

In 1891 Archie's parents were living at 10 Albert Street, Loughborough, with a son Ernest, aged one, who died a few months later. In 1901 Archie was living with his grandmother Mary Ann Swann at 4 Albert Place while his mother Clara was with Archie's younger brother John Henry Potter Swann, aged four, and Archie's other grandmother Amy Squires at 10 Burder Street. Archie attended Church Gate School. By 1903 Archie's mother had moved to 9 Bridle Road, New Bilton, Rugby, Warwickshire, and was working as a corset machinist. She had a daughter Clarissa Swann in 1903 in Rugby, but did not keep her. Clarissa was taken in by Elizabeth Hardaker of 11 Kimberley Road, Rugby, and later was officially known as Clarice Hardaker. Archie's father also appears to have been in the Rugby area between 1900 and 1912 as in January 1912 he was indicted for obtaining by false pretences from Tom Reynolds of Rugby on October 13th 1900, the sum of £20.

In 1911 both Archie and his brother John were with their grandmother Mary Swann at 16 Albert Street and Archie was a machinist for a khaki equipment manufacturer. By 1915 Archie's parents appear to have been together at 28 Ashby Road, Loughborough.

Archie was working at the Empress Works when he enlisted on 5th September 1914. He joined the 8th (Service) Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment as Private 14053. He was sent firstly to Aldershot for training. He moved to Shorncliffe in Kent at the end of February 1915. In April 1915 Archie'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. Archie was billeted at Perham Down. 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 Archie travelled to France on 29th July 1915. Initially the 37th Division concentrated near Tilques. On 30th August Archie was appointed an unpaid Lance Corporal, a rank confirmed, with pay, on 30th November 1915.

From 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 the 8th Leicesters moved to the Doullens area for six weeks for 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 they 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 14th and 15th July the battalion advanced on Bazentin Le Petit Wood. Archie was killed in action on 15th July 1916, aged 22. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France, panels 2C and 3A.

Archie's grandmother Mary Ann Swann died about the same time as Archie. Archie's brother John, who was with the 1st Battalion, Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) was recorded as missing in action in 1914 and it was eventually accepted that he died on 26th October 1914. One way or another Archie's parents had lost all their children. 
 

Private 10838 John Henry Potter Swann

 

1st Bn, Cameronians (Scottish Rifles).

Killed in Action 26th October 1914, Aged 18.

Commemorated Ploegsteert Memorial, Hainaut, Panel 5.

(his brother Archibald David Swann also fell see above)

John Henry Potter Swann was born in Loughborough in 1896, the son of John Henry Potter Swann (Senior) and Clara Swann (née Squires) who were married in Loughborough in 1889. John Henry Potter Swann Senior was a framework knitter (cotton) in 1891 but he subsequently became a plasterer, while Clara Swann was a hosiery machinist.

In 1891 John Junior's parents were living at 10 Albert Street, Loughborough, with a son Ernest, aged one, who died a few months later. In 1901 John Junior was living with his mother and grandmother Amy Squires at 10 Burder Street while John Junior's older brother Archibald David (known as 'Archie') was with his other grandmother Mary Ann Swann at 4 Albert Place.

By 1903 John's mother had moved to 9 Bridle Road, New Bilton, Rugby, Warwickshire, and was working as a corset machinist. She had a daughter Clarissa Swann in 1903 in Rugby, but did not keep her. Clarissa was taken in by Elizabeth Hardaker of 11 Kimberley Road, Rugby, and later was officially known as Clarice Hardaker. Archie's father also appears to have been in the Rugby area between 1900 and 1912 as in January 1912 he was indicted for obtaining by false pretences from Tom Reynolds of Rugby on October 13th 1900, the sum of £20.

In 1911 both John and his brother Archie were with their grandmother Mary Swann at 16 Albert Street and John aged fourteen, was a watch turner for a hosiery manufacturer. By 1915 John's parents appear to have been together at 28 Ashby Road, Loughborough.

In the early autumn of 1912 John, aged sixteen, enlisted in Manchester and joined the 1st Battalion of the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) as Private 10838. In August 1914 the battalion was in Glasgow and left by train for Southampton on 13th August. The battalion sailed on the SS Caledonia for Le Havre as Lines of Communication troops on 14th August. On 17th August they travelled by train to Busigny and marched to billets in Maretz. On 21st - 22nd August 1914 they proceeded to Valenciennes and came under the orders of the 19th Infantry Brigade, which was not allocated to an Army Division but was an independent command at this time.

On 23rd August, having taken up an outpost line near Vicq the battalion received orders to move to the Condé-Mons Canal and 'hold the position at all costs' against the advancing German 1st Army. In spite of valiant efforts this proved impossible and the battalion was ordered to retire at once on the following day and they moved off amid heavy firing. From this point until the 5th September they were part of the Retreat from Mons. It was an exhausting march often by night as well as in the day from Jenlain through Le Cateau, Montigny, Bertry, Mametz, St. Quentin, Pontoise, Dammartin-en-Goële, and Lagny-sur-Marne to Grisy-Suisnes in the area of the Marne. Rations were scarce particularly for the horses which became very thin and at the end of it 221 men were reported missing.

A counter-offensive by the Allies, the First Battle of the Marne, took place from 5th-12th September, during which the battalion was shelled twice by the enemy. The enemy was, however, forced to retire towards the River Aisne, whereupon the battalion crossed the Marne at La Ferté and advanced to Buzancy.

The First Battle of the Aisne followed from 13th - 28th September and the battalion, now at Venizel, was again heavily shelled. From 20th September to October 5th the battalion was in billets at Septmonts cleaning up and entrenching, after which they marched via St. Rémy, Vez, Béthisy-Saint-Pierre and Pont-Saint-Maxence to Estrées Saint Denis and entrained for St. Omer. From there they moved to Renescure and on 13th October went into Corps Reserve which was attacked holding the line three miles east of Strazeele. On 14th October they were ordered to attack Bailleul but found it empty. After three days at Steenwerck and Vlamertinghe they were ordered to move by motor-bus to Laventie and then Fromelles.

On 22nd October the battalion advanced from the heavily-shelled trenches at La Boutillerie, Fromelles, only to be attacked by German machine guns as they got close to the enemy. The shelling continued for several days and on 26th October John went missing. It was eventually concluded that he was killed in action.

John is remembered on the Ploegsteert Memorial, Hainaut, Panel 5.

John's brother Archie, who was with the 8th Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment was killed action in July 1916. One way or another John's parents had lost all their children.

Private 22254 James Henry Tailby

 

Royal Army Medical Corps.

Died at King George Hospital, London, 26th January 1916, Aged 45.

Buried Sheffield (City Road) Cemetery, K. 6. 6772.

James Henry Tailby was born in 1870 in Loughborough, the oldest child of William Tailby, a carpenter and joiner who originally came from Birmingham, and his wife Emma (née Whitehead) who came from Saffron Walden in Essex. James' parents were married in Loughborough in 1868. In 1881 the Tailby family lived at 10 Hume Street, Loughborough but by 1891 had moved to 19 Ward's End and James had now joined his father in the joinery business. James had three brothers William, Albert, John, and four sisters Mary, Florence, Nellie and Miriam.

James married Charlotte Alice Billson in Daventry in 1897 and the couple initially set up home at 132 Herrick Road, Loughborough. By 1901 they had two daughters Ida and Edna and James was now earning his living as a funeral furnisher. In 1903 the family moved to 17 Hornthorpe Road, Eckington, Sheffield, and by 1911 James and Alice had four more children William, Harry, Percy and Archie. James had secured work as a house joiner in a joinery works. They subsequently moved to 83 Scarsdale Road, Woodseats, Sheffield.

James enlisted with the Royal Army Medical Corps in1914 and served as Private 22254 with the 35th Company. He died at King George (Military) Hospital, Stamford Street, Waterloo, London, on 26th January 1916, aged 45, and is buried in Sheffield City Road Cemetery, Grave K.6.6772.

Pioneer 288119 Wilfred Ernest Talton

 

7th Indian Div. Signal Coy. Royal Engineers.

Died of Malaria 22nd October 1918,  Aged 43.

Buried Cairo War Memorial Cemetery Egypt, O. 35.

 

Wilfred was the Son of William Franks Taiton and Sarah Ann Talton, of Loughborough; husband of Annie Talton, of 59, Judge's St., Loughborough, Had 2 Children Winnie & Sonnie.
need photo

Private 29454 Albert Henry Taylor

 

4th Bn, East Yorkshire Regiment.

Died a Prisoner 18th September 1918, Aged 39.

Buried Glageon Communal Cemetery Extension I. K. 6.

(his Brother Alfred Hall Taylor also fell see below) 

Albert was the son of Henry & Sarah Jane Taylor of 55 Leopold Street, Loughborough. One of deceased comrades, writing to Mrs. Taylor, says; " Your son was taken prisoner at Craonne, on May 27thlast year. We were kept working behind the German lines. Although he kept reporting sick the Germans would not let him go to hospital. On September the 13thwe were sent to Trelon hospital, but all the wards were full and we had to sleep on some wet wood shavings on a stone floor. He asked for a piece of bread, and said, "I wish you would let me write home, I must have dozed off. When I woke up he was dead, and the piece of bread and jam was still in his hand. He died very peacefully, and I don't think he was in pain.

Private 5305 Alfred Hall Taylor

 

1st (King's) Dragoon Guards.

Killed in Action 30th October 1914,  Aged 30.

Commemorated Ypres (Menin Gate) panel 3.

(his Brother Albert Taylor also fell see above) 

Alfred Hall Taylor was the first of two sons of Henry and Sarah Jane Taylor of 55 Leopold Street, Loughborough, to be lost in the war, his brother Albert dying while a prisoner of war in 1918. By 1919 Henry and Sarah Taylor had only one son and one daughter left, Wilfred and Elizabeth. Alfred also left a widow, Amelia whom he had married early in 1914 at Barrow on Soar.

Alfred had joined 3rd Leicesters on 14th October 1901, having previously been a trimmer in the Loughborough dye works. After 49 days drill he was transferred to the 1st (King's) Dragoon Guards. He had apparently left the army by 1911 as he was a porter on the railway in Coventry that year, but is likely to have been a reservist and recalled in 1914.

Official records consistently list him as Private 5305 in the 1st (King's) Dragoon Guards, but it would seem that at the time he died he had been attached to a different regiment; the 1st (King's) Dragoon Guards did not arrive in France from Lucknow, India until 7th November 1914. It is possible that Alfred was with the 1st Royal Dragoons, who arrived in Belgium on 8th October 1914 or the 2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen's Bays) who went to France in August 1914.

Second Lieutenant Arnold Bradley Taylor

 

9th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 12th July 1916,  Aged 22.

Commemorated Thiepval Memorial, 2c & 3a.

(2 Brothers Gerard & John Taylor also fell see below)  



Arnold Bradley Taylor was born in Loughborough on 23rd January 1894, the fourth son of John William and Annie Mary Taylor (née Bardsley) of the Bell Foundry, Loughborough. Arnold's parents were married in Loughborough in 1884 and lived at 63 Freehold Street, Loughborough. Arnold had three brothers John, Gerard and Pryce, and three sisters Josephine, Phyllis and Gwendoline. Arnold was educated at Shaftsbury Grammar School and Denstone College, and at the latter was for two years in the OTC. He was a keen hockey player and was a member of the Loughborough club, playing for Leicestershire in the last pre-war match against Nottinghamshire. After Arnold's mother died in 1904 his father was married again in 1909/10 to Edith Lea from Manchester. Arnold had two step-siblings by his father's second wife, Margaret and Paul. In 1911, at the age of 17 Arnold was working as a bellfounder with his father and brother Pryce.

On 2nd October 1914 Arnold and his brother Pryce were reported to be in the ranks of the 9th Royal Fusiliers on Epsom Downs, Arnold being listed as Private 3286. In January 1915 Arnold received his commission from the 4th Public Schools Battalion (Royal Fusiliers) into the Leicestershire Regiment. In November 1915 he seems to have been with the 10th Battalion of the Leicesters at Rugeley Camp in Cannock Chase as according to newspaper reports 'Lieutenant Arnold Bradley Taylor, 10th Leicestershire Regiment' was fined 15 shillings for riding a motor-cycle without a light at 11.00pm in Walsall Road, Churchbridge, Staffordshire, on 2nd December 1915. The precise point at which Arnold was drafted to the 9th (Service) Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment and the date on which he entered France are unknown as his service record has not survived. What is certain is that he was with 9th Leicesters at the opening of the Somme Offensive.

On 1st July 1916 the 9th Leicesters moved into position at Souastre in readiness to reinforce the troops attacking at Gommecourt. No orders came, however, and the men marched back to Humbercamps. Training continued on the 4th and 5th July. On 6th and 7th July they marched via Talmas to Crouy and on 8th and 9th July they rested and were addressed by the Divisional Commander on the forthcoming battle. On 10th July they moved to Ailly-sur-Somme and then entrained for Méricourt before going by bus to bivouacs in Méaulte north-east of Amiens. They then took over as Quadrangle Trench and Quadrangle support. On 11th there was heavy shelling but no infantry attack. On 12th July when Arnold's battalion was holding on to captured German trenches near Contalmaison and under constant bombardment Major A.W.L. Trotter and 2nd Lieutenant Arnold Bradley Taylor, aged 22, were killed by shellfire.

In a letter to Arnold's father, 2nd Lieut. William Batchelor, a fellow officer, wrote 'Dear Sir, A few lines to let you know how very deeply I sympathise with you in the loss of your son…It happened about midday. He had just come back to the trench after helping to bring the wounded in when a heavy shell burst nearby and a piece of it went through his body. He only lived a few minutes…I am confident he did not linger long. I am writing this because he was the best chum I had out here and just before going into action we exchanged addresses in case anything happened to either of us. He was the most conscientious subaltern in the company'.

Arnold's brother John William Taylor serving with the Canadian Infantry was killed in September 1916 and his brother Gerard Bardsley Taylor serving with 11th Leicesters was killed in 1918. His brother Pryce Taylor who served with the Royal Fusiliers survived the war but died in 1927. Their sister Josephine served with the Red Cross in France during the war. Their father died in 1919.

Arnold is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial Panels 2C and 3A, on the memorial at All Saints Church, Loughborough, and on the Roll of Honour of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers as well as on the Carillon. The largest bell in the Carillon itself was given by the Taylor family in memory of the three Taylor brothers lost in the war. A bell was also cast to commemorate all three brothers for the church the Taylor family attended, Holy Trinity Church, Trinity Street, Loughborough. When the church closed in 1998 the bell was given to Palayamcottai Cathedral, Tamil Nadu, India. Taylor's Bellfoundry also cast a bell in Arnold's memory which is now with the Royal Anglian Regiment's base in Leicester.
 
 
 
Bell cast by John Taylor's Foundry to commemorate Arnold's death.
The bell was presented to the Leicestershire Regiment in July 1917. In 1923 it was put on display in Glen Parva Barracks in Wigston, the depot of the Leicestershire Regiment and has now been presented to C Company 3 Royal Anglian Regiment's base in Leicester.
 

C.S.M. 6368 George William Marchant Taylor

 

8th Bn, Royal Scots Fusiliers.

Killed in Action Balkans 10th June 1917, Aged 34 or 35..

Buried Karasouli Military Cemetery, Greece, B. 314.

 

George was the son of George & Mary Taylor of Loughborough, Husband of Mrs W. Taylor of 41 Cumberland Road Loughborough.
 
When a teacher at Cobden street schools he enlisted in the army, and at the age of 20 obtained his 1stclass certificate whilst serving in Allahabad. He went through the Tibet campaign in 1908, also the Johannesburg raid and had several narrow escapes. As one of the original expeditionary force he was present at the retreat at Mons, also the battle in October 1914, when he was one of the 15 to return out of 300, his top coat riddled by bullets but not a scratch himself, and several engagements of fighting before he returned home at Christmas, 1914, with frozen feet, having been in the trenches three weeks without having his boots off, the water had turned to ice in them. Then on the 16thof June 1915, a week after his father died he was badly injured, and picked up for dead. He had a bullet through his stomach without touching a vital spot, one in his knee, which came out at the ankle, one broke the bone of his middle finger on his right hand, which remained stiff, and one through the palm of his hand. Also shrapnel took away a large part of his thigh. He was in hospital at Milling in Kent for ten weeks, where the doctor told him after all that, he thought he was destined to die in his bed. In December 1915, he went to Seaforth in Sussex to drill some soldiers from somewhere abroad. The weather was to cold so they decided to take them to Egypt. He volunteered to go with them in preference to returning to France, two other officers whom he had been with before going too. From there he was sent to Salonica in April 1916, where on May 4thhe witnessed the Zeppelin brought down, and obtained a piece from it to bring home. At the end of the year he was in hospital eight weeks with fever, but said he felt quite fit again and was out in the wilds, miles away from every where.
 

Second Lieutenant Gerard Bardsley Taylor

 

11th  Bn. Leicestershire Regiment, Attd. 9th Bn. Durham Light Infantry.

Killed in Action 24th September 1918,  Aged 32.

Buried Trefcon British Cemetery D. 29. 

(2 Brothers Arnold & John Taylor also fell see above & below)   

Gerard was the second son of Mr John William & Annie Mary Taylor of the Bell Foundry Loughborough. He was educated at the Shaftsbury grammar school and University College Nottingham, and went to Canada in 1905. Soon after the outbreak of war he enlisted in the 31st (Alberta) battalion and went to France in September 1915, and was made Sergeant. In June 1917, he obtained a commission in the Leicestershire regiment, and was again sent to France. He only returned to France after a leave on Sept. 13th, and was attached to the 2ndDurham light infantry.

Loughborough Corinthians Amateur Football Club, photo was taken at the Greyhound-Inn, Nottingham road, Loughborough, in 1903. Gerard Bardsley Taylor (centre front row)

 

Rifleman R/8052 John Morton Taylor

 

8th Bn, King's Royal Rifle Corps.

Died of Wounds 2nd August 1915, Aged 35.

Buried Etaples Military Cemetery, II. B. 30.

 

John Morton Taylor was born in 1879 at Hoton Hills on the border of Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire. He was the eldest son of Frank Taylor, an agricultural labourer and his wife Mary who lived at Vine Tree Terrace, Hoton. John had three younger brothers Thomas, Frank and Jess, and three sisters Gertrude, Susan and Elizabeth. In 1891 John was employed as a cowboy and was lodging at Nottingham Road, Hoton. His parents, meanwhile, after moving to Cold Newton, Billesdon and then Frisby, by 1891 were living at 16 Sparrow Hill, Loughborough. John's father died in 1898; his widow Mary moved her family to 46 Rendell Street, Loughborough and John was now employed as a brewer. By 1911 Mary Taylor had moved with her daughter Susan to 26 Albert Promenade, Loughborough, John had become an iron worker and was boarding at 9 Furnace Row, Ironville, Derbyshire and his brother Jess who had joined the 2nd Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment was stationed in India.

In late December 1914 or early January of 1915 John enlisted with the King's Royal Rifle Corps and joined the 8th (Service) Battalion as Rifleman R/8052. He trained at Bordon and Aldershot and the battalion was deemed ready for action in May and was attached to the 41st Brigade also known as the 14th Light Division. They proceeded to France, landing at Boulogne on 19th May 1915.

Although the 2nd Battle of Ypres was still in progress (it ended on 25th May) the battalion was unable to join the front because of a shortage of rifle and artillery ammunition. The battalion nevertheless remained in the Ypres area and were often subjected to shelling. On 19th and 20th July they fought in the action at Hooge and were part of the first division to be attacked by flamethrowers or 'liquid fire'. During this latter period John was wounded. He was transferred to Etaples but died from his wounds on 2nd August 1915, aged 35.

Private 101041 John William Taylor

 

31st Bn. Canadian Infantry (Alberta Regt.) and 66th Bn. (Edmonton Guards)

Killed in Action 15th/16th September 1916,  Aged 31.

Commemorated Vimy Memorial. 

(2 Brothers Arnold & Gerard Taylor also fell see above)   

John William Taylor was born in Loughborough on 26th March 1885, the eldest son of John William and Annie Mary Taylor (née Bardsley) of the Bell Foundry, Loughborough. John's parents were married in Loughborough in 1884 and lived at 63 Freehold Street, Loughborough. John had three brothers Arnold, Gerard and Pryce, and three sisters Josephine, Phyllis and Gwendoline. John was educated at Shaftsbury Grammar School and Nottingham University where he graduated with a B.Sc. (London) degree on 14th December 1904. He worked for his father in the family business before emigrating to Canada.

After John's mother died in 1904 his father was married again in 1909/10 to Edith Lea from Manchester. John had two step-siblings by his father's second wife, Margaret and Paul.

John enlisted on 28th July 1915 in Edmonton, Alberta. He joined C Coy of the 31st (Alberta) Battalion of the Canadian Infantry as Private 10141.On enlistment he gave his occupation as 'Teamster', meaning 'Truck driver', and his religion as Church of England. He later transferred to the 66th Battalion (Edmonton Guards) of the Canadian Infantry possibly when the 66th Battalion embarked for Britain on 28th April 1916. The battalion arrived in England on 6th May 1916. Its personnel were absorbed by the 9th Reserve Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force on 7th July 1916 to provide reinforcements for the Canadian Corps in the field and the soldiers of the former 66th Battalion were sent to France on 2nd August 1916.

John was killed in action six weeks later at about midnight on 15th/16th September 1916 in the area between Vimy and Courcelette. He was 31 years old.

John's brother Arnold Bradley Taylor, a 2nd Lieutenant with the 9th Leicesters, had been killed on 12th July 1916 and his brother Gerard Bardsley Taylor serving with 11th Leicesters was killed in 1918. His brother Pryce Taylor who served with the Royal Fusiliers survived the war but died in 1927. Their sister Josephine served with the Red Cross in France during the war. Their father died in 1919. John is remembered on the Vimy Memorial and on the memorial at All Saints Church, Loughborough, as well as on the Carillon. The largest bell in the Carillon itself was given by the Taylor family in memory of the three Taylor brothers lost in the war. A bell was also cast to commemorate all three brothers for the church the Taylor family attended, Holy Trinity Church, Trinity Street, Loughborough. When the church closed in 1998 the bell was given to Palayamcottai Cathedral, Tamil Nadu, India.

 

Able Seaman Bristol Z/4015 Francis Henry Tebbutt

 

Nelson Bn, R. N. Div. Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve.

Killed in Action 13th November 1916,  Aged 20.

Buried Ancre British Cemetery Beaumont Hamel, Somme, I. E. 24  

 

Francis Henry Tebbutt was born in Loughborough on 12th July 1896. He was the son of Robert William Tebbutt, a framework knitter, and his wife Emily (née Hickenbottom) who were married in the Loughborough area in 1895. In 1901 the Tebbutt family lived at 30 Regent Street, Loughborough, but by 1911 had moved to 4, Kilby Road, Fleckney, Leicestershire. In 1911 Francis's mother Emily, who had been a hosiery cutter-out before her marriage was now a winder of cashmere and Francis's widowed grandmother Mary Ann Tebbutt was living with them. Francis was fourteen and employed as a hosiery 'runner-on'. Francis had two younger brothers Hugh and Robert and four younger sisters Norah, Edith, Maud and Barbara. The family later moved to 18 Gladstone Street, Fleckney.

Francis joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR) as Able Seaman Z/4015 on 28th July 1915 and was sent to the training depot HMS Victory VI at Crystal Palace. He gave his religion as Church of England and stated that he was unable to swim. In August 1915 he was attached firstly to the 1st Battalion and then to the 5th Battalion of the RNVR. At the beginning of October 1915 he joined the 1st Reserve Battalion at Blandford, Dorset, and on 5th December he was drafted to the Nelson Battalion of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force.

Francis joined the Nelson Battalion, the 5th Battalion of the 1st Royal Naval Brigade in the Royal Naval Division at Mudros, the Allied base and harbour in Lemnos, Greece, in January 1916. At the beginning of April he was transferred from the Nelson Battalion and taken on the strength of the Depot at West Mudros. On 11th May he was transferred from the Depot back to the Nelson Battalion which was now part of the 2nd Royal Naval Brigade. The Nelson Battalion embarked on the HMT Ionian on 16th May and arrived at Marseilles six days later. From Marseilles the battalion travelled to Huppy in the Somme department of Picardy where they received orders to proceed to the Fourth Army training area at Beugin, Pas de Calais. The battalion remained at Beugin under instruction until 17th June when there was a move to Verdrel.

In July 1916 the Nelson Battalion became part of the 189th Brigade of the 63rd (Royal Naval) Division under the aegis of the War Office rather than the Admiralty.

By 2nd July the battalion was in the trenches at Hersin. Further training followed from 8th to 15th July at Camblain Châtelain, after which came a move to Coupigny and Aix-Noulette Wood where the battalion provided working parties. On 25th July Nelson Battalion relieved Hawke Battalion in the trenches at Souchez. Nelson and Hawke Battalions took turns in the trenches, with breaks at Aix-Noulette until 25th August when Nelson Battalion went into Reserve at Ablain-Saint-Nazaire. Nelson Battalion was back in the Souchez trenches on 30th August until the night of the 6/7th September. After a break at Noulette Wood the battalion returned to the Souchez trenches where they came under some enemy fire before leaving for billets in Magnicourt and Houvelin on 19th September. A further period of training followed until 4th October, including live bomb practice at Béthonsart.

On 4th October the battalion marched to Belle Epine and entrained for Acheux. After instruction in bayonet fighting in Acheux Wood the battalion marched to billets in Engelbelmer. The whole battalion was then involved in working parties on trench repairs and stocking ammunition dumps until 20th October. Moving to Mesnil Nelson Battalion then relived the Hawke Battalion in the Hamel Sector and was employed until 24th October in digging new trenches amid some enemy shelling. On 31st October the battalion proceeded to Puchevillers to supply working parties on the roads before return to the Hamel Sector trenches on 9th November.

Francis, a sailor who became a soldier, was killed in action, aged 20, on 13th November 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Ancre. He is buried in Ancre British Cemetery, Beaumont-Hamel, Somme, Grave I. E. 24. He is commemorated on memorials in St. Nicholas's Church, Fleckney, Leicestershire and Emmanuel Church, Loughborough.

Lance Corporal 241334 John Edward Thompson

11th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Missing, presumed dead 22nd March 1918, Aged 33.

Commemorated Arras Memorial Bay 5.

John Edward Thompson was born in late 1884 at Dunton Bassett, Leicestershire. He was baptised on 25th January 1885 at All Saints' Church, Dunton Bassett. He was the son of Joseph and Sarah Thompson and grew up in Wymeswold and at Hathern Turn, Hathern, Loughborough.

Lance Corporal 1979 Charles Thorne

 

1/4th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 13th October 1915, Aged 22.

Commemorated Loos Memorial  panel 42 - 44.

 

Charles Thorne was born in 1894 in Lutterworth, the middle child of George and Margaret Kate Thorne (née Payne) who were married in Lutterworth in 1891. He had an older sister Dorothy and a younger brother John and the family lived at 187 New Street, Lutterworth. George Thorne was a tailor and managed the family tailoring business on behalf of his mother, who had been left the business by his father.

When the business was declared bankrupt in 1895 George Thorne returned to being a tailor's cutter but between 1901 and 1911, he must have decided on a complete change of occupation as in 1911 he was a coachman living in Quorn. His wife Margaret, meanwhile, was running a boarding house in Lutterworth and young Charles, now a plumber's apprentice with Norman and Underwood, was lodging with George and Abigail Woodcock at 21-23 Free School Lane, Leicester.

Sometime between 1911 and 1916 Charles' parents George and Margaret settled in Loughborough at 126 Freehold Street where they remained for the rest of their lives.

Their son Charles Thorne enlisted at Leicester on 6th April 1914, when he was almost 21. He joined A Coy of the 1/4th Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment as Private 1979. In August 1914 the 1/4th Battalion was in Leicester but soon moved to Luton and by November 1914 was in Bishop's Stortford. Charles was sent to France on 2nd March 1915. From Le Havre the battalion was sent by train to Cassel, from whence they marched to Zuytpeene. From there they moved to Strazeele, Sailly, Bac-Saint-Maur, Steenwerck and finally to Armentières. In April and May 1915 they were in trenches at Dranoutre and in June moved to Ouderdom. By the beginning of July they were at Sanctuary Wood, near Ypres and at the end of the month took part in the attack at Hooge, where the Germans used liquid fire.

Charles who had been appointed Lance Corporal (unpaid) on 20th August and was made a paid Lance Corporal on 1st September 1915, was in hospital, partly in St. Omer, from 4th September to 7th October, having contracted scabies. He rejoined his battalion which had been moved to the area of Loos on 7th October. Six days later, on 13th October 1915, he was reported missing in the attack on the Hohenzollern Redoubt, and later assumed to have been killed in action, aged 22.

Lance Corporal Charles Thorne is also commemorated on memorials at All Saints with Holy Trinity Church, Loughborough, St. Mary's Church, Lutterworth, and in the Lutterworth Memorial Garden as well as on the Carillon.

Lance Corporal 6470 Leonard Thornton

 

1st Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Died of Cerebro-spinal meningitis 16th May 1915, Aged 28.

Buried Longuenesse (St Omer) Souvenir, I. A. 114.                     

Leonard Thornton was born in 1887 in Loughborough. He was the youngest of seven children in the family of John Thornton, chimney sweep, and his wife Sarah Jane, a hosiery seamer. In 1891 the family lived at 33-34 Woodgate, Loughborough. Around 1896, when his father died, young Leonard was committed by a magistrate to Desford Industrial School at Ratby where he stayed for five and a half years.

As soon as he was 15, Leonard attested at Leicester on 26th August 1902 for twelve years' service with the army. He was just over 4ft 10in tall and gave his occupation as 'Musician'. Classed as a 'Boy' he was posted to the Depot of the Leicestershire Regiment for seven months and then on 6th March 1903 was sent with the 1st Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment to India. He remained in India for nearly four years, mainly in the Province of Madras, but suffered several bouts of ill-health, including bronchitis, debility and dengue fever.

Leonard returned to England in 1907, was appointed a Bandsman in 1910 and a Lance Corporal in 1913. He was discharged in August 1914, having completed his period of engagement and sometime during July or August 1914 he married Mildred Amy Kemp, a housemaid in the Archbishop's Palace, Canterbury. The newlywed couple were, however, almost immediately separated as Leonard was recalled by the army and sent to France on 9th September 1914 as a trained stretcher bearer.

Leonard's battalion arrived in time to reinforce the hard-pressed BEF on the Aisne, before the whole army was moved north into Flanders and involved in continual fighting. In the spring of 1915 the 1st Leicesters were stationed near Armentières, and were involved in an attack intended to divert the enemy from the area of Neuve Chapelle.

On 1st April 1915 Leonard was taken ill and initially admitted to No. 2 Hospital at Outreau, near Boulogne. He was diagnosed as having cerebro-spinal meningitis and subsequently transferred to No. 10 Stationary Hospital at St. Omer, Pas de Calais, where he died on 17th May.

Left to mourn him were his new wife in Ickham, Kent, his widowed mother at 4 Court B, Nottingham Rd, Loughborough, his three brothers Arthur, John and James, who also enlisted but survived the war, and his three sisters Elizabeth (Mrs. Watterson), Beatrice (Mrs. Southam) and Annie (Mrs. Newton).

Private 41250 Thomas Allen Thorpe

 

17th Bn, Highland Light Infantry.

Formerly 26762 Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 13th February 1917, Aged 20.

Commemorated Thiepval Memorial, face 15 C..

 

Thomas Allan Thorpe was born in Loughborough in 1897. He was the son of Thomas Thorpe and his wife Ellen Thorpe (nee Moseley) who were married in Loughborough in the early summer of 1894. Thomas Junior had one younger brother Charles and three sisters Grace, Ethel and Phyllis and the family lived for over twenty-five years at 14 Mill Street, Loughborough. Thomas Thorpe Senior was a storekeeper in 1901 and in 1911 was specialising as a dyer and cleaner. By 1911 Thomas Junior, aged 14, was working as a hosiery needle maker but a few years later set up a dyeing and cleaning business at Coalville.

Thomas Junior enlisted in early 1916, joining the Leicestershire Regiment as Private 267632. He subsequently transferred to the 17th (Service) Battalion (3rd Glasgow) of the Highland Light Infantry, also known as the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce Battalion, as Private 41250. His date of transfer, however, is unknown as his service record has not survived. Thomas Junior's date of arrival in France and whether he was with the Highland Light Infantry for the first month of the Somme Offensive are also unknown.

In August 1916 the 17th Battalion left Béthune to take over the Cambrin right sub-sector from the Northamptons where they were subjected to trench mortar bombardments and sniping raids. The following weeks of August, September and October were marked with much moving about with various stretches of trench warfare. On 23rd August they were near Hulluch. On 31st August a move was made to Annequin via Beuvry and Béthune, and ultimately by bus journey to the trenches near Guinchy.

On the 11th September a night raid was attempted, but this was frustrated owing to the Germans bombing the party as it was on the point of entering their trenches. On 4th October the battalion took over 'Village Trench' in the Cambrin Sector (Maison Rouge dugouts), taking over the front line from the 11th Border Regiment. The next move saw the 17th Battalion leave Beuvry, proceeding to Labeauvrière on 16th October; to Hem-Hardinval, on the 19th; to Rubempré, on the 21st; to Bouzincourt, on the 23rd; back by Rubempré and on to Canaples on the 31st via Talmas and Naours. This trekking was done in weather that was more often wet than dry, exceedingly cold at night, and the living was under canvas. The battalion was at Val-de-Maison on 1st November moving to Vadencourt after a fortnight, and then into the Martinsart Valley on the 15th, where they were ordered to go into action at Beaumont-Hamel, as several drafts of men had now brought up the strength of the battalion.

The attack which commenced on November 18th failed due to the inefficiency of the British supporting barrage, together with the condition of the ground - thaw having set in and rain falling on the snow, making it exceedingly slippery. Over 300 men were either killed or wounded in the day's fighting.

On the 19th November the Battalion returned to billets in Mailly-Maillet. During December the battalion carried on training at Franqueville and Rubempré. Christmas Day 1916 was marked by football and rugby matches and a concert.

The opening months of the New Year 1917 were months of battling not only against a human enemy, but against the elements in another severe winter. The battalion left Rubempré on 6th January and proceeded to Courcelles where, on the following day, they relieved the troops of the 3rd Division in the trenches opposite Serre. The enemy was quite active and most of the trenches were completely impassable, being full of water to a height of five feet.

Heavy and continuous work was put in mending and improving the trenches, training the drafts which were arriving, performing tactical exercises and battalion routine affairs. The tediousness of trench work was relieved by the establishment of special strong posts, by minor raids on the enemy, and when out of the line by football and other recreations when circumstances permitted. This type of campaigning was experienced during January and February at Courcelles, Beaumont-Hamel, Lytham Camp near Mailly-Maillet, and Bolton Camp near Molliens-au-Bois.

On 13th February 1917 the battalion began an attack on an enemy post but met with fierce resistance and during this attack Thomas was killed in action, aged 20. He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, Face 15 C. Thomas is also commemorated on the memorial at All Saints' Church, Loughborough, on the Clock Tower War Memorial, Coalville, and on the memorial in Christ Church, Coalville, as well as on the Carillon.




Clock Tower War Memorial, Coalville


Lance Corporal 11909 Charles Clarence Thorpe

 

8th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Died of Wounds 13th September 1915, Aged 20.

Buried Beauval Communal Cemetery C. 16.

 

Charles Clarence Thorpe was born in Loughborough in 1895. He was the only son of Charles Thorpe, a brush-maker and finisher, and his second wife Annie B. Cope who were married in Lincoln in 1884. Charles Clarence had two sisters, Beatrice and Lady Grace. He also had three half-siblings Thomas, William and Elizabeth Thorpe from his father's first marriage to Ann Davison (who had died sometime between 1881 and 1884). When he married for the second time Charles Thorpe initially moved his family from Lincoln to The Rushes, Loughborough, then to 79 Gladstone Street, 9 Regent Street, and later to 107 Meadow Lane.

In 1911 Charles Clarence was a general labourer but when he enlisted on 29th August 1914 he described himself as a mechanic. Initially destined as a Private for the 6th Leicestershire Regiment, at some point he was transferred to the 8th Leicesters. By the end of September 1914 he was in Aldershot. At the end of February 1915 he moved to Folkestone, and then, at the beginning of April 1915 to Perham Down on the edge of Salisbury Plain. Having been promoted to Lance Corporal on 20th April 1915, he entered France three months later on 29th July. He had only been in the trenches in the Somme area of Picardy for a month and a half when he was wounded in action. He died from his wounds on 13th September 1915 at the 4th Casualty Clearing Station, Beauval.

Sapper 140267 Thomas Rock Timperley

 

Training Centre, Royal Engineers.

Died at Llandudno 29th December 1915,  Aged 23.

Buried Loughborough Cemetery 15/106.

 

Thomas Rock Timperley was born in Loughborough in 1892, the son of Thomas Timperley and Maria Timperley (née Rock) who were married in East Ham, Essex, in 1891. Thomas and Maria had three other children, John, Leonard and Marguerite, but John and Leonard died just after they were born and Marguerite died aged eight. Thomas Timperley Senior had a joinery business and the family lived at 31 Regent Street, Loughborough, in 1901 and at 87 Regent Street in 1911. Soon after 1911 they moved to Rockholme, Westfield Drive, Loughborough.

Thomas Rock Timperley joined his father in the joinery business, but enlisted at Loughborough when war broke out in 1914. He was sent as Sapper 140267 to the Royal Engineers Training Centre at Deganwy, near Llandudno, North Wales. He died at Llandudno on 29th December 1915, aged 23.

A newspaper report of his funeral at Loughborough read as follows:

"The funeral took place at Loughborough Cemetery on Saturday of Sapper Thomas Rock Timperley, who died in hospital at Llandudno. The first portion of the burial service was taken at St, Peter's Church by the Vicar, the Rev. R.J. Sturdee, and was attended by a large number of relatives and friends. The choir sang the hymns 'When I Survey the wondrous cross' and 'Peace, perfect peace', and also chanted Psalm xxxix. The chief mourners were Mr. and Mrs. T. Timperley (father and mother) Mrs. Robert Timperley (Leicester), aunt, Mrs. Arthur Timperley (Olney), aunt; Mrs. Krober (London), aunt; Miss Edith Timperley (cousin) and Miss Callis. The service was also attended by a deputation the Amalgamated Society of Carpenters and Joiners, of which deceased was formerly a member, and also a detachment of the Church Lads' Brigade under Captain Carter. After the commitment service at the graveside the C.L.B. buglers sounded 'The Last Post' over the grave of their former comrade."

Thomas Rock Timperley is remembered on the St. Peter's Church Memorial, Loughborough, as well as on the Carillon.

Sergeant 16469 George Tomlinson D.C.M.

 

1st Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Died of Wounds 27th March 1917, Aged 21. 

Buried Calais Southern Cemetery, F. Row 5, 3.                      

George Tomlinson was born in Loughborough in 1896, the son of John Tomlinson and Lizzie Ann Tomlinson (née Clarke) who were married in Loughborough in 1885. George's father was a shoemaker and shoe repairer and in 1901 the Tomlinson family lived at 34 Nottingham Road, Loughborough. George had three brothers Samuel, Douglas and John and one sister Gertrude. Two other siblings had died young. After George's father died in 1907, aged 42, the family moved to 106 Freehold Street. In 1911 young George, aged 15, was a bootmaker's and boot repairer's apprentice. George's mother later moved to 53 Burder Street.

George enlisted in Loughborough in January 1915 and joined the Leicestershire Regiment as Private 16469. His service record has not survived but it is known that, after a year's training, he was sent to Flanders to join the 1st Battalion in January 1916.

The 1st battalion of the Leicesters was part of the 71st Infantry Brigade of the Sixth Division of the Army. In January and February 1916 the battalion was holding the trenches in the Wieltje sector of the Ypres Salient with breaks at billets in Poperinghe. Much of the time was spent patrolling enemy trenches amid occasional enemy shelling and sniping. In March the enemy began a heavy bombardment and in mid-March the battalion was withdrawn to St. Jean-Ter-Bierzen to work on a new railway.

In April 1916 the whole of the 71st Infantry Brigade was concentrated in a camp outside Calais where ten days training took place, after which the 1st Battalion of the Leicesters moved to the Wormhoudt area. From the trenches here during April to June the battalion bombed the enemy with vigour. The first half of July was spent in billets in Volkeringhove and Wormhoudt and after a return to the front-line trenches on 2nd August the battalion entrained at Proven for Candas in the Somme.

From Candas they proceeded to a camp in Mailly-Maillet Wood and on 14th August took over the line in front of Beaumont-Hamel. The 71st Brigade was now part of the Fourth Division of the Army which was preparing for an offensive in September. On 27th August the battalion left the Mailly-Maillet camp and arrived at the assembly area near Méaulte on 11th September. The attack began on 15th September where the battalion found itself opposed to the 9th Bavarian Infantry Regiment. On 17th the battalion was withdrawn to Maltz Horn Farm and then to billets at Ville sur Ancre, having suffered many casualties.

On 26th September the battalion was sent to trenches east of Morval followed by rest in billets at Guillemont. The battalion had only a supporting role in the Battle of Le Transloy (1st-18th October) and by October 21st as back in billets in Corbie. On 24th October the battalion was ordered to move to Fouquières les Béthune, which they reached on 29th. For the greater part of November 1916 the battalion remained in reserve and was involved in training of all kinds.

In November 1916 George was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. The citation in the London Gazette for 25th November 1916 reads: 'For conspicuous gallantry in action. He commanded and fought four trench mortars with great courage and determination. He stood on the parapet to observe the fire of his guns. He set a splendid example throughout the operations.' During 1916 he was twice promoted from Private to Corporal and from Corporal to Sergeant.

The 1st Leicesters spent January 1917 by turns in the front line and in billets at Mazingarbe. During February the battalion carried out a number of raids on the enemy's trenches before being relieved for a break at Montmorency Barracks, Béthune. On the last day of February and March 1st the whole 4th Division of the Army moved to the area north of Loos and the 1st Leicesters went into the trenches at Philosophe, an industrial village on the main road west of Loos-en-Gohelle.

On 16th March 1917 George, who at the time was attending the 71st Trench Mortar Battery, was admitted to No. 33 Casualty Clearing Station in Béthune. He was seriously wounded in the right shoulder and head. The wound became poisoned and he was transferred to No. 9 British Red Cross Hospital at Calais (otherwise known as the Duchess of Sutherland's Hospital) where he died on 27th March 1917, aged 21. George's mother received the following letter from the hospital: I am very sorry to have to tell you that your son died suddenly from his wounds on Tuesday evening, he was very badly wounded in the shoulder and the poisoning from the wound got to his heart. He has been buried in the cemetery just outside Calais besides many other brave men who have so nobly given their lives for king and country.

George is buried in Calais Southern Cemetery, F. Row 5, 3.

 

Gunner 111120 Richard Forman Tomlinson

 

"G" Bty. Royal Horse Artillery.

Killed in Action 14th November 1916,  Aged 27.

Buried Aveluy Wood Cemetery, Mesnil-Martinsart, Somme, I. E. 4.

 

Richard Forman Tomlinson was born in Loughborough in 1889. He was the son of Joseph Tomlinson and his wife Mary (née Forman) who were married in Derbyshire in October 1871. Richard's father was a coachman and groom and his mother was a laundress. In 1891 the Forman family lived at 68 Moor Lane, Loughborough, and in 1901 at 22 Salmon Street. Richard had two brothers Joseph and Percy and three sisters Sarah Elizabeth, Henrietta, and Miriam. When Richard's father died in 1910 his mother moved to 4 Burder Street with Henrietta, Miriam and Percy. She later moved to 62 Freehold Street.

In 1913 Richard was a domestic servant at the Vicarage in Little Dunmow, Essex. The cook at the Vicarage was Florence Emily Mary Thomas, a gardener's daughter. Richard and Florence were married on 21st April 1913 at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Little Dunmow by their employer the Reverend Edgar Iliff Robson. After their marriage Richard became the church organist from October 1913 until he enlisted in October 1915.

Richard joined the Royal Horse Artillery (RHA) as Gunner 111120. His service record has not survived and it appears that he was not sent to France until 1916 as he was not awarded the 1914/15 Star medal. He was in G Battery of the RHA which was based at Ipswich, Suffolk. During the time Richard was with G Battery it was part of the IV Brigade, RHA in the 3rd Cavalry Division of the Army and attached to 8th Cavalry Brigade.

G Battery was near Vermelles, France for all of January and most of February 1916 on a very difficult trench section where there was heavy enemy bombardment. Finally relieved on 22nd February the battery moved to rest billets in Wailly, near Fruges. They remained there until 15th May, undergoing training. Training continued at Saint-Riquier until the end of May when they moved back to the Fruges area. The battery remained in Fruges until 24th June when they moved again to concentrate in the area between Bonnay and La Neuville.

In the Somme Offensive from July to November 1916 the cavalry moved about with horses, close behind the front, expectant of the eventual breakthrough which never came. On 1st July G battery was in La Neuville and ready to move at very short notice. On 4th July they proceeded to billets close to Pont-Remy and on 9th July to billets at Bonnay where they remained until the end of July. At the beginning of August the battery moved to the area of Le Quesnoy west of Amiens from where they proceeded via Ligescourt and Wadicourt to Créquy. G Battery then went into billets at Grigny near Hesdin until 9th September.

The same pattern followed for most of September: various moves by day and billets in Dompierre and Belloy-sur-Somme, bivouacs at La Neuville and Daours, then billets at Frohen-le-Grand and finally Mouriez. On 21st October the battery left Mouriez for the area of Le Poncel on the River Authie. On the following day they moved to St. Ouen north-west of Amiens and the next day to Engelbelmer. On 24th October, in the early morning they joined V Corps and went into action at Aveluy Wood under orders of the 63rd Division, being temporarily attached to the 18th Division for shooting. From 25th to 29th October the battery was employed in improving positions and registering trenches in the area of St. Pierre Divion, near Mesnil-Martinsart.

On the first day of the Battle of the Ancre (13th November) G Battery, together with C and K Batteries, covered the advance of the 39th Division by firing on barrage lines. Just after midday G Battery was ordered to take up position along the line of the Beaucourt-sur-l'Ancre Road from Hamel. At about 1.00am on 14th November Richard was killed, aged 27, at gun position and two others with him were wounded. He was buried at Aveluy Wood Cemetery (Lancashire Dump), Mesnil-Martinsart, Grave I. E. 4.

Richard is commemorated on the war memorial in Little Dunmow Church and on a small framed metal plaque kept by the church organ. He is also remembered on the Felsted and Little Dunmow Roll of Honour, on the memorial in All Saints' Church, Loughborough and on the Carillon.

Richard's widow Florence joined the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC) in 1917. After the war she moved to Clematis Cottage, Clifton Hampden, Abingdon, Berkshire. In the summer of 1925 she married Richard's younger brother Percy at Loughborough. Percy had served with the Highland Light Infantry and the Tank Corps in the war.
  

 

Private 241206 Frederick Tooley

 

2/4th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 22nd March 1918.

Commemorated Arras Memorial, bay 5. 

 

 
 

 

Private 7242 Herbert Topham

 

2nd Bn, King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.

Killed in Action 30th October 1914,  Aged 28.

Commemorated Le Touret Memorial panel 31.

 

Herbert Topham was born in 1883 in Slawston, Leicestershire, the son of George Topham, a carter, and Betsy Ann Topham (née Spence) who were married in Uppingham in 1873. Herbert had seven siblings Charles, Jeffie, Walter, Arthur, Alfred, Margaret and Florence and at the time of the First World War their parents were living at 7 Eastbourne Rd, Leicester. Herbert, a motor driver, married Ann Simpson from Mountsorrel in 1908 and he and his wife moved to 10 Thomas Street, Loughborough. Herbert and Ann had two young sons, Herbert Charles born in 1910 and Frank born in 1913.

When war broke out Herbert was training with his Battalion at the Curragh, near Dublin. On 16th August the battalion landed at Le Havre. They took part in the retreat from Mons, and on 26th August the battalion was in action at the Battle of Le Cateau, the British Army's biggest battle since Waterloo where they suffered approximately 600 casualties.

From 7th to 10th September Herbert's battalion supported the French at the Battle of the Marne, and were then rested for a few days. On 8th and 9th October they travelled by train from the River Aisne to Abbeville, and were then transported by bus to fight alongside the French at La Bassée. From October 24th they were involved in heavy fighting and were in action at Messines, where they took part in an attack at the east end of the village.

Herbert Topham was lost in battle on 30th October 1914. His wife, Ann, was married again in Loughborough in 1918 to Albert Newbold, who was with the Leicestershire Regiment in the war, and they lived at 1 Cradock Street, Loughborough.

 

Private 2810 Edward Charles Trussell

 

13th Kensington Bn, London Regiment.

Killed in Action 9th May 1915, Aged 19.

Commemorated Ploegsteert Memorial panel 10. 

 

Edward Trussell was the only son of Edward Albert and Florence Trussell. His father Edward Senior and his brother Ernest, who originally came from Hitchin in Hertfordshire, ran a hairdressing business in Loughborough at 25 Derby Square. Edward Junior was born in East Grinstead, Sussex, in 1896. Edward enlisted between 1st September and 1st November 1914. By March 1915 he had joined the 1/13th Princess Louise's Kensington Battalion of the London Regiment in France and was in action at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle. Two months later he was in the Battle of Aubers Ridge (part of the British contribution to the Second Battle of Artois, a Franco-British offensive intended to exploit the German diversion of troops to the Eastern Front).

At Aubers Ridge intelligence about the newly strengthened German positions was not available or given sufficient attention. The duration and weight of the British bombardment was wholly insufficient to break the German wire and breastwork defences, or to destroy or suppress the front-line machine-guns. Trench layout, traffic flows and organisation behind the British front line did not allow for easy movement of reinforcements and casualties. British artillery equipment and ammunition were in poor condition: the first through over-use, the second through faulty manufacture. It soon became impossible to tell precisely where British troops were; accurate close-support artillery fire was impossible.

This battle was an unmitigated disaster for the British army. No ground was won and no tactical advantage gained. It is doubted if it had the slightest positive effect on assisting the main French attack 15 miles (24 km) to the south.

More than 11,000 British casualties were sustained on 9 May 1915, the vast majority within yards of their own front-line trench. Mile for mile, Division for Division, this was one of the highest rates of loss during the entire war. The Kensington battalion lost 436 men, including 13 officers. Edward Trussell was one of those lost.
 

Lance Corporal 267615 George Archie Turner

 

1/5th Bn, Duke of Wellingtons (West Riding Regt.)

Killed in Action 1st November 1918,  Aged 21.

Buried Maing Communal Cemetery Ext. C. 1. 

 

George Archie Turner was one of the old Church-gate boy's he lived at 18 Clarence Street Loughborough. Son of Edmund & Elizabeth Turner of 15 Harriet Street Derby.
 

2nd Lieutenant Roger Bingham Turner

 

3rd Bn, Cheshire  Regiment.

Killed in Action Iraq 9th April 1916,  Aged 21.

Commemorated Basra  Memorial Iraq, panel 14 & 62. 

 

Roger Bingham Turner was born on the 9th August 1895 in Moffat, Dumfriesshire, Scotland. He was the son of Bingham Dixon Turner and his wife, Dora who was the daughter of Major James Sweetenham (East Kent Regiment). His brother, James Reginald Bingham Turner was born in 1896 in Glasgow. The main family home was Bryn Estyn, Hough Green, Chester.

In 1901 the family was living in Loughborough where Bingham Dixon Turner was the Headmaster of the Loughborough Grammar School. Roger was a pupil there from May 1905 until April 1906 when he left to attend Sandroyd Preparatory School, Cobham from 1906 - 1909, followed by Charterhouse from 1909 to 1914 where he was awarded both junior and senior scholarships and became head of Bodeites House. In October 1914 he gained an open classical scholarship at Jesus College, Cambridge and remained there until March 1915.

Whilst at Jesus College he trained with the Cambridge Officer Training Corps. On the 12th April 1915 he received his commission and was gazetted as 2nd Lieutenant in the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment. He was subsequently attached to the 8th Battalion which was training in Pirbright, Surrey.

On the 1st September 1915 Roger went with a draft to Gallipoli and took part in the evacuation of Suvla Bay on 19th and 20th December 1915. After a week's rest his battalion moved to the Helles bridgehead. The battalion was in action during the last Turkish attacks at Helles on 7th January 1916 and were evacuated from Helles on 8th and 9th January.

On 12th February 1916, after a short rest in Egypt, Roger went with the 8th Battalion to Mesopotamia to join the force being assembled near Sheikh Sa'ad for the relief of the besieged garrison at Kut al Amara. The battalion joined the Tigris Corps on 27th March and were in action in the unsuccessful attempts to relieve Kut. In May Roger was reported as missing after being wounded on the 9th April and subsequently confirmed as killed in action at Sanna-i-yat when taking part in a charge on the enemy's entrenched position, to relieve Kut. He was 20 years old.

A fellow officer wrote: 'He was a splendid officer, always doing his work without fear or fuss, and always cheery. I saw a lot of him and like everyone else, appreciated his usefulness and fine conduct. I know too, how much his Company Commander, who was killed about the same time, appreciated his work'.

Roger Bingham Turner has no grave and is commemorated on the Basra Memorial, the Loughborough Carillon Memorial, All Saints with Holy Trinity Church Memorial and Loughborough Grammar School's Roll of Honour as well as on the Rolls of Honour at Jesus College, Cambridge, and Charterhouse. At Loughborough Grammar School there is also a memorial clock given by the Turner family and it bears the words of the family motto: 'Vive ut Vivas' which means 'Live life to the full'. A memorial stained glass window to Roger Bingham Turner was also placed in the cloisters of Chester Cathedral.

Roger's brother James Reginald Bingham Turner served in the Royal Field Artillery, survived the war and was awarded the Military Cross 'For conspicuous gallantry and ability in command of his battery during intense fighting. On two separate occasions he carried out daring reconnaissances at Pot-de-Vin under very heavy machine-gun and artillery fire, obtaining most valuable information'.

Private 20536 William Henry Valentine Tustain

 

7th Bn. Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 28th April 1917, Aged 33.

Commemorated Arras Memorial, bay 5. 

 

William Henry Valentine Tustain was born in 1883 in Hempton, Oxfordshire, and baptised on 12th September 1883 at St. Michael’s Church, Barford. He was the son of George Tustain and his wife Sarah (née Taylor) who were married at Barford in 1870. William had two brothers Anthony and Sidney and three sisters Norah, Mary and Winifred.

William’s father was a baker and carrier in 1881 and the Tustain family lived in Kempton Road, Barford, but by 1891 George Tustain was landlord of the Red Lion Inn, Deddington, Oxfordshire. George Tustain unfortunately died in 1893, aged 45, and William’s mother Sarah moved to 40 Forest Road, Loughborough, with three of her children including William. William joined the Emmanuel Church Lads Brigade and by 1901 he was a blacksmith’s labourer. William’s mother later moved to 9 Albert Place.

William enlisted with the Leicestershire Regiment probably in late 1914 or early 1915. His precise date of enlistment is unknown as his service papers have not survived. He was posted to the 7th (Service) Battalion as Private 20536 and was sent to France on 29th December 1915. At that point the 7th Leicesters were involved in various trench warfare activities in the area of Arras. The freezing weather of January 1916 made life doubly difficult and in February they were required to take over extra trench areas vacated by the French who were concentrating every effort at the Battle of Verdun. These new trenches eventually included those in front of Bailleulment to the left of existing positions and to the right as far as far as Hannescamps. At the same time the enemy redoubled their efforts in shelling Berles-au-Bois. 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 repairing the support trenches in the area. In May they worked on building a new railway line between Le Bret and Bienvillers-au-Bois. Those not building the railway were in the trenches. Towards the end of May the battalion returned to the trenches in the Bienvillers-Bailleulmont area. At the beginning of July the 7th Battalion moved on to the Somme. They were at Fricourt on 13th July and at Mametz Wood and in the attack on Bazentin-le-Petit on 14th July. After the Bazentin Ridge battle the battalion marched away from the Somme and entrained for part of the journey to Hangest. On 6th August they took over a section of battered trenches at Agnez-lès-Duisans, near Arras.

After ten days training at Denier and Sars-le-Bois the battalion entrained for the Somme on 12th September and bivouacked outside Montauban north-east of Bernafay Wood. On 25th September they fought very bravely and successfully at Gueudecourt in an action which was part of the Battle of Morval.

On 4th October the battalion entrained once more for the north and the countryside of Loos, taking over positions opposite the Hohenzollern Redoubt with rest billets at Mazingarbe, Philosophe, or Vermelles. Training at Cauchy-à-la-Tour and Houtkerque followed. Back in the trenches in March 1917 the battalion experienced what one soldier called ‘the bombardment of our lives’.

On 29th March the battalion entrained at Noyelles for Saulty-L’Arbret and marched to La Cauchie and on to Moyenneville. On 4th April the battalion went into the front line at St. Leger Croisilles, with breaks at Moyenneville. From 15th to 23rd April the battalion was in training at Bailleulval before returning to the trenches at St. Leger Croisilles.

William was killed in action on 28th April 1917, the first day of the Battle of Arleux. He was 33. He is commemorated on Bay 5 of the Arras Memorial and on the memorial at Emmanuel Church, Loughborough, as well as on the Carillon.

Private 281126 Jim Tyler

 

South Nottingham Hussars.

Died at Sea 27th May 1918, Aged 21.

Commemorated Chatby Memorial, Alexandria, Egypt.

 

Jim Tyler was born in 1897 in Loughborough, the son of James Tyler and Emma Tyler (née Jacques) who were married in Nottingham in 1884. Jim had one older brother Thomas and six sisters: Ethel, Annie, Hilda, Dorothy, Edna and Chrissie. In 1901 the Tyler family lived at 20 Ratcliff Road, Loughborough and Jim's father was a horse dealer. By 1911 Jim's father had become the hotel keeper of the Corporation Hotel in Wharncliffe Road.

Jim enlisted at Nottingham and joined the South Nottingham Hussars. He was probably sent to Egypt in early 1916 just before the Hussars headed for Salonica. In July they were near the village of Julah when a serious outbreak of malaria struck the unit resulting in some 300 men being hospitalised; whether Jim was a victim, however, is not known. In June 1917, after about a year in Palestine which included fighting the Turks at Beersheba, the Hussars returned to Egypt to join the 'Desert Mounted Force'.

In late May 1918 orders were received that the Hussars were to embark for France on a transporter ship the Leasowe Castle. At midnight on 27th May when the Leasowe Castle was in a convoy about 104 miles north-west from Alexandria she was struck by a torpedo from a U-boat on the starboard side, a little forward of amidships. The ship's engines were immediately stopped with the troops parading at their stations, boats were lowered and rafts thrown overboard. A Japanese destroyer stood by while the remainder of the convoy continued on their way at full speed and rapidly disappeared. During the lowering of boats, one was found to be stove in by the force of the explosion, but the remainder were launched in quick time and began to transport whatever could be saved via boat to the destroyer and picking up men who were swimming. About 1.45 am H.M. Sloop Lilly appeared, having turned back from the convoy to assist in the rescue. Suddenly, about 2 am, a bulkhead in the after port of the Leasowe Castle gave way and, with a loud rending noise, the ship sank rapidly by the stern, the bows rearing straight on end. Jim Tyler was one of 102 officers and men who lost their lives in this tragedy.

Jim is also commemorated on the Memorial at Loughborough Parish Church.

Private 203178 John Henry Tyler

 

4th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 9th November 1917, Aged 37.

Buried Philosophe British Cemetery III. A. 26.

 

John was the husband of Mrs J. Tyler, 126 Ratcliffe Road, Loughborough. An old soldier who went through the boar war for which he received the medal, he joined the national reserve, and was mobilized in 1914. Previously he worked for Messrs, Patent and Co, Market place. 
 
Mrs., Tyler received messages from his platoon officer, who wrote; " I trust you may find some consolation from the fact that he has always done his duty nobly and well, and was one of the very best soldiers in the company. All the officers and men join with me in offering you their deepest sympathy in your great loss. The sergeant wrote that Private Tyler was killed by shellfire and died a hero's death fighting for a noble cause. He was a grand old soldier, one of the best I have ever known." Private Tyler served under the late Lord Roberts through the South African War, for which he wore the medal. He joined the Leicester's early in the war, and had seen much active service. He was the second son of Mr. George Tyler, of Hallaton, whose four sons all joined the Army. Two John Henry and the third son Albert - have been killed; the youngest suffering from gas poisoning; while the eldest, Charles, who was the steward of the Loughborough Constitutional Club, served with the R.G.A. at the Western front.

Private 4035 William Tyler

 

3/5th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Died Home 20th October 1918.

Buried Loughborough Cemetery 2/208.